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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2009, 13:04 
OK, we're down the final stretch, pardon the pun. :)

Seriously, the stretching process is where the money is made or lost with cats. Everyone has their own tricks and tips (which is what this post is meant to draw out of folks). Here is the BASIC approach to a "Nevada" style stretch.

Make sure your cat goes on the board centered, with the belly squarely on one side and middle of the back squarely in the middle of the other side (you'd be surprised how often one gets on there crooked).

Arrange the nose and mouth so its at the very tip of the board. Remember, one of the most important factors to a cat's value is the length of the pelt, so squeeze everything you can out of the nose.

Now pull the front legs down to get the length out of the middsection. Grab the back legs and pull them down to their full length and tack them down to hold their length. I seem to tack, untack, retack, untack and retack lots of times to get the job done right.

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Now pull the center of the belly down as far as it will go, and tack in place.


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I like to spread my stretcher to roughly get the width.

Now start gathering each side of the inside back legs, and bring them to the center of the tail/belly board and tack in the center. Work from side to side down the pelt until you reach the end of the cat.

Turn the cat over and pull the tail down as far as it will go and tack at the base of the tail.


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Then arrange the flanks on each side of the tail, and tack them in place. I work my way, tacking as I go, around to the belly.

Now for the front legs.

I take a plastic coat hanger and cut it in half to form two "mini stretchers." Insert one inside each front leg tube, and then tack the inside of the leg tube at the top, to hold the tube in place until it dries.

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Now pin the ears forward.

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Take your vacuum (on blower mode) or some compressed air, and fluff the fur real good. I believe compressed air does a better job on a cat than a brush.

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There's your BASIC finished cat.

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Oh, almost forgot . . . . the all-important measurement. Not bad for a desert cat.

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Oh, I almost forgot . . . remember on the skinning portion (Part 1) I told you to skin just inside the white part on the belly side? Well, here's why.

Here are a pair of gorgeous Northern Nevada cats taken by master cat trapper Steve Wood. I learned pretty much all this information from Steve, so I give credit where credit is due (Steve sells a GREAT pair of DVD's on cat trapping, fur put up, etc. I think Lone Gunman may even carry them). Notice, however, that the inside of the rear legs have just a tiny brown stripe between the two hind legs?

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Now, here is another example of a cat, with the cut that I mentioned. See how there is no brown stripe on the inside of the rear legs? That's the idea I'm trying to convey.

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