A picture shows Pooh the cat using his two bionic legs to walk in Sofia's Central Vet Clinic, Bulgaria, January 31, 2017. Picture taken on January 31, 2017. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov(reuters_tickers)
By Angel Krasimirov
SOFIA (Reuters) - A cat named Pooh who lost his back legs in a road accident is back on a set of bionic feet after groundbreaking surgery in Bulgaria.
The one-year-old stray was found injured in the countryside near the city of Pleven in April. Months later, surgeon Vladislav Zlatinov drilled into what was left of Pooh's limbs and fitted two blade-like implants.
Pooh can't go back to his old life, sleeping outdoors and taking scraps of food from villagers. So staff at Sofia's Central Vet Clinic are looking for a new home. There have already been several applicants.
"We're very proud," said Zlatinov as Pooh chased a toy mouse around him. "It was quite a success ... It gives hope to other patients."
Zlatinov followed the lead of veterinary surgeon Noel Fitzpatrick who fitted new hind legs on a cat called Oscar in Britain in 2009.
Since Pooh, Zlatinov has given a bionic paw to an eight-month-old cat called Steven. Both animals were brought to the clinic by local charity, which paid for the surgery.
(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Andrew Heavens)