I decided to use joint compound and slather it all over the canvas. Thought it then had to much texture so I took half of it off and then used a giant bubble sheet and pressed it down on the canvas over the we joint compound to make an interesting texture. I used a blow dyer to dry the canvas quickly. Then I used a couple of shades of red to paint the entire canvas. I drew on a funny looking cat and then proceeded with the back breaking work of painting the cat in stripes. This was painful because it was a large narrow canvas that I had on the dining room table and was bent over standing up the entire time painting. The final process was to use charcoal pencil and highlight parts of the cat.
I really liked the outcome and so did many other people. I got about 2-3 offers to sell it but no one wanted to pay me the min. wage price I was asking for it for the time and materials. In the end it worked out as it should. My boyfriend loved the painting and calls it "Tunaless" and encouraged me to keep it. He states it reminds him of how he looks when he is hungry and doesn't have access to food as quickly as he'd like. :)