'World's First Bionic Cat' Has Prosthetic Paws

With metal peg legs fused to his bones, Oscar is the "world's first bionic cat." Whereas canine double-amputees are happy to drag themselves around on wheels, the cat's springing gait has long foiled animal prostheticians. Updated with video.

To save Oscar, they would have to turn him into a monster.

The green-eyed black cat lost his legs to a combine harvester in the British Channel Isles last year. He is considered bionic because his metal peg legs are actually part of his body and "mimic the way deer antlers grow through skin," the Associated Press explains. (Does this mean people with pacemakers are bionic, too? A cat with a fake knee apparently did not qualify as "bionic," but Oscar does.) Biomedical engineers coated the metal pegs with a bone growth-promoting substance; Oscar's bones fused with them, and his skin grew over the region. After some physical therapy, Oscar "can now run and jump about as cats do." Whereas a black cat crossing your path means bad luck, a black frankenkitty means humans have finally triumphed over nature and will now breed a race of immortal cyborgs in a colony on the moon. [AP, image via AP]