Mews and Nips: Cat Receives Customized Knee Implant


Advances in veterinary medicine allow our pets to live longer, healthier lives. And while I don’t always think that just because something is medically possible, it’s necessarily the right treatment for every animal, it’s still exciting that these treatments even exist. It’s even more exciting when a successful veterinary treatment can also advance the field of human medicine.

This was the case last Thursday, when Cyrano, a 20-pound orange tabby, received a customized knee implant at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Raleigh. Cyrano’s 10-member surgical team was led by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Denis Marcellin-Little. The team spent hours giving Cyrano a customized implant designed and created during six months of collaborative work among U.S. and German veterinarians and engineers. They fashioned the implant, about the size of a tube of lip balm, from cobalt chromium and plastic.

Marcellin-Little has described the implant as being “as good as the implants used in human knee replacements,” with promising implications for artificial limbs in humans. The high-tech operation followed life-saving chemotherapy and radiation for bone cancer at Colorado State University in 2010. However, while the thousands of dollars of treatments put Cyrano in remission, the combined ravages of his disease and treatment side effects left him with bone deterioration in his back leg and knee, causing pain and restricting his movements. The knee replacement surgery allowed Cyrano to escape amputation, the goal sought by his owner, Sandy Lerner, a founder of Cisco Systems, and owner of Airshyre Farm in Northern Virginia. Read the full story about this feline knee replacement surgery on


For eight years, Ginny the tortie and her friend Steve not only kept the Earl May Nursery and Garden Center in Cedar Falls, Iowa, rodent free, but were also a big hit with customers, acting as the official greeters. Last week, the corporation who owns the garden center sent out a memo to all stores in the chain, stating that pets are not permitted on company premises. The story, initially reported in the WCF Courier, went viral, and it appears that this national attention upset the powers that be behind Earl May Nursery. Rich Congdon, the employee who took care of Ginny and Steve, was fired. Since then, the Earl May Garden Center Facebook page has been filled with comments against the corporate policy. Congdon, who was semi-retired, but enjoyed his work at the nursery, was humbled by the outpouring of support. “This whole thing has taken on a life I never expected,” he wrote Tuesday.


Is there anything cuter than photos of sleeping cats? The editors at Buzzfeed certainly thought it was worth putting together one of their popular collections. It was hard to pick a favorite – the photo above is only one of 25. See the 25 Most Awkward Cat Sleeping Positions on

In keeping with the sleeping cat theme, today’s video comes to us from our friends at Zee & Zoey’s Chronicle Connection. I have this beautiful video bookmarked to watch whenever I need a relaxation break.


Have a great weekend!

Photo sources: photo of Cyrano from, photo of Ginny with Rich Congdon from WCF courier, photo of sleeping cat from Buzzfeed. Readers Choice awards

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5 Comments on Mews and Nips: Cat Receives Customized Knee Implant

  1. Deb Barnes - Zee and
    February 4, 2012 at 6:15 pm (9 years ago)

    Thank you for another great and informative post!! We are also thrilled to be your video mention of the week! I love this video too, there is just something so calming and peaceful about it!

    • Ingrid
      February 4, 2012 at 7:51 pm (9 years ago)

      It’s a wonderful video, Deb!

    • Ingrid
      February 4, 2012 at 7:51 pm (9 years ago)

      I agree, Layla. There’s just nothing more peaceful than a sleeping cat. Instant stress relief!


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  1. […] week, we reported on a cat who received a knee replacement. This week’s surgery story is even more amazing. Veterinarians at London’s Blue Cross […]

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