By: Scott Bledsoe, Hidden Valley High School
If you take an anatomy class in high school, there’s no avoiding a dissection.
At Hidden Valley, the animal of choice is a cat.
It was a memorable morning in my anatomy class when my teacher brought out a big plastic tub full of cats in sealed bags.
A girl in my group brought over our cat, which had to be the biggest blackest cat I’ve ever seen. She was gagging as she walked over with it.
Our cat is a female, and I’m pretty sure she’s the pregnant one. They always make sure that one of the groups gets a pregnant cat so we can see what little cat fetuses look like.
It sounds cruel, but bear in mind that these cats aren’t killed just for our uses. They have already died from some other cause when the lab receives them and sends them to us.
I was freaked out as I pulled my group’s cat out of the bag (no pun intended) and put it on the dissecting tray. Here I was handling a huge dead cat that was dripping with preservative chemicals. It was almost comical.
The first day we were tasked with skinning our cat (since we had just finished learning about the skin), which was a very tedious process that involved a lot of precise cuts with scalpels.
We will continue the dissection throughout the year as it corresponds with the systems we learn about in class.