Derby the Dog may have a new running partner in Cassidy the Cat.
With a heartbreaking backstory that has turned the tiny kitten into a viral symbol of awe-inspiring resilience, Cassidy’s journey also illuminates the wonders of modern technology.
It all began in the forests of British Columbia, where Cassidy’s feral mother is thought to have accidentally gnawed off his hind legs while trying to detach his umbilical cord. After starving for nine weeks in the woods and falling ill to E. Coli infections in both stumps, Cassidy was rescued by Shelly Roche, who fosters kittens and also live streams their daily escapades at TinyKittens.com until they become adopted.
While Cassidy’s fate seemed sealed, vets were miraculously able to nurse him back to health. “He has the heart of a dragon,” Roche told The Huffington Post.
And now, thanks to local inventors and 3-D printing technology, Cassidy’s future looks brighter than ever. After Roche put out a call for help in ascertaining a prosthetic on TinyKittens.com, offers poured in in droves -- including two high school students who created a wheelchair for the little guy using modeling software and their school’s 3-D printer.
Today, Cassidy cruises around on a custom wheelchair that was designed and donated by Andrew Phillips of Handicapped Pets Canada, which invents contraptions that give disabled pets mobility. Here he is taking his first steps:
Bipawd #MiracleKitten Cassidy takes his first steps in his new wheelchair -- totally unassisted. Just amazing. <3This tiny feral kitten lost both back legs when he was born, and somehow managed to survive for nine weeks in the forest. It is a medical miracle that he survived even a day with such severe injuries, let alone nine weeks. His little body had just about given out from starvation and infection by the time we rescued him, but he never gave up! Thanks to the team at Mountain View Veterinary Hospital for giving Cassidy the chance he fought so hard for, and to Andrew at HandicappedPetsCanada.com for making the tiniest wheelchair he's ever made just so Cassidy wouldn't have to wait to feel the wind in his glorious floof.And our heartfelt thanks to those who have donated for Cassidy's medical expenses, sent supplies, made stump covers, shared posts and offered encouragement.... each of you has played a role in this tiny miracle! Watch Cassidy on our livestream, 24/7 at http://tinykittens.comMore about what we do: http://tinykittens.com/programsPosted by Tinykittens on Saturday, September 26, 2015
As Cassidy grows, high schoolers Josh Messmer and Isaiah Walker have offered to scale up new prosthetic devices, and Roche told the Langley Advance that she is also looking into implanted prosthetic feet.
Until Cassidy is well enough to be adopted, you can check out a 24-hour livestream of the frisky little fellow right here.