CONIFER, Colo. — When the vets at the Aspen Park Vet Hospital first got Flipper he was two or three weeks old. Somehow during her birth the cat’s spinal cord got twisted leaving her hind legs paralyzed.
“The cord was twisted like a telephone cable,” said Dr. Harry Gurney. “We just felt so bad for Flipper who had to drag her legs behind her as she made her way around the clinic.
We knew about the Blitz Robotic Club at Conifer High School so we asked the kids if there was some device they could come up with to help Flip get around.”
Club members—some of whom love cats—developed three prototypes that acted as hind legs for the furry feline. She gets into a harness, which helps her stay erect, then with hind legs pumping Flip begins motoring around the clinic.
“This is just the neatest thing,” said Jan Gurney. “She loves kicking her back legs to help power the cat-traption around, it gives her so much mobility and in time her legs will get stronger and her spine may also loosen up to allow for her to one day get around on her own.”
The kids who build robots used the CAD program to get 3D images of how the chariot of sorts could work.
It took three tries but they came up with a device which seems to give the cat a new lease on life.
A kitten in her condition is often put to sleep. But not this cool cat who is now cruising the office like she owns it.
A job well done, and a kitty waiting to get strong enough to perhaps find a new home.