adBlockCheck

I Was One Of Those Kids Who Always Took Cats Apart To See How They Worked

Top Headlines

Recent News

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 30, 2016

ARIES: Sometimes in life, you just need to stop whatever it is you’re doing and take a step back. Actually, maybe it’s two steps back. Yeah, that’s good. Keep going. The stars will let you know when you’re far enough.

Office Manager Unveils New Rule

WARREN, MI—Stipulating that the regulation would take effect immediately, Summit Industries office manager Angela Werner reportedly unveiled a new rule Tuesday in a company-wide email.

Team Of Vatican Geneticists Successfully Clone God

VATICAN CITY—Describing the groundbreaking work as a major step forward for theological research, a team of Vatican geneticists held a press conference Tuesday at the Apostolic Palace to announce they had successfully cloned God.

What Is The Alt-Right?

A recent speech by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton criticizing the “alt-right” movement and its support of Republican nominee Donald Trump has shone the national spotlight on the ideologically conservative group. Here’s what you need to know about the alt-right

Aunt On Facebook Casually Advocates War Crime

WILLIAMSPORT, PA—Arguing that it was time to deal decisively with the threat of terrorism, local aunt Deborah Massey casually advocated a war crime Monday in a brief Facebook post, sources confirmed. “Any city that has ISIS people hiding out in it needs to be bombed to the ground.

Dad Shares Photo Album Through Never-Before-Seen Website

SECAUCUS, NJ—Wondering aloud how the father of three even managed to find the online image-hosting service, family members of local dad Phil Yates told reporters Monday the 57-year-old had shared a photo album with them through a never-before-seen website.

How Obamacare Can Be Improved

With Aetna just the latest health insurance provider to opt out of covering Obamacare markets, many are wondering what changes can make the Affordable Care Act more appealing to customers and insurance companies. Here are some proposed improvements

NASA Discovers Distant Planet Located Outside Funding Capabilities

WASHINGTON—Noting that the celestial body lies within the habitable zone of its parent star and could potentially harbor liquid water, NASA officials announced at a press conference Thursday they have discovered an Earth-like planet located outside their funding capabilities.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

I Was One Of Those Kids Who Always Took Cats Apart To See How They Worked

I guess I've always been the curious type. Ever since I was a kid, I've wanted to learn how things worked. For me, it was never really about the surfaces of things—how they looked or how fast they could go—it was more about what was going on underneath. Take cats, for example. Most kids like petting cats or playing with them, but I was always the kid who was sort of off by himself, taking cats apart, familiarizing himself with their bone and tissue fibers, and really learning how each piece of the cat connected to the next.

Even as early as 5 or 6 years old, I enjoyed tinkering around with the insides of cats. I remember I was playing by myself in the neighborhood one time—just kind of entertaining myself like I always did—and I saw this calico in the street. While other kids were more interested in the color of its fur and its whiskers, I just had this compulsion to rip those whiskers right out, understand which facial muscles it used to meow, and figure out what was happening in that cat's throat when it purred.

So I took it home, opened it up, and found out.

Ever since then, getting a partially unconscious feline on a table and watching the heart pump blood throughout its circulatory system has been something that never fails to pique my interest.

I guess you could say I was known as the "weird kid" in high school. When my classmates were playing football or going to the prom, I was the one who was in his parents' basement poking around a cat's spinal cord and seeing which nerve tissue controlled its legs. You know the type, I'm sure. I remember we had the chance to go to New York City for our senior class field trip, and I told my teachers that, you know what, I'd rather just stay at home and chop off some cat tails. They looked stunned, because to them I bet draining cat-tail blood sounded lame compared to New York City, but I was fine hanging back. Truthfully, I didn't feel like I was missing out. The fact is, my next-door neighbor had gotten an Abyssinian and I really wanted to get a good look at it.

I think all this comes down to how I learn. Someone can show me pictures or videos or explain to me how something works, but I won't truly understand it until I roll up my sleeves and really get elbows deep in cat. It's one thing to watch a kitten dart around or leap from the kitchen floor to the counter, but getting up underneath the anterior thigh and getting a good look at all those twitching tendons allows me to really wrap my head around why they're able to do those things. It's just how my brain works.

Did you know you can tell an adult cat from a 8-month-old cat just from the feel of its liver? You can. And sure, everyone knows cats have great night vision, but until you've used a pair of tweezers to remove a cat's eye and have actually seen how the muscles allow the ocular cavity to open extra wide at night, you don't really know why.

As I've gotten older, I guess you could say this hobby of mine has turned into a bit of an obsession. After staring at a computer screen for nine hours a day, all I want to do is go home, take a cat apart, lay out all the pieces in front of me in a nice organized way, and then try to put the whole thing back together perfectly. Sometimes when I'm finished I have a spare innard or two, but then I just put those in the "spares" cooler and move on. The whole process is very soothing.

Right now, in my garage, I have four different sacks containing four different cats I've been dismantling: a tabby cat, an American longhair, a Bengal, and a Chartreux. It's going to be a three or four month undertaking, but the idea is to reconstruct the insides of each cat and then stitch the skins back on so that, for example, the Bengal cat has the insides of the tabby, the longhair has the insides of the Chartreux, and so on. Granted, this particular endeavor isn't so much about learning how cats work as it is my little passion project. But sometimes it's nice to deviate from the norm and try something different.

I'm really excited about it. After all, I just really love cats.

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close