Meet Oscar, the adorable bionic pet cat

Robo-cat, activated! Oscar lost his legs in an accident, but doctors wouldn't stop until he could walk again.

This is Oscar. The cute little feline from Jersey in the U.K. had an accident about nine months ago when a combine harvester ran him over while he napped in a field, severing the bottom part of his two back legs.

But Oscar is plucky. His local vet, Peter Haworth, consulted another vet, Noel Fitzpatrick of Surrey, England, who has an advanced practice. They discussed Oscar's case via phone and e-mail, and after viewing X-rays and photos, they reasoned that Oscar was a good candidate for a cutting-edge new procedure Fitzpatrick had been developing: bionic cat legs.

ABC News screenshot by Matt Hickey/CNET

They're called intraosseous transcutaneous amputation prosthetics (ITAPs), and they're drilled right into what was left of Oscar's bones. They protrude down as stumps while the other ends are designed so that his skin will grow around them, making a sterile seal.

Later, when everything is healed and Oscar is used to walking on his pegs, prosthetic flexible paws will be affixed to his appendages to give him a more natural gait.

The BBC video above shows that Oscar appears to be living a far better life than most cats would after similar accidents and is in good spirits. Oscar will be with us for a while--and in fact will be featured in a BBC One documentary series, "The Bionic Vet," starting soon.

Also, if he finds four more robo-kitties, we might be looking at a real-life Voltron. That would be excellent.

About the author

    With more than 15 years experience testing hardware (and being obsessed with it), Crave freelance writer Matt Hickey can tell the good gadgets from the great. He also has a keen eye for future technology trends. Matt has blogged for publications including TechCrunch, CrunchGear, and most recently, Gizmodo. Matt is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. E-mail Matt.


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