Curves can be more challenging to carve than straight lines, so don't be frustrated if your Abyssinian's arced ears look a little rough around the edges. We use a triangular-headed clay-modeling tool to smooth out minor carving errors. Just skim the tool along carved edges to even out the pumpkin surface and wipe away trimmed pieces with a paper towel.
1. Cut a circle from the bottom of your pumpkin (not the top), and clear away the slimy strings and seeds from its interior. Scour the pumpkin's inside wall with a scraping tool on the side you're planning to carve; you should thin the wall to approximately 1" thickness.
2. Place the printed Abyssinian cat stencil against the pumpkin's side and attach it with tape, flattening the paper as best you can. Duplicate the pattern onto the surface of the pumpkin by piercing along the pattern lines with a pin tool or wooden skewer. Keep pin marks close together for best results.
3. Pull off the pattern and keep it close at hand. Etch pattern areas within dotted lines by whittling away at the pumpkin skin, exposing the light orange rind underneath. (Note: Be careful not to pierce through the pumpkin wall while etching.)
4. Carve pattern areas within solid lines by cutting through the pumpkin with a skinny, serrated crafts knife. Carve along the pin-hole guidelines, sawing slowly and gently. Discard excess pumpkin pieces and smooth out any jagged edges by following our tips in the stencil caption above.