Well...he is a strange looking cat.
The 10 gauge wire/chicken wire armature looks as though it will hold up except for the tail area, which cracked when I turned the sculpture over to coat the cat's underside. I ended up breaking the mortar off the tail, then wrapping that part of the armature with burlap strips soaked in bonding agent and coated in mortar, then plastering over that with more mortar.
He has a kind of fat lizard-like tail now.
Whiskers are the nylon bristles of a wallpaper pasting brush.