The Cats Have Left the Building

September 23, 2013

The Zoetics

Photo by Briana Hendrix Dr. Osmond helps (second to right) scholars identify parts of the cat's digestive system.

Photo by Briana Hendrix
Dr. Osmond (second from the right) helps scholars identify parts of the cat’s digestive system.

By Ryley Thompson

Looks like the cat is out of the bag – the past two weeks at the ASK Academy, Dr. Osmond’s Anatomy students have spent classtime elbow-deep in cat carcasses.

The anatomy class will finish cat dissections today with a practical exam, which will include the actual cats that the scholars have dissected. Osmond said one of the expectations of the dissection include understanding appearance of different tissues, the approximate location, muscle arrangement, and motions of the muscles. “Cats are the most anatomically accurate to our bodies; they are the most closely related to us structurally,” he said.

Most scholars enjoyed the experience and thought it was educational and helpful. However, some scholars at the Academy were uncomfortable, even unnerved by the dissections. Junior Ashley Stevens said, “I have enjoyed dissecting, but not exactly the cats  – I would actually prefer if it wasn’t cats.”

Sophomore Matt Crum had a different outlook. “It really helped our learning and it is really fun,” he said. “I feel dissecting a cat that is already dead and was given up for science isn’t a big deal. Sometimes it’s nasty, but it’s not wrong to me.”

Junior Kylie McGhee took the course last year and said in retrospect, the project was helpful. “It was a really good learning experience; you can see things in a book and they are all neat and pretty with all their colors, but once you see them in real life it’s like, ‘oh, that’s what it looks like.’ It helps you apply it to what you are learning a little bit more, so I liked doing it. It really helped my knowledge of the digestive system and how things go and where things are connected. On tests, I could visualize the cat in my mind.”

As far as being uncomfortable with dissecting a common house pet, McGhee said, “I thought it was a little weird because cats are domesticated animals, but you just have to look at it more as a science project as opposed to ‘this is a cat.’”

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8 Comments on “The Cats Have Left the Building”

  1. Dr O Says:

    We look so stylish in our science safety gear!


  2. Walker Dobbins Says:

    Oh how I never missed the smell of death and decay and or chemicals in the hallway. It is what makes our school, well, our school.


  3. James Gonzalez Says:

    Well this is a Cat-astrophy


  4. Bryah Says:

    Thank goodness! Walking into the building every morning and smelling those chemicals was terrible.


  5. Jacob Lutz Says:

    I am very happy that the cats are gone…I hope that they took the scent of preservatives with them. I appreciate the effort on the part of our managers to give us “hands-on” experiences, but I prefer scentless robots.


  6. austin Says:

    thus my senses return to normal!!!


  7. Reno Says:

    I remember doing the cats a few years ago. It was fun and very interesting i wouldn’t mind to do it again.


  8. Samantha Peake Says:

    I loved doing this! It was so much fun, but i have to admit the cats did stink a little 🙂


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