I just knew it. I tried 3 times before. The first time i got all the cat organs I needed, but they didn't fit together. Then the second time, I got all the bones in perfect order but I got arrested for stealing cat bones.

Then the third time, I made prosthetic cat skin out of mostly glue, scotch tape, and cat skin, but I was missing the one necessary thing I was missing. LIFE!

So I took my cat I built very carefully over into the bathroom, then took a plug that wasn't in use and stuck the male end into the wall then the other male end into the cat, but it didn't work so i touched the plug and got electrocuted.

Thus ends my cat-building experience.

It's much easier if you build it from a kit your first few times.

I built a cat from my dreams...

I was young, perhaps twelve or so. I had been spending many hours helping my father in his screen print shop.

Like any self respecting print shop, we had a shop cat, an adopted calico stray who soon gave birth to many kittens.

(We came back to find them after a long weekend. They had gotten into everything, being kittens. Years later, we still found tiny little kitten paw prints in odd shades of ink, in very unusual places. The kittens themselves looked like strangely colored calicos, blue here, red there, green or purple under there.)

I remember knowing more about cat anatomy, in my dreams, than I normally would, or should. Perhaps I was overwhelmed by the fumes of solvents, Plastisol, acetone, Saftey-Kleen fluid.

I remember handling the creamy, dry white bones of the cat. The gentle, toy-like pop of its vertebra snapping together. The difficulty of attaching the tendons and muscles to their corresponding dimples and sockets in the cats skeletal structure.

Puzzling over the floating, loose shoulder joints, a feeling unnatural and unknown surfaced. I felt a winsome jealousy of the cat's obvious beauty and cruel efficiency as I continued assembling the calico cat.

In a different dream, reacting to some situation between my father, the cat, and I, this jealousy manifested itself in a much more gruesome manner. I broke the cat, in that one, not built it. I remember it shot red lasers from its eyes which would cut and burn the steel door of the print shop, scarring and gouging the concrete walls. I fought with it, eventually grabbing its throat and breaking its jaw with my hand. I still remember the gruesome feeling of the calico's tiny little jaw snapping back under the palm of my hand, a sound like splintering wet popsicle sticks, its sharp teeth puncturing neat little holes there, drawing blood that likely would never be tasted. This dream stayed with me. I will never forget.

The last step in building the cat was to skin the cat. Except, this involved stuffing the cat's bony, meaty tail into the fur, a backwards process indeed, rolling its skin on like a furry condom, working it back-to-front over the cat.

At some point just after starting to stuff the cat into its skin, I noticed it was quite alive. I worked feverishly to finish, pushing, shoving the thought of the agony the cat would likely be suffering out of my mind, but unsuccessfully. The cat struggled as I pulled the fur up over its haunches, claws scratching as I tried to push its hind legs into the waiting fur. Tiny holes snipped for the claws to poke through. Tugging the fur up the torso smoothly, straightening it so the patches of intermittent stripes lined up with the cat's spinal column.

Lastly, of course, came the cat's head and face. I remember this most distinctly, tugging and pushing the fur around to get the ears, eyes, and mouth line up properly.

I remember folding the flaps of its muzzle around its nose and mouth, tucking it in along the jawline. Bringing the folds of its snout forward, like peeling a banana backwards, pressing the sides of its furry, bewiskered muzzle together to seal it all together.

The cat looked at me, wide green-gold eyes flecked with iridescents, shards of broken rainbows there. A flick of its tail and a soft, non-commital mewing, and it was gone, fleet of foot and silent as death.

But, I still knew. I knew I couldn't build a cat.

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