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Vincent The Bionic Cat Will Melt Your Heart

"The first time I saw him after surgery it was scary, I'll be honest. You don't normally see metal things poking out of your cat."

Last updated on July 3, 2018, at 1:31 p.m. ET

Posted on December 9, 2015, at 4:46 a.m. ET

Meet Vincent the cat. As you might have noticed, he has a pair of prosthetic hind legs.

Vincent got his prosthetic legs with the help of Dr Mary Sarah Bergh (above), a vet at Iowa State University, and BioMedtrix, a veterinary orthopedics company.
Christopher Gannon / Iowa State University

Vincent got his prosthetic legs with the help of Dr Mary Sarah Bergh (above), a vet at Iowa State University, and BioMedtrix, a veterinary orthopedics company.

When he was adopted as a kitten Vincent was missing his back legs from the mid-tibia down.

Bergh says she's not entirely sure how Vincent came to be like this, but that it's a very unusual condition. "It’s possible that the injury could have happened in utero, or alternatively the limbs could have been amputated post-operatively due to trauma" Bergh told BuzzFeed News over email.
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Bergh says she's not entirely sure how Vincent came to be like this, but that it's a very unusual condition. "It’s possible that the injury could have happened in utero, or alternatively the limbs could have been amputated post-operatively due to trauma" Bergh told BuzzFeed News over email.

To help Vincent live his best life his owner, Cindy Jones, took him to see the vet.

After trying physical therapy, Bergh decided that prosthetics were the best way forward for Vincent.
Christopher Gannon / Iowa State University

After trying physical therapy, Bergh decided that prosthetics were the best way forward for Vincent.

Vincent is one of only about 25 animals in the world who've ever had surgery like this, says Bergh.

Because of the nature of his injuries, Vincent's titanium-alloy implants have to go inside his bones and come out through the skin.

"The first time I saw him after surgery, it was scary, I'll be honest," Jones said in a video released by Iowa State University. "You don't normally see metal things poking out of your cat."

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Vincent's prosthetic legs are short for now, but eventually they'll be lengthened until they are the same height as his front legs.

This has to be a gradual process so Vincent can get used to using the prostheses, as well as their weight. Vincent is due to get new legs in a month or two, Bergh told BuzzFeed News.His legs could eventually look different to the ones he has now. But "so far, those have shown themselves to be very functional and durable," said Bergh.
Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University

This has to be a gradual process so Vincent can get used to using the prostheses, as well as their weight. Vincent is due to get new legs in a month or two, Bergh told BuzzFeed News.

His legs could eventually look different to the ones he has now. But "so far, those have shown themselves to be very functional and durable," said Bergh.

Vincent's first surgery took place in February 2014, followed by a second surgery in February this year. His legs have already been lengthened since then, too.

His legs need to be sprayed with antibiotics twice a day to stave off infections. But for the most part Vincent is able to live a pretty normal life.
Christopher Gannon / Iowa State University

His legs need to be sprayed with antibiotics twice a day to stave off infections. But for the most part Vincent is able to live a pretty normal life.

He's not able to yet, but Bergh hopes that Vincent will be able to jump using his shiny new hind legs soon.

Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University

Good luck Vincent <3

View this video on YouTube

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