High School Students 3-D Printed a Custom Wheelchair to Help This Resilient Little Kitten

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.

Related: Derby the Dog Can Now Run Free Thanks to His New 3-D Printed Legs

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:

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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.

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