NH students design wheelchair for blind kitten with spine condition

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A blind cat with a spine condition is getting some help from some high school students. (WLS)

A blind cat with a spine condition is getting some help from some New Hampshire students. They used a 3D printer to come up with a new set of wheels to help him get around.

At only a few months old, Ray is already making an impression.

"You can't help but fall in love with him once you spend some time with him," said Carrie Barron, Ray's owner.

Ray is making the best of his nine lives.

"He does have a lot of challenges but he doesn't know that. He's very happy. He plays and he's really well-adjusted," Barron said.

Ray was born with abnormally small eyes, leaving him blind, as well as a kink in his spine.

"He's not paralyzed he can feel his legs but he can't move them in the motion to walk. He can move them though to scoot, so he does scoot around the house really well," Barron said.

While Ray can get around, it's sometimes difficult.

"It made me think ok this might be a great opportunity. What could we do to make his quality of life better and how could we think about outside the box," said Portsmouth Middle School teacher Erin Bakkom.

Cue 8th grader, Austin Snow.

"It wasn't that hard to design," Snow said.

He and his class were challenged with building a wheelchair for Ray, reports WGME.

"I've seen so many stories you know with dogs with them and I've seen very few on cats but I thought you know what, Ray would absolutely love that," Barron said.

This one was designed and created on a 3D printer.

"It's wider and we have these two little pegs to strap him in," Snow said.

Countless hours to create and 11 hours to print.

"It was actually harder to get the wheels and tools to go on what we had come up with than it was to design the product itself," Bakkom said.

While Ray has already grown out of the two prototype chairs, it's just another obstacle to overcome.

"We have kids that face challenges and I think that's an opportunity for them to see you know maybe it isn't such an obstacle and it's just a different way to approach it," Bakkom said.

Related Topics:
petscatscute animalsanimalswheelchair accessiblebuzzworthyNew Hampshire

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