THE DOMESTIC CATS

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

For as long as can be remembered, Cats have had a place in the daily lives of people of all walks of life. They act as hunters and beloved companions that contently sit in their owner's lap. For the most part, they are typically lovable and rather clean creatures in comparison to most other domesticated animals.

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. Cats average between two to two and a half palmspans at the shoulder and may weigh a little more than a hafeb to a little more than a heb. The color of their coat varies from Cat to Cat and may be long, short, or completely non-existent. Cats with no coats at all, such as the Strata Cat, are referred to as "Hairless Cats", are often found in extremely hot regions in southern Sarvonia. Those Cats that do have hair, which make up the majority of the population, have two parts to their coats: guard hairs and down hair. The guard hairs make up the outer layer while the down hairs refer to the undercoat.

Cats come in many colours and variations of coat style. Cat lovers have come up with their own descriptive dialect to describe a Cat's appearance, and the reader may find it interesting to peruse. The following paragraphs are taken from a small handwritten journal, which circulates monthly around New-Santhala, entitled "Kattes and Theyre Care", put out by a small Cat fancier's club calling themself the "Guild Felinus". Although the orthography and spelling is a trifle unorthodox, the information is thorough and cannot be bettered for descriptiveness with a touch of naive humor.

"The Katte is a beautifyl animal having multiple kolours and pelt pattrens. It mayye be of any hue imaganable, althougge kaokao, coal, creeme, and sand are morre comon than ash, allya, cerubel, rose, goldde, and mithril. A true leaffe-green has not yet been acheived thougge last yeer, severl yelowish and greyish Kattes were displayed by Guild Felinus members which hadde distynct grenish overtones.

Ther are seven standardde pelt styles in which the breeder is encoraged to atempt klear demarkation:

  • Solidde Pattren: The wholle pelt is of one hue, yexepting only the pawpaddes, inside of mouthe, and earrs.

  • Smoaked Pattren: Underpelt is whyte or creeme, whylle the longge hairs above are of anothre hue, giving a smoaky appearance to the beast.

  • Dyed Pattren: As the Smoaked, save that only the very tippes of the overhairs are colered, as if the Katte had ben brushed whyth paint or dye.

  • Tabbie Pattren: Stripes, bandes, or bloches upon the koat of the animal are most beautifyl and symetrically framed.

  • Motteled Pattren: Roses or rosets, as some do call them, whych often be dark upon lyght, but rarely are lyght upon dark.

  • Herín Pattren: Lyke that of the great herín, the Katte's wildde relative, with bloches great and smalle together.

  • Chandlers Pattren: The Katte is all of one hue save thatte its paws, taile, and ears (or sometimes head entyre) are of a second hue, so that it appeers 'dipped' in a second kolour, like a waxen candle."

-- "Kattes and Theyre Care", published by the Guild Felinus, issue 4/1647.

Note that our anonymous guild journalist has called brown, black, cream, and tan the more common colours, while grey, allia, blue, rose, gold and silver are less commonly found. Perhaps we should be thankful that the guild has not yet achieved their proposed goal of creating a green Cat! Patterns such as smoked (smoaked), dyed, and chandlers patterns, though appearing occasionally in shorthaired breeds, are more prominent in longhaired breeds, while tabby (tabbie) and herín patterns are more typical for shorthaired breeds. Mottled (motteled) and Solid are equally common to both.

A Cat's iris may be any of various shades of copper, orange, yellow, green, blue, or violet, though all Cats are born with blue eyes. The true color of their eyes becomes apparent after the first 6 weeks of life. Green and yellow eyes are some of the most common colors, while blue and lavender are some of the rarest, and violet eyes are only apparent in Cats possessing some magical ability, such as the Ximax Cat. Some Cats also may have two different colored eyes. However, this difference in coloration does not affect sight, but, strangely, may affect hearing. This strange coloration is most common in the Brendolian Cat.
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Special Abilities. Domestic Cats, like their wild cousins, have excellent sight and hearing. Their eyes are designed to help them see well in the dark and in the light. Their pupils narrow in bright light to allow less light into the eye while in the dark, their pupil widens to allow more light in and help them see in the dark. The Puvtar Cat in particular is excellent at seeing in the dark. However, for them to see effectively, there must be at least some light, even if there is just a little, to allow sight. They also have a good sense of smell. A kitten will know their nest purely by smell. A Cat’s hearing is also a very keen sense and they can hear a much broader range than humans and many elves. The whiskers of a Cat also help their sense of touch. The Cat also has an uncanny sense of balance and is known for being very clever. Return to the top

Territory. Domestic Cats live almost everywhere where there is someone to own them and even places where there aren’t. Cats are more typically the pets of humans and elves. Humans usually like them for their hunting abilities, which keep their farms, taverns, and inns virtually free of mice and rats. Some keep them as beloved pets. Cats, in particular the Avenor Cats, are especially popular among sailors whose boats and ports are often overrun by rats and require these felines to keep them at bay. Orcish tribes rarely keep Cats as they have little use for them, though they have been known to eat a feral Cat when one wanders into their territory. Not only is the Domestic Cat considered a beautiful and elegant creature, but it is also rather clever and holds an arrogance sometimes regarded as elven.
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Habitat/Behaviour. Habitat and Behaviour of Domestic Cats may vary considerable. For more details see the various Cat entries.
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Diet. Cats typically eat the rodents that live around where they reside. This includes rats and mice, as well as small lizards, fish, and even small birds. Cats have also been known to eat bugs they catch and spiders as well. They will even eat blades of grass, which is believed to help indigestion. If fed, they are typically given meats such as beef and pork or taenish meat as well as vegetables and starches, usually in the form of special Cat food. They are known for being rather fond of milk and fish especially. Cats who are fed by their owners tend to be more affectionate and friendly while those who are left to depend on their hunting skills to catch food tend to be more wild and unapproachable.
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Mating. Female Cats can begin mating when they are between 5 and 9 months old, while male Cats will begin mating when they are between 7 and 10 months old. The male Cats can mate at any time while the female will only mate during a period of sexual excitement called ethus, named after the God of Lust and Excess, Etherus, often referred to as "heat". Ethus occurs several times a year and usually lasts 3 to 15 days. If a female Cat does not mate during this period, she will probably go into ethus again very soon. These reoccurring periods of heat will continue until she is pregnant.

Once pregnant, a female will choose a safe, quiet place to give birth to her kittens. Typically mother Cats choose to give birth in quiet barns amongst loose hay or in boughs of old fishing nets. Nine weeks after pregnancy, the female cat will give birth to a little of 3 to 5 kittens on average. However, litters larger than 10 have been reported. Often times these kittens are unwanted and the owner will drown them. Newborn kittens weigh about 0.2 ods. After they are born, the mother licks them to help them dry and to help simulate breathing. Newborn kittens can neither see nor hear because their eyes are shut.

The kitten's eyes open after 10 to 14 days after birth and soon the ears do as well. Their teeth begin to come in. After three weeks kittens will curiously explore their environment, often under the close, watchful eye of their mother. If the kittens journey too far from the nest the mother will retrieve them herself and bring them back to the safety of the nest. When four weeks old, the kittens have a full set of temporary teeth and are able to eat whole foods. At this age, the mother will begin to wean the kittens off her milk. 6 weeks of age typically mark the full development of the kitten’s brain and senses. These little Cats will continue growing and will reach their full adult size by one year of age.
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Myth/Lore. The Domestic Cat is often regarded as being a very elven animal even though the majority of cat-owners are humans. The elegance and beauty of a cat coupled with their clever natures makes them an animal parallel to the elven race. Elven poets often say that through their eyes it Avá sees Her beautiful Dream. However, some regard the Cat as being a creature of Coór. Their cleverness is thought to be evil and their beauty is believed to hide their cruel intentions, which often brings them in connection to witchcraft. Still others believe Cats to be a representation of the Dream: not what Avá wished it to be, nor what Coór intends to make it, but rather a symbol of what the Dream is.
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Origins. Domesticated Cats are relatives of the wild cats, especially the herín and the uncil, whom share many similar characteristics. Some researchers believe that domestic cats are simply a mix between herín and uncil that was tamed early in history and became the Domestic Cat known today. Many, however, reject this theory, saying that the Domestic Cat is a subspecies of Cat all its own originating from the Ancytharian Sea area. From there it migrated eastward where it came into contact with a species of human or elf that domesticated it. Return to the top

Overview. Following is a short overview on all known Domestic Cat species:

The Avenor Cat

AVENOR CAT, THE
The Avenor Cat, also called the "Fisher’s Cat", is a shorthaired breed that enjoys life around the sea. They were once considered to be nothing but flee-bitten strays and for a long time many people considered them not to be a real cat breed at all. However, when the renown Guild Felinus began to identify it as a true breed, people slowly recognized them for their individuality in the cat world.
 

The Barn Cat

BARN CAT, THE
The Barn Cat, often called the "Farmer’s Cat" or the "Common Cat", is the most popular domestic cat known and, because of the fact that they are known to nearly everyone, they are often used in reference for comparison. They are found in mid-Santharia living on farms, often in barns, where they hunt for mice, rats, and other small rodents. Though the majority of Barn Cats are shorthaired, there are quite a lot of longhaired species of this cat found more northward. They are one of the most diverse breeds when it comes to color and appearance.
 

The Brendolian Cat

BRENDOLIAN CAT, THE
Found in the Province of Brendolan, this cat is one of the most intelligent, having the capability to learn tricks and tasks including carrying messages from one member of a household to another. They are dedicated and loyal, thriving on companionship and always wishing to please their owners. They are often kept by wandering minstrels or bards who will often use them in their acts. Because of this, the Brendolian is sometimes referred to as the "Minstrel’s Cat" or, less commonly, the "Bard Cat".
 

CEDI APECAT, THE
The Cedi, or "Apecat", is a rather unusual creature of the Plains of Zhun. Combining some of the best traits of apes and cats in one animal, this versatile creature can both annoy and amuse those it meets with its antics, but can also be a steadfast ally if it so chooses. It is commonly classified as a cat, rather than an ape, although the debate on this matter rages on amongst scholars versed in fauna-lore until this very day.

 

The Puvtar Cat

PUVTAR CAT, THE
The Puvtar Cat is a longhaired breed of cat living in the High and Low Fores in Een Puvtyr with the dwarves residing there. They are known for their long, soft coats and for their large eyes. Like the dwarves who keep them, the Puvtar hates water with passion, though it loves the silver little mithanjor living in the underground ponds of Een Puvtyr.
 

The Strata Cat

STRATA CAT, THE
Sometimes affectionately called the “Strat-Cat,” the Strata Cat has extremely short hair due to their hot environment and has an unusually slender body. Some Strata Cats have hair so short that some people regard them as being hairless, even though they do indeed have hair. Royalty, because of their usual appearance, often keep these kinds of Strata Cat.
 

The Wilderon Cat

WILDERON CAT, THE ("REMUSIAN CAT")
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 Ximax Cat

XIMAX CAT, THE
The Ximax Cat is believed to be one of the most intelligent out of all the breeds of the Domestic Cat family existing in the world. Though unable to speak in more than meows, purrs, etc., they seem to be able to pick up words in the language that they have grown up with (such as Tharian and Styrásh). They tend to know and understand the Styrásh language with more fluency than any other. They also have an affinity for magic and are known for their striking violet eyes.
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