We taxidermied a rat. All it takes is a little imagination ... and a lot of Borax

Updated 5:55 AM ET, Sat February 8, 2020

The first step in taxidermying a rat, you learn, is to warm its cold little body with your hands. It arrives frozen, and the combination of textures and temperatures — the silken fur, the firm sack of rapidly thawing innards below, is deeply unfamiliar to a taxidermy novice. 

The way the animal's hide separates neatly from its body is as satisfying as peeling off a stubborn price tag label in one go. The degloving of the tail, not unlike pulling a shrimp clean out of its shell. 
But before these little revelations can emerge, your subject has to thaw. 
And so, a dozen or so eager students sit in a curtained-off section on first floor of the Atlanta Convention Center, dead rats carefully cradle