Wednesday, April 01, 2009

El Tigre

If my cat only knew what I did to one of his species today, he would not be sitting in my lap, gazing into my eyes with the Look of Love that cats only give on that rare occasion that they realize where their food comes from.

Today was my first lab for my second anatomy class. It's the second in a series I have to take this year before applying for the nursing program next year.

So in our lab, we dove right in and started studying muscle groups, in this case on a cat.

I wisely chose my lab partner this time, not a gal who told me last quarter that she has a phobia about cats (guess who ends up doing all the work in THAT relationship?). Instead I got a young Mom named Scarlett, who is a bit of a drama queen but likes to slice and dice as much as I do, so if nothing else, our fingers got in the way of each other's scalpels a few times, without any blood being shed.

I will spare you the gory details, but I will say this: I wasn't sure about whether or not to eat breakfast beforehand, in case I'd see it again...but I did, and it was a good idea.

Plus, I got to choose the cat from the pile of cats they brought in double bagged and ready to work on. I chose an orange kitty because I have not owned an orange cat myself, and let's face it, it would just be weird to go home to the same color cat at night.

My chances for nightmares tonight is plenty as it is.

So Scarlett immediately named him Tigger. And of course we did the required meowing and stuff while we took off connective tissue and fat to try and expose the muscles we were supposed to be studying.

Then I asked where the cats came from -- presuming the local shelters or Humane Society (wouldn't THAT be ironic?) -- but it turns out there are cat farms in Mexico where cats are actually bred for the specific purpose of providing us college kids a lab carcass to study.

So of course, we had to change his name to El Tigre, you know, to be more culturally sensitive to his roots.

Aside from the smell, and the general grossness most of you can imagine, it really was a neat experience. We learned about all his back, arm and leg muscles, and then we bagged him back up, and put him away. He'll be back out next week for us to study his abdominals.

So this week and next it's the muscle groups on cats and humans I have to study. I need to know more than a hundred, which have incredibly ridiculous names like Xiphihumeralis and Serratus ventralis.

Good times...

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