Meet Vincent, the cat who went viral because of his amazing prosthetic legs
The most heartwarming story of a cat who was in need of a lot of care and a lot of love has gone viral, and for the best reason. Vincent the cat is one of only a few animals in the entire world to be fitted with prosthetic titanium legs (and he also happens to be the cutest part-titanium little buddy around).
When Vincent was a baby, he was brought into the Story County Animal Shelter in Nevada, Iowa, missing his two hind legs. His now owner, Cindy Jones, was working at the shelter when he was brought in.
“He was surrendered to the shelter by a lady who was camping in a local campground. … He was missing his hind legs from the mid-tibia down and when the lady brought him in, you could tell she was pretty worried,” Jones told ABC News, adding that she wasn’t sure whether the disability occurred at birth or because of an accident.
The woman’s husband refused to let her keep the cat, so Jones took him home where she already had a pretty full house, which included three other cats, four dogs, four kids and a husband. But there was definitely room for one more.
Jones’ 29-year-old daughter Emily is a student at Iowa State’s veterinary school, and suggested the cat be brought there to see Dr. Mary S. Bergh to see what could be done. Bergh tried to save one of Vincent’s legs through physical therapy and even fit him for a cart, but she felt the best option was to instead perform surgery to permanently attach prosthetic legs.
“It’s the first one we’ve ever done, and there have been very few people in the world that’ve tried to do something like this,” Bergh said. Vincent, our little history-maker!
Vincent’s prosthetic legs were created from 3-D models and, while they normally cost thousands of dollars, veterinary orthopedics group BioMedtrix donated the customized legs. And only a few days after the surgery, Vincent was walking. He had to endure one more surgery to be fitted for longer legs, but now, months after the surgeries, Vincent is a “super happy cat”, according to hims mom. Although there are still a couple of things he can’t quite do yet. “He can’t jump yet … and we don’t let him go upstairs,” Jones said. “You know he wants to and he’ll look at a table top and he’ll go, ‘Hmmm.'” Hopefully one day soon!
“He runs around,” Jones added. “He plays with my dog Oliver. He lays in a bed. He grooms. He’s just … a great guy. In most shelters he would’ve been euthanized. He wouldn’t have had a future.” But thanks to a series of very fortunate events, Vincent the cat has a very happy life and a very bright future.
Which is exactly why Bergh and Iowa State decided to share Vincent’s story. “That’s one of the things that makes it so special,” Bergh said. “People can realize there are things we can do for animals that have disabilities like Vincent’s. People don’t have to assume there’s no hope.”
Check out the amazing Vincent in action!
(Featured image via YouTube)