Well, one more reason not to move to Dallas...
Gotta love TX.
I have gutted a cat once.
It was clogged, and I had nothing to lose.
Amazingly, that particular car did continue to pass emissions, but that was a 1979, and the test is less strict for older models.
I used a big punch chisel to drive out the medium.
It's like a big honeycomb of thin metal, and breaks up easily
Rebar would work.
Of course, it would be more fun to use your concealed pistol.
Gutting is not as easy with a welded-in cat, which I believe is the case here.
You could also replace it with straight pipes.
This would be easier for a DIYer without a welder, since the cat could be cutout, and the new straight pipes could be clamped in its place.