THE WILDERON CAT ("REMUSIAN CAT")

APPEARANCE - SPECIAL ABILITIES - TERRITORY
HABITAT/BEHAVIOUR - DIET - MATING - MYTH/LORE

The Wilderon Cat, sometimes also called the Remusian Cat or Remusiat Cat, lives in the colder regions of the continent where its thick fur and stocky body help to keep it warm and dry. Despite its thick body, this cat seems to be considered a rather elegant breed in the cat world, perhaps because of the slightly elongated shape of its head or else because of its temperament, which is mild despite its active instincts. If a cat can be said to have a reputation, then the Wilderon Cat is known for its modest nobility and its seeming unflappability. Indeed, something of a mystique has developed around the breed due to their semi-domestic status and calm deportment.

The Wilderon Cats

View picture in full size Image description, Two Wilderon Cats of Northern Sarvonia as drawn by Fiorellina Mangiacore. Commissioned artwork used with friendly permission.

Appearance. The Wilderon Cat is described as 'elegant' and 'noble' by many cat-lovers. Living in the colder regions of the continent, it has developed very thick hair to help keep it warm. So thick is this fur that it is able to repell water, keeping the catís skin dry even in a heavy rain. In order to maintain the thick, water-impenetrable fur, the cat must clean and care for its fur, grooming itself for hours a day to make sure water doesnít seep through. Small oil glands in various locations around the catís body help to add gloss and increase the fur's resistance to water.

The catís fur comes in a variety of colors, but tends to be of the lighter variety. Though most Wilderon cats have been domesticated by now, they still retain the coloration they developed living out in the wild where camouflage was used to capture prey. White, grays, light oranges and browns tend to be some of the most popular, and the patterns tend to be solid or herŪn, although through careful breeding, smoked, dyed, and chandlers patterns are becoming increasingly popular. Also, though shorthaired cats originally made up the majority of the wild species (the short hair ensured things would not so easily get tangled in the fur), longer-haired varieties have recently been on the rise.

The body structure of the Wilderon Cat shares many similarities with their Southern Sarvonian cousins, but also has some interesting differences. The bodies of thes Wilderons tend to be a bit bigger, leaving plenty of room for fat (to stay warm) as well as muscle, which helps them to hunt for small rodents like mice, rabbits, and hares. A Wilderon Cat also has large paws, rather spread-out so they can walk easily on the snow. They have large claws to go along with their paws, strong enough to tear through the flesh of their prey. Ear size is slightly larger, though the veins running through seem smaller and deeper, presumably for protection against the cold. The increased ear size means increased hearing, and in a world where a white mouse blends almost perfectly into the white snow, hearing is a good sense to have. The eyes of the Wilderon Cat also tend to be a little smaller than most, and are typically found in shades of light green, light yellow, and copper.
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Special Abilities. The Wilderon Cat has excellent hearing and smell, though its eyesight is not as acute. It is able to detect a mouse rummaging through damp leaves with relative ease, and is light on its feet, which are large and spread-out, giving them the ability to walk relatively easily on the snow. Their feet are also quiet through the grass, and they have strong leg muscles. However, the pads on their feet, though thick, can sometimes tear easily. It is believed that this is an undesirable result of breeding for longer hair and variety of hue since the original wild species were very tough-pawed, although the connection is not clear to cat-fanciers at this time. Further experimentation is being done to attempt to alleviate this side-effect, and at least one mage-scholar is currently working with the breed to improve eyesight as well. Return to the top

Territory. The Wilderon Cat still mates, breeds, and roams on the Wilderon Plain where it is believed to have lived for hundred of years. However, they have since been domesticated and often accompany their Remusian owners as a companion and a hunter, as well as a protector of food.
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Habitat/Behaviour. Though they are still considered by some to be rather wild given that, unlike most domesticated cats, they can live without the aid of another creature, they have very tame temperaments. They tend to be very timid and shy around larger creatures (such as humans!), but once trust is gained, it is not one so easily lost. Wilderons also tend to be gentle, especially around babies and young children, and do not often claw or attack if they are given rough treatment, though they may run off for a time and hide in some safe place or else retreat into the wild for a time. Still, they are fairly docile creatures.

In the wild, they will typically stay in groups of two or three. Sometimes this group includes a few young siblings or strangers, usually of the same gender, or else a mating couple. Couples tend to stay together for life, and will hunt and live with each other until one dies in which case the living cat will most likely carry on alone. There are some cases, though, when a cat whose mate has died has joined a group of same-sex cats and hunted with them. However, these cats do not commonly seek out another mate if their original mate dies.
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Diet. Wilderon Cats typically feast on the rodents of the Wilderon Plain. Mice, rabbits, and hares make up the majority of their diet, though they will typically eat insects, spiders, snakes, and lizards. During spring and summer they tend to eat the most, often picking off baby rabbits that propagate immensely during the spring, and rodents that are slow to lose their winter camouflage. They have also been seen eating grass, though most cat-experts agree this is only to help with digestion.
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Mating. The Wilderon Cat mates for life and will not typically seek out another mate if the original dies. They typically have litters of four to five and both parents are involved in raising the young to maturity and teaching them to hunt. See more about Mating in the Domestic Cat Entry.
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Myth/Lore. As has been mentioned before, these cats are considered to have something of their own mystique - even among other cats, who as everyone in Caelereth knows, are the most privileged and mysterious beasts to walk the soil! We can do no better than to refer you to the famous 14th century poem written by a hermit priest of the Kanapan to his companion pet to give an idea of the reverent affection in which the Wilderon Cats are still held. NaÔve yet charming, the little piece is still learned and recited by schoolchildren today, with its ancient spelling corrected for contemporary use.

TO MY CAT, MY CONSTANT COMPANION
By Drivan Trin, known as the Hermit of Lon Mountain(*), about 1375

My Kepichaís a handsome cat
A Wilderon Remusiat
His face is long, his nose quite flat
His tail is all it ought

Under his soft and heavy fur
His chest resounds with mighty purr
He folds his paws with great demur
And sits as he is taught

Each morn my cat arouses me
From bed with leaping company
And pleads for food so gracefully
I can deny him naught

At noon he only favours sleep
Curled up in grey and gentle heap
His tail will twitch in slumber deep
In dreams so cheaply bought

At eve he plays and dances wild
As merry as an elven child
Or grooms to keep fur undefiled
His tongue in every spot

My dear companion, noble, true
I do not know what I would do
Were I alone and without you
My dreams would be forgot

Sweet Kepicha, forever run
In amber grass beneath the sun
How innocent your play and fun
My heart foreverís caught.

___________
* Lon Mountain is the main peak between the town of Barsalon and Prism Lake in the Kanapan area in Northern Sarvonia. Though unlabeled, it may easily be found by locating the Heath of Wilderon and looking to its right. And in passing we may mention that Lon Mountainís three smaller foothills, which lead down into the Prism Lake area, are still known as Trin Greater, Trin Lesser, and Medium Trin.
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