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Vet from Medway City Veterinary Centre in Strood rebuilds badly injured cat found at Wainscott bypass

By Lynn Cox

Meet Steve Austin – who isn’t quite the Six Million Dollar Man – but he’s certainly bionic.

Not only that, he’s also probably one of the luckiest cats on earth, as he was saved from an almost certain death by a kind-hearted man who saw him trying to crawl across the busy Wainscott bypass with his back legs badly broken.

X-ray shows how a vet from the Medway City Veterinary Centre repaired Steve Austin the cat after he suffered horrific injuries
This X-ray shows how badly Steve Austin the cat was injured

Lukas Bates, 26, who is allergic to cats, interrupted his journey to work, scooped him up and rushed him to the Medway City Veterinary Centre.

Staff at the practice on Medway City Estate, Strood, arranged for a former vet from the Celia Hammond Animal Trust to operate on the feline to rebuild his leg, for free.

He suffered horrific injuries, including a shattered pelvis, a fractured femur and a fractured to his other leg at its ball socket.

Steve Austin the cat recovers after his operation

He had to undergo extensive surgery to rebuild his lower half and he now has a metal pins holding his one of his legs together.

Staff named him after the popular 1970s American TV series The Six Million Dollar Man played by Lee Majors, in which former astronaut Steve Austin is given bionic implants.

“He’s a man barely alive,” said the programme’s opening credits, “but we can rebuild him.”

As he was recovering from his ordeal, Steve Austin was reunited with his saviour, Mr Bates, when he retuned to the practice to see how he was.

Mr Bates, a surveyor, of Perryfield Road, Maidstone, said: “He was dragging himself from side to side and cars were swerving around him. I just had to stop and get him off the road. I was in shock and upset.”

Lukas Bates and veterinary nurse Liz 'Bill' Ryan with Steve Austin the cat.

“Two ladies stopped to help me catch him and told me where the nearest vets was and I drove straight there.”

The practice hadn’t opened but senior nurse Liz Ryan heard Mr Bates at the door.

Mr Bates said: “I was really worried ... when I saw it was not open. It was really upsetting and I was a bit of a wreck.”

After Mrs Ryan took him in the practice then arranged for the cat to be taken to vet Hilary Lathrope, in Orpington to carry out the operation.

Mr Bates said: “I was really worried about him after I left and didn’t want him to be put down. I called the vets to see how he was, but he was still being operated on.

“Then a few days later they called me to say he was recovering.

“I was really worried about him after I left and didn’t want him to be put down" - Lukas Bates

It’s excellent news and I really hope he finds a nice home. I’d like to thank the ladies who helped me pick up the cat and the vet.”

Mrs Ryan, who has been looking after Steve, said: “He is recovering and eating well.

“If Lukas had not found him and brought him here when he did, the cat would certainly have died from his injuries.

“He is a very affectionate cat and will make a good companion. We are hoping his owners can be found so we can return him to them, but if no one comes forward, then we are hoping someone who loves cats will take him one and give him a nice home.

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