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Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:08 am    Post subject: Cat-Home Reply with quote

The town of Cat-Home is entirely settled by cat-people. This is an indigenous group of feline hominids that has lived on Rhy'din for thousands of years, or so their legends say. Biologists say that the cat-people are probably related to both the anthropomorphic felinoids, and the Neko-Kemune found in some versions of Earth's Japan. Wizards claim that they are a magical hybrid of faerie and feline. The cat-people themselves believe that they are the original race of Rhy'din, though their origin stories are not well defined. Cat-people do not even keep track of their ancestry for more than three generations at a time. They have no last names, no great-grandparents, and no "clans" unless you count the Breed bloodlines.

Physically, cat-people are similar to light-boned humans; they tend to be short, with an average height of five foot two for females, five foot five for males. They also weigh proportionally less than an average human of their height. As well as possessing a lot of the mental features of cats, cat-people have large cat ears, furry tails, and retractable claws instead of nails. Their noses also look a little strange, shaped almost like a cat's (some have pink or brown noses, like cats); their sensory facilities are as good as a cat's. They have the feline "sixth sense" of intuition, which leads to a quasi-telepathic understanding between cat-people, and the ability to sense the emotions of others. Because of that it is a punishable crime to hurt someone's feelings... negative emotions could otherwise build up and distract the whole society.

They also have the amazing feline sense of balance, and naturally tend towards acrobatic muscles. The legs of the cat-person are usually corded with muscle, due to their fondness for leaping and pouncing. Their vocal chords are both feline and human, so they can talk and sing in Common as well as converse in their native language (which blends human and feline linguistic characteristics.) Even cat-people who speak Common will often resort to feline vocalizations to express emotions, such as purring. (Purring is also a valuable healing tool which stimulates the immune system and promotes relaxation... one reason why mothers purr to their kittens.)

Cat-Home has its politics, and prefers to stay isolated. Any cat-people at large outside of this town are either runaways or people who have been exiled. The town is ruled by the Queen of Cats and her consort, the Tom. The Tom is generally given authority over the issues of men, and dispenses justice in the Queen's name. The Queen can interfere at any time if she feels he is not handling something properly, and her word is final. The people of Cat-Home believe that it is honorable to serve the Queen and Tom well. A rotating shift of villagers make sure they never have to cook their own dinners, and that they are never lacking for a massage or an ear-scratching.

Monogamy is not unknown, but is seen as an alternative form of sexuality (like homosexuality) which must be treated open-mindedly. Cat-people very much believe in freedom of choice, so a choice to be gay or monogamous will be respected even though it is not traditional. Most cat-women choose a new mate once a year, in early Spring (when they do not enter "heat", but definitely become more affectionate.) A mate may be chosen more than once, even for many years in a row, but he understands that the yearly choice may leave him a bachelor at any time. The cat-people, who are very physically affectionate, try to comfort these bachelors as a community until the next Spring rolls around.

The kittens of the town are raised communally. The average number of kittens per mother is two, and often only one of them will live until childhood. It is common for a woman who has not borne any kittens that year, or whose kittens have died, to dote on a half-sister's children. Half-siblings (which are very common) are not considered family in the same way that human children see their siblings, but they know they are related and do not mate. If an adult dies, their sister is the most likely person to adopt their children (parents being seen as important role models in a kitten's life.)

The most common crime among the cat-people is miscegenation, the taboo of "breed-mixing". Cat-people are only fertile with other cat-people. There is a flower called "Bleedwell" that grows on the hills around the town, which prevents pregnancy if drunk in a tea daily. So cat-people often have relationships when they do not currently want kittens, and can even have a relationship with someone they are not allowed to breed with traditionally. But if a child is planned and conceived, the parents must both be of the same bloodline, or Breed.

Of the several hundred people in the village, a young cat-woman will have somewhere between five to a dozen mates that are suitable to sire her children (being unrelated to her, about the right age for fatherhood, and of her breed.) Though she may love who she wishes, the parentage of her children is a very serious matter. Giving birth to a child who does not adhere to the standards of their breed causes immediate loss of status for the mother, and the father if he can be identified. A pregnancy can simultaneously carry the child of more than one father, so there have been cases where a misbehaving mother and her impure child have been exiled, leaving behind a breed-perfect kitten for the society to raise. The children of such breed-mixing are also in danger of exile, especially if they attempt to have a monogamous or breeding relationship with a purebred.

To end on a lighter note, the cat-people of Cat-Home are known for their advanced art forms. As well as a rich tradition of storytelling, dancing, and singing, they are very fond of decorating themselves and their homes. This has produced some magnificent visual artists - carpet-weavers, painters, jewelry makers, and fashion designers. The usual style of dress in Cat-Home is very decorative, and not very concealing (as Cat-Home is warm, and doesn't have nudity taboos.) A typical outfit for a male or female would be a colorful loincloth, a neck chain or collar, and numerous bracelets. Collars are especially popular right now, as the cat-people have decided they are "kawaii" ("cute" in their language) which they prize highly in decorative things.

- Report prepared by Lucy Valentine, Cat-Home expatriate.
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