A friend of mine posted a picture of a miniature Dia de los Muertos inspired cat figurine on his Facebook page and it inspired me to make a full-size cat skeleton. I wasn't going to do a cartoneria cat this year; my first priority was butterflies followed by another pair of cartoneria skeletons. I have been unusually unmotivated this year and have now abandoned the idea of the extra skeletons, but the cat will satisfy my craving for paper mache.
To start I made the wire frame using 16.5 gauge wire sold in the hardware store as "tie wire". It is cheap but has a greasy coating that will quickly turn your fingers black from handling it.
I learned my lesson from my first experience making skeletons: it is much harder to go back and try to force wires through a finished piece of paper mache than it is to incorporate the wires in the first place. If you are going to make something that will be suspended in the air, go ahead and plan for that from the start! For my skeletons I made each piece separately for flexibility in posing and ease of storage but with this cat I don't think that will work, so I am making a fixed figure that will likely have to be stored outside of a box. Oh, well.
Then I built up the figure using well-crumpled newspaper and pieces of masking tape.
Next will be the application of glue soaked strips of newspaper...