Powershell - Parse strings to build array

I have a string that contains about 200 characters and I would like to parse it for certain items.

[array]$a = "alsdkf laskdjlfkajsldjf asldkjf laksjdflk cat@dog1' alkjflkasdf asdfasdfasdf"
$a = $a + "asldjaflsdkjfalskjdflkajkcat@dog2'alsdkjf;alsdkjafoeidjfke

essentially I would like to have a result of  from the above array.
dog1
dog2

the above string is read from a txt file and may contain single and double quotes.
the values I need will always follow a cat@ and will always be followed by a single quote.
I have tried working with trimstart and replace but I am missing an understanding of some of their features.


Thanks,
K
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chadAsked:
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soostibiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Actually, if there is only 1 occurance of the ca@dog structure in each line, it is enough:
$a | Select-String "cat@(\w+)'" | %{$_.matches[0].groups[1].value}

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soostibiCommented:
What about this:
$a | Select-String "cat@(\w+)'" -AllMatches | %{$_.matches[0].groups[1].value}

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soostibiCommented:
If multiple dogs can be there in each line:
$a | Select-String "cat@(\w+)'" -AllMatches | %{$_.matches} | %{$_.groups[1].value}

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chadAuthor Commented:
Thanks Soostibi,

I will double the points if you could walk me through the code so I can better understand what I now have.

K
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soostibiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Select-string is a complex cmdlet, it selects the matching lines of strings and also gives the result of the matches.
By default it searches for the first match in each string it gets from the pipeline, but with the -AllMatches it gives all matches. What it gives as a result, is an array of complex objects, its matches property includes all the matches, and the groups property of the matches property gives all the group results. Group result means the whole result (in our case cat@....') and all the sub-matches (in our case the part that is in brackets between the @ and the '). This is what we want, that is the second (index 1) in the groups property, and its value property is the group match.
I suggest for you to put a "format-list *" after every pipe character (|) to see what's in the pipeline in every section, so try:
$a | Select-String "cat@(\w+)'" -AllMatches | format-list *
$a | Select-String "cat@(\w+)'" -AllMatches | %{$_.matches} | format-list *
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chadAuthor Commented:
Thanks again.  

I really do not understand the piping yet. And anytime I see $_. I am lost.  I need to work on understanding that.

Thanks,
K
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