Sharing is caring!

How a Veteran Found a New Life by Giving an Amputee Cat a New Leg

Karolyn Smith was a turret gunner in the Iraq war. When she came home, she had severe PTSD. She found herself avoiding her family and friends and becoming more and more isolated. Then she met Sophia the cat, and both Karolyn and Sophia got on the road to healing.

Fate and Facebook

It seems Karolyn and Sophia were destined to meet. When Karolyn was at her lowest, she happened to see a calico kitten on the San Diego Humane Society’s Facebook page. She felt an instant connection to Sophia, even though she didn’t know that Sophia had undergone her own battle for survival at the time. Sophia was found in a field with her umbilical cord wrapped around her leg. Part of her leg had to be amputated. While Sophia was recovering in the Humane Society’s nursery, she formed a very close bond with a Bengal kitten named Leo.

Two Kittens One Mended Heart

The Humane Society insisted that whoever took one kitten had to take both, because Sophia and Leo had bonded so closely. When Karolyn brought them home, the cats turned out to be the sort of medicine that she couldn’t find at the Va hospital. Their love and playful antics was the medicine her soul needed to heal. As Karolyn began to heal, she wondered how she could help Sophia, who struggled to get around the house.

Trial and Error

Karolyn first tried a doll shoe on Sophia’s tiny leg, which didn’t work. She contacted a company that creates prosthetic limbs for dogs, but the cost was far beyond Karolyn’s budget. Eventually, she found FabLab, which is a community fabrication center that gives tech lovers a place to create their dreams. Karolyn asked them if they could 3D print a prosthetic leg for Sophia. Sophia is now wearing the second prototype while FabLab works on the third.

Sophia is An Inspiration

Sophia only weighs 5 pounds, which makes it difficult to create a prosthetic small enough to fit her stump properly. She can only wear her prototype for short periods of time, but Karolyn and Fablab are determined to keep working on it until they get it right. Karolyn says Sophia is not only an inspiration to her, but to others as well.

Sophia the Bionic Cat

Karolyn has written a book about Sophia’s story called Sophia the Bionic Cat. The story begins with Sophia being abandoned in a field and ends with her jumping and turning flips with her prosthesis. Sophia and Karolyn are sure to keep inspiring children and adults with their story of love, healing, and the power of never giving up.

Sharing is caring!