The Arim Jungle Cat is one of the many wonders of the Peninsula of Shar. A very adorable example of Nybelmarian fauna, the Arim is a much-loved creature amongst all the people of the tropical regions. Famed for their silky coats, cute expressions but most notably their friendly nature, many attempt in vain to catch these swift creatures to keep it as their own. Also peculiarly attracted to odd and unusual vegetation, these beasts are more than a delight for the Krean and their neighbours.
The Arim, along with the jupa ape and
le’tan bird, is one of the most beautiful creatures
of the jungle. They have a build similar to that of most cats
- such as the Wilderon or the
Ximaxian, only smaller. In fact an Arim could quite
easily be mistaken for a house cat by a
Sarvonian stranger to the rainforests due
to its size - being just over two
fores from head to tail. The
cat's entire body, spare its pink wet snout and fleshy
feet, is covered in a silky, short coat. Though the fur pattern varies for each
cat, the main hue of the fur is a dusty grey with rocky
brown blended in to give a camouflaged effect. The back is also decorated with
rather thick black stripes that seem to distort its image, especially at night.
When the common heavy rainfall blesses the jungles, the fur gains an almost
supernatural gleam, giving the creatures a divine yet delicate look.
The Arim bears eyes of either brilliant green or a tranquil Aesteran blue, each which have a hypnotic yet comforting quality. Upon the Arim’s face are six whiskers, always the width of their body’s widest part, which play an important part in their skilful sneaking throughout the leaf litter. The Arim possess four unretractable claws which have an ivory white colour to match their polished, well-kept texture. Though obviously used for driving into another creature’s flesh, even these sharp hooking implements cannot spoil the inviting image of the Arim. This cat also has pearly white teeth, though not to as a perfect standard as their claws. Another notable part of the creature’s appearance is its ears. Comically, they appear disproportionately large in comparison to their rather small head, giving them a look of constant awareness and curiosity, traits both found in their nature.
The Arim is a very talented creature. Its impressive muscle structure allows it
to bend its body, twisting, turning and slinking with amazing ease. In addition
to this they possess the ability to leap to an impressive height, allowing them
to jump from tree to tree within the exotic jungles. Furthermore, the Arim uses
its strong claws to amazing effect, being able to climb vertically on almost any
surface, regardless of its smoothness. They also seem to have no trouble scaling
the stone structures of the beautiful Krean
cities such as Mylthis and Sah. When all of these traits are combined, the Arim
makes quite a swift and able creature, which is very useful in hunting its usual
prey: tropical birds. The Arim, being predators, are also adept at being quite
quiet when stalking. Not only can they move at a considerable speed without
making a noticeable sound, but also their camouflaging coat allows moving around
in the leaf litter very stealthily.
Territory. Sadly, these delightful creatures can only be found in the far off jungles and rainforests of the Shar peninsula in Nybelmar. It is thought they would prefer a cooler climate, but they are willing to put up with the heat for the amazing vegetation that surrounds them, which they are notoriously fascinated by. The ideas concerning their preference for the cool could be validated by the fact that they are mostly found in the Krean jungles, not those of the Viaquis or Saroshar, since they are known to be less humid.
Habitat/Behaviour. The Arim’s behaviour is a truly remarkable sight to behold. It is one of the few creatures that don’t appear to be governed by primitive desires (hunger, a mate etc.). It seems rather to be motivated only by its own interests and personal pursuits, most of which consists of relaxing and exploring. Arim are known for their "lazy" tendencies. They will happily spend hours lying on a branch in a high up tree somewhere, watching the Jungle continue without it. They seem to take enjoyment from casual nothingness - where they do not continually feel the need for activity, unless the mood takes their interests to somewhere else.
Arim are also known for their insatiable curiosity for the world around them, one of the things which make them such a delight to watch - considering this creature may constantly be amused by the simplest of things. When an Arim feels discontent with its aimless relaxation for some reason or another, they will tend to investigate their surroundings. The Arim are notorious for their love of nature, and will constantly study the various flora existing around them. They seem to have various interactions with plants around, almost as if investigating the wonderful manifesations of Ankriss. As with their habits for laziness, the Arim will do this for hours in an almost obsessive way, boredom not being a possibility for this adorable little creature.
Arim live autonomously in groups, though they could easily be independent. Though they don’t require a social existence, they have a particular fondness for physical attention. Most of their time spent in groups consists of grooming, licking and stroking each other - resulting in a symphony of purrs. In fact, Arim will not be reluctant to approach strange creatures (humans included) in an attempt to receive some affection from them- and on many times their request is granted, much to their delight. Arim do live well in groups though, always being considerate and caring to the young, sick or less-capable members of their group. It is a very heart-warming sight to see one Arim give his freshly caught meal to an injured friend, going hungry himself to comfort the creature.
Despite their generally sweet nature, the Compendium is required to provide information on the creature’s ferocity. If one is to purposely provoke a reaction from this beast, they will normally come off quite badly - underestimating the creature’s tolerance, but also the sharpness of its claws. Many who thought themselves powerful - even above - an Arim have had a tangle with the cat, and none of them were stupid enough to provoke the beast again.
Diet. The diet of the Arim consists mainly of small tropical birds, though they will not turn their nose up at much. They tend to like most meats - and even have a fondness for some odd nourishments, such as the nectar of deep-throated flowers enjoyed by the great hummer. Arim do not eat much however, so a feather-lined mouth is a rare sight (especially since the Arim seem to like eating feather too for some reason).
Mating. Arim, being very fond of physical affection, have very intimate ‘courtship’ rituals. An Arim male tends to approach a female in a similar way to humans. He will express an interest in her, normally revealed by continuous and consistent attention to her. There seems to be some sort of physical signal given by the female to the male that she is willing to mate. However, the female tends to enjoy this courting period to a high degree and would much rather keep him waiting, continuing to try and twist her arm (or leg depending on how you look at it). After a couple of weeks of dedicated affection, the female will reward the male his prize. They will mate, and around six months later a litter will be produced. A litter consists of around seven to nine blind kitten that are completely dependent on their mother’s care. After about three months, the kitten will begin to seek independence, will be weaned from their mother’s milk and will be fit to go hunting for themselves - when they feel like it of course.
Usages. The Arim has very few uses to sentient beings. The Saroshar have used the cat’s tails in the past as a mystical medicine - but this practice was ceased after negotiations with Krean who found this incredibly cruel. Other than brightening up the day of anyone who comes across one, with their adorable visage and amazingly cute tendencies, the Arim is quite useless to the people of Shar.
Some of the less savoury inhabitants of the Jungles have also used the Arim's water repellant coat to make very useful cloaks, though once the Krean made this a serious crime, the poaching seemed to entirely stop. One should not conjure the wrath of a Lillivear judge.
Myth/Lore. Despite being a beautiful and adorable creature, not many superstitions evolved around this creature. One though is that if you can touch an Arim kitten without being bitten by the mother you will have good luck in all your pursuits for a decade, though being bitten will curse you for an eternity. Another, less popular superstition is that if you see an Arim eat a le’tan you will be the subject of great financial fortune - but most know the Arim would much rather hear the bird sing than hear it convulse in their bellies.