Flippers the Cat Gets New Set of Wheels instead of Euthanasia

January 26, 2013 |

Flippers the Cat won’t be going to the Rainbow Bridge anytime soon, thanks to a high school robotics club.

The nine-month-old cat was born with a spinal cord defect in which her spine was twisted like a piece of rope, leaving her back legs partially paralyzed.

Flippers was brought to the Aspen Park Veterinary Hospital in Colorado. Kittens with similar injuries are often euthanized, but the vet hospital decided to enlist help from an unlikely source: the Robotics Club at Conifer High School.

Using a computer-assisted drawing program, the students created 3-D images of how a kitty wheelchair might work. A few prototypes later, they completed a design with two wheels, a harness and duct tape that looks like something straight out of There, I Fixed It.

It was zoom zoom zoom for Flippers the minute she got her wheels.

Now she wears the harness for a couple of hours a day and races around the clinic until she’s out of breath. Still getting a feel for the wheels, her only problem is when she cuts corners a little too fast and close, which sends her sliding.

She helps power the harness by kicking her legs. The vets say this will increase her mobility and strength and they are hopeful that in turn, her spine will loosen up and she’ll be able to walk on her own.

In the meantime, she jets around the office in her FURRari. The office has adopted Flipper while she undergoes her rehabilitation.

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Category: 0 - Featured, Last Week, News, zzz Previous 3 cat articles

About the Author ()

Karen Nichols is a Pet Industry Influencer, Publisher and Multimedia Designer in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has over 15 years of experience in the Internet Industry as a User Experience Analyst and Interaction Design Consultant. She's blogged professionally for nine years, and is a respected expert in social media, web analytics, online branding and Wordpress design and development. She's a popular speaker at pet industry conferences. In 2013, she won the BlogPaws social media awards for Best Cat Blog and Best video. In 2012, Karen won the Best Blog Design award for SkeezixTheCat.com. She was one of seven finalists in the national Purina Cat Chow Correspondent search in 2010. She has been a spokesperson for Friskies and judge of the 2012 "The Friskies" video contest, and a juror for the Internet Cat Video Festival. Karen is a member of the Cat Writer's Association, Women in the Pet Industry, the IAABC, The Interactive Design Association and the North Bay Multimedia Association.

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  1. Flipper the cat gets a new set of wheels (tension breaker story and video) | January 26, 2013
  1. This is SO cool! We just commented on another blog today about how we hoped more high school robotics teams would help out needy animals like this – and here we find another! COOL!!

  2. Charmee says:

    Love those nifty wheels, but like the furry ear tufts even more! Go Flipper, go!
    Charmee

  3. Great story. So glad folks cared about Flippers and are helping her.

  4. PepperPom says:

    Pawsome article!!I am so happy for Flipper!
    Hugs,
    Pepper

  5. Jessica Bronder says:

    I’m so glad to see stories like this. I had to share it on Facebook.

  6. how cool – a kitty saved and high school kids that made it happen!!!