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Alicat

The winged cat
Further Reading: Cat

Contents


[top]Abstract

Alicats are small sized mostly domesticated felines that have the unusual characteristic of being winged and thus capable of flight. Found largely in and around Medonia, this species of feline was thought to have originated outside of the empire.

[top]Physical Appearance

The size of an average house cat, Alicats are very much like their land-bound cousins in appearance with the exception of a pair of feathered wings seen to sprout from the shoulders, much in the manner of a griffin, pegasus or alicorn. They do appear slightly 'barrel chested'. Alicats, unlike normal cats, have hollow bones like a bird, and thus are very light in weight. They also have lungs that are lobed like a bird's, and those lungs have a greater capacity than that of a normal cat. This accounts in part for their barrel-chested appearance.

However, the unusually large chest size, especially on the front of the chest, is due to a large breast-bone with a small keel, like a bird's, to which the strong muscles that power the wings attach. Without these large muscles the Alicat would be incapable of flight. All Alicats have short fur and long, strong feathers, like those of a bird of prey. Their retractable claws are used for climbing and hunting, and their long tail assists in balance, both in climbing and in flight. The average life span is twenty patterns. Alicats molt their feathers and winter fur in the summer. During a period of approximately four cycles in the middle of the molt, the Alicat is unable to fly, and must hunt on the ground or rely on others.

[top]Climate and Terrain

Wild Alicats are only found in one part of the Empire, and the original colony may have migrated there from outside the Empire, or they may be the last remnants of a once larger population. They are native to the forests of Enamoria. They require forests with old-growth trees containing hollows for nesting in, and abundant in small animal life. They do not cohabit well with serpent populations, as each considers the other as prey.

[top]Diet

Alicats are meat-eaters like cats, and they eat a variety of small mammals, hunting much in the manner of birds of prey, flying through the trees and dropping to pounce on prey animals. However, they are also known to wait in branches over used prey trails, and to catch small birds in mid air. Their coordination in such methods is exceptional.

[top]Organization

Alicats are solitary animals, and only have one litter per year, usually in a spring. The mating season is in the autumn and at other times they do not take well to having other Alicats around that are not family.

An Alicat colony is called a Pride and will consist of a dominant female, the Queen, her adult sisters and daughters (Ladies), and any kittens they may be raising. If a Pride becomes too large or too distantly related, it will break up into two or more smaller Prides. Males are driven from the Pride once they reach one Era of age. Males sometimes form roving packs, called a Folly, outside of the mating season, for mutual protection and hunting.

[top]Combat

Alicats will first lash out with their claws when seeking to defend themselves but will also rely on their teeth to protect themselves. If possible, alicats will take flight to escape their enemy rather than stay to fight.

[top]Special Abilities

Like all felines, alicat are quick and agile, often landing on their feet when falling from a significant height. They are fairly good at being able to see in the dark.

[top]Resistances/Weaknesses

Nothing of note.

[top]Other Notable Information

There are several different breeds of alicats:

[top]Enamorian Angels

The Enamorian Angel is kept and bred solely by aristocracy, as few others could afford neither one of these Alicats nor their upkeep. The Angel is an extremely fastidious Alicat, requiring a special diet, and special care. It is not a particularly affectionate cat, and does not seek out affection like the Kirveni Point, but it must be kept warm and is known to die of fright or stress.

The Enamorian Angel is a white cat, without exception, and has the finest fur, silky as a unicorn's mane, and the longest of any of the breeds, an inch long. The feathers of the wings are very long and elegant, but as such the wings are purely ornamental, the Angel cannot fly. This is compounded by breeding programs that sought to reduce the unusual size of the chest to come close to the proportions of other cats, and as such both the musculature and the lung capacity are reduced compared to other Alicats. The eyes of the Angel are silver-grey. Any other colour, either in eyes or coat, is considered a disqualification, and the Alicat's breeding is not considered pure.

[top]Kirveni Point

The Kirveni Point is a delicately shaped Alicat with a very short coat, and long, elegant wing feathers. It has a fine, elongated face, and a whip-like tail. The breed was developed by Miles Kirveni, and is very sought after, and hard to come by.

The most striking feature of the Kirveni Point is its coat colouring. The coat itself is very fine, and short as previously mentioned, and the body is buff in colour. However the 'points' - the ears, nose, paws, tail and wings - are coloured differently. Several colours occur, including black, grey, chocolate, lilac, apricot and blue. These are solid colours, however crosses have been made with wild Alicats producing half-breeds with tabby points. This is rarely done though, because it dilutes the fine character of the breed. The eyes of the Point are blue or lilac.

[top]Medonian Solid

So called because of their solid coat colour, the Medonian Solid is the most common domestic breed of Alicat. Found in black, white, brown, yellow, ginger, grey and blue (a dusky dark grey colour). A variation on the Medonian Solid is the Medonian Socksy which has the above coat colours, with a white chest and white paws, looking like a shirt, gloves and shoes.

The Medonian Solid is smaller than the wild Alicats, but strong in flight and a good hunter. They are reasonably hardly and have few problems, although they are prone to obesity if kept constantly indoors, and tooth problems.

[top]Wild Alicats

Wild alicats are larger than any of the domestic breeds, though no larger than a large house cat. They are invariably tabby in their coat pattern, and have common tabby coat colours: brown, red-brown, grey, without any white markings. In domesticated populations, the ginger and yellow tabby coats are also found. The eyes are green or yellow. The wild Alicats are the hardiest of the Alicat breeds, and when domesticated are the easiest to keep.

[top]Credit

Credit goes to Moranor Andares


Created by Nimh, October 22, 2014 at 09:45 AM
Last edited by Nimh, November 2, 2014 at 09:12 AM
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