The Picking Cat is a sentient hat that is used to sort students into the four Hogwash houses: Grittyfloor, Pufnstuf, Radishgnaw, and Silverfish. The Picking Cap is usually drunk, always irresponsable and takes bribes. It requires lots of maitnence and sometimes parts have to be flown in overseas. During the picking ceremony the hat always sings a rap with pre-recorded music to explain the four houses.
The Picking Cap's Rap
We're aware that it's pointless, insane and divisive
But spare us your spewings oh-so-derisive.
You all must be divided - we simply insist -
For reasons of plot-freindly prejudice,
Into four houses each of ill-repute
Boasting its own unsavory attribute.
Radishgnaw, in accordance to with its founder's whim,
Has packed these halls with the exceedingly dim.
Silverfishers are, to a one, grasping and greedy
With no higher pleasure than bilking the needy.
Sir Godawfle Grittyfloor surely empowered
To sniff out the telltale scent of a coward.
In Pufnstuf's case it's best to ignore it;
They'll admit anybody with the dough to pay for it.
These are Hogwash's tumbledown houses
Gestating the next generation of louses.
Each with its own traditions, and scarf.
Lets pick, and quick, or i'm going to barf!
When people put on the hat it reads their minds to decide what house they fit into best. Eventually The Picking Cap was replaced with a computer program. It was retired to the Wizard & Witch's clup where it sits in a replica of The Grand Hall.