Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to Skin a Cat

There is more than one way to do this, and all of the ways can be fun.  First, though, you must select a cat.  Now, just so we make sure you're not doing something crazy here, take a few minutes to consider why you’ve decided to 'skin' a cat instead of, say, give it room and board, or let it continue to spray in your den.  “Am I just doing my part to keep cat numbers down in this region?" you might ask yourself.  "Has this particular animal wronged me in some way?  Is it because I’ve already got plenty of squirrel- and coon-skin caps?  Have I recently found that I’m allergic and that I’d rather skin a cat than sneeze and have itchy eyes around that cat?  Did I promise myself over a year ago: ‘If it takes me more than a year to decide on a name for this cat, I will skin it’?”   

When all the smoke of this questioning has cleared, you may begin to have second thoughts, like: I've been meaning to get another leather couch anyway, or, Say, if I just move the litter-box over a few inches, she might go right into it!  These thoughts are perfectly normal, and so is the act of simply returning the cat to the boy next-door and saying, "I saw one of your signs in town."  But if, for any reason, you still feel that you absolutely need to skin a cat, it may interest you to know that there are three tools I personally use—aside from a common chef’s knife—in this process:

1.      A pillow (for the cat's comfort). 
2.      My Morgan Freeman voice (for further soothing the cat). 
3.      A nail gun.  

Everyone is different, however, so you may decide to use something else in place of a nail gun.  Perhaps a staple gun, a few sharpened tent poles, or a 100-pound granite slab. (This is for stabilizing the cat.)

Remember, as you gather these tools and move about the house in your pre-skinning fervor, that you should have always in your eyes the look of one who'd never even think of skinning a cat.  Cats can sense things, you see, and there’s perhaps nothing more inhumane than needlessly terrifying a cat before you skin it.   
When you’re ready to start, begin by petting the cat and softly saying things like: “You’re such a good kitty-witty,” or “I could never skin a cat like you,” or “I assure you, Mr. Wiggins, this knife is only used for jack-o'-lanterns.”

It is at this time that your cat will try to deter you, with adorable purring and meowing (sometimes even purr-meowing) and full-body stretches that can increase his or her length (fore-paw to hind-paw) to around eight feet.  These feline wiles have been evolved over hundreds of years to escape skinning, and to win little pieces of deli-style ham.  You must be strong.  But, since you're about to skin the poor beast, one little piece of ham isn't going to make much difference, right?  It can also be a handy distraction...which allows you to remember how annoying your dog has been lately, with his blatantly-contrary style of not barking and his need to be fed (every day!), and how he's due for a bath!    

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