|Official Name||Elven Longear|
|Common Nicknames||Littlest Jungle Cat, Fellínos Lásgas|
The Elven Longear is an ancient species of cat known to the Altalar of Teled Methen before they spread out into wider Daen. Sadly, while the feline’s population was recovering well, nearing levels of their existence pre-Cataclysm, warfare has cut down their numbers in Daendroc and extinguished it entirely in Hadar. The Elven Longear is well known for its pointed ears and diverse, distinct breeds in domesticated areas. It is closely tied to the Cielothar and Daendroque Ailor, with the recently developed “New Breed” specifically favored by Ailor. It is likely the animal will continue to survive and slink through urban and wild environments for many years to come.
The Elven Longear is possibly one of the oldest feline species known to Aloria. The animal was long a staple of the jungles of Teled Methen but gradually spread across the jungles of Daen and into nearby Hadar, perhaps even following or somehow being spread by Altalar movements. Some husbandry experts believe the animal was added into the population of other felines, such as the Long Shiveaux or Long Fluff Ithanian, who were bred and kept by Ailor in service to Altalar. Throughout this period, wild Longears remained in Daen, and those in Hadar were periodically assumed extinct, though this wouldn’t happen until much later. By the Allorn Empire's decline, the Elven Longear was often considered the most common feline on the continent; some even joke it outnumbered the number of feline-like Asha from the Mew Calde. The Cataclysm and Wildering that followed drastically altered this with untold thousands of the species dying as Daen fell into chaos, the Orcs invaded, and the Altalar reeled from their loss. In the following years, immediate survival was valued more than the life of animals, leaving the developing Cielothar to be the only Race on the continent which protected them (though some Ailor homeowners in the urban cities did as well).
When the dust settled, the populations in both urban and wild locations recovered to the point that both were healthy once again. Sadly, a series of blows have been dealt against the wild Longear population over the past two decades. The first was the Chrysant War, which eradicated the last populations of the feline from Hadar, followed by the Elven War of 302 AC where the warfare and ensuing industrialization badly damaged those populations in Daendroc. In recent months and years, the animal is also under threat in the wilds of Teled Methen, as the Dread War has brought southern Daen much chaos and death, with jungle biomes frequently damaged if not outright destroyed. As a result, some of the oldest and long-surviving Elven Longear populations, dating back to perhaps the days of Talea herself, are now lost or migrating. As for domesticated populations, they follow Cielothar, Yanar, and others around the world as pets and exist within many Daen cities across the continent, giving them a high chance of survivability because of their diverse spread.
The Elven Longear is a small to medium-sized cat species with a variety of breeds in domesticated settings with wild specimens often on the larger end of the spectrum. They are a total length of anywhere between two and a half to four and a half feet, with weights ranging between fifteen and thirty pounds. Their heads are small and narrow facing with a small pink nose, prominent short white whiskers, golden brown eyes, and two tall concave ears. These ears are wide at the base but quickly narrow into a point. The rest of the animal is a lean body with a lack of fat, standing on four legs, each with a set of wide paws. Their bodies end in a tail of varying lengths but generally account for a third of their total body length. Their coloration in the wild is a mix of tans and browns, whites, and dark marks across their body. The dark areas exist in broken horizontal lines and dots across their whole form. These patterns are unique to every cat, and the only consistency is their underbellies are either white or a shade of color close to it.
The Elven Longear has a variety of domesticated breeds as well as wild individuals, all with slightly different coats and body shapes, though all are ultimately part of the Elven Longear species as a whole. Their gender populations vary between the breeds, but the feral cats in the jungles possess equal gender numbers as a species. Males and females are generally the same sizes, particularly in the wild, but certain breeds demonstrate a gender dimorphism favoring the males. Below can be found a listing of the traits found in several domesticated breeds of Elven Longear.
- ’’’Touché-par-la-Sable Breed’’’: The Sable Breed results from Ithanian Ailor influences on the animal. The resulting cat has females that are larger than males, with an overall slimmer figure with smaller paws, and a mostly white coat tinged with beiges and light browns along the back and flanks.
- ’’’Sobellë-tӧllos Breed’’’: The “Sobellë” Breed, as it is often shortened as to outsiders, is a resurrection of a classic breed seen during the lifetime of the Allorn Empire, though Asha slaves kept the animal as a companion. Its traits are a pure white coat with a white-cream underbelly and a series of black markings on the face that often give them the appearance of possessing eyeliner or face paint.
- ’’’Cӧ’ëlla Tiëssá Breed’’’: The Cӧ’ëlla Tiëssá Breed is a breed of Elven Longear most often found among the Cielothar, who developed it. The breed is known for its largely tan and brown tones, minimal black lines clustered normally on the sides, and for being the smallest of the breeds.
- ’’’Dark Moon Breed’’’: The Dark Moon Breed, also known as the Eclipse Breed, is one seen among the Ailor in emulation of the Black Pathor and Great Jungle Cat, both larger and fiercer felines than the Elven Longear. They are characterized by their excess of black marks, some of which connect to form long continuous lines along the animal’s body, a lack of light colors, and an entirely black tail that is shorter than all of the other breeds and wild specimens.
- ’’’New Breed’’’: The New Breed is a recent addition to the pet life of the major trade cities of Daendroc and Ithania as a result of the Cӧ’ëlla Tiëssá Breed uniting with the Domestic Tabby. This has produced a series of strange combinations, from orange and white, with black dots to grey and brown with white highlights. The animal is also known to have the shortest ears of any Longear breed.
Life Span and Development
Elven Longears are born in litters of one to three kittens, small, innocent, and often entirely white-haired. In the wild, the parents will care for the kittens for one to two months inside a den before the father leaves with the mother caring for them the remainder of their youth. At three months old, they are allowed to leave the den and begin to learn from their mother the ways of hunting, behavior, and sometimes fishing. In domesticated settings, this does not occur. Instead, the kittens are simply raised alongside its siblings, parents, and owners or given away to others where they are ideally cared for and allowed to exercise to gain their sleek, adult bodies. In the wild, a Longear is considered an adult when it reaches the age of two, after which it will leave its mother to establish its own territory out in the wider world. There is no set mating season for the Elven Longear, and the process can occur at any time, though most happen in the spring and autumn. In the wild, the Elven Longear can live anywhere from ten to twenty years, though, in domesticated settings, the oldest they are known to live is twenty-five.
The Elven Longear has two very different mentalities, one for those in the wild and the other for those in domesticated situations. In the wild, the animal is predatory and a capable hunter, primarily using its nose to track the scent of prey. While its ears are large, they are mostly cosmetic and do not provide an excellent hearing. They are very limber animals, capable of scaling most trees to escape hunters or to pursue prey. They are caring but territorial with other members of their species, allowing perhaps one or two Longears close for some light grooming and horseplay, but anything more is too much. Young Longears do not count and are somewhat ignored by other members of the species who are not their parents when such small groups form. When faced by Humans or Nelfin, the Elven Longear has a flight response, rarely, if ever, hunting the other larger beings, only attacking them if there is no other choice remaining. With the Asha subraces, the cat displays indifference or subtle affection for the Race. The Elven Longear also gets along moderately well with the Black Pathor, both in captivity and in the wild, with the larger cat allowing Longears to eat their food scrapes or groom themselves or each other; this only occurs after a hunt, when the Black Pathor is sated. In domesticated surroundings, the cat is similar to other domesticated cats; playful, loving but noted for requiring exercise, making many of them outdoor cats (though the higher class breeds are often simply given alternative forms of exercise inside).
Territory and Groupings
Wild Elven Longears mark and live in territories ranging from five to fifteen miles squared. Females have smaller territories, while male territories overlap with and sometimes completely encompass one or more female’s territory. They can grow aggressive, especially when seeking mates, but largely avoid intruders to their territory. In domesticated settings, Longears will not fight other felines, but can and will express frequent irritation with dogs if not introduced to them at a young age. With new people, the Longear will sniff and examine the newcomer for a bit before leaving unless they smell something attractive or repelling.
- There is a small but profitable trade in the collection of Elven Longear pelts, mostly carried out by the Daendroque Ailor for female fashion as some women enjoy the beauty of Longear-patterned clothing.