Ithanian Bearded Desert Cat
|Ithanian Bearded Desert Cat|
|Official Name||Ithanian Bearded Desert Cat|
|Common Nicknames||Fluffball, Bearded Cat|
The Ithanian Bearded Desert Cat is a feline that has weaseled itself into the households of countless Alorians. Its small size, friendly attitude, and distinctive beard-like tuft have earned it a reputation as one of the best pets in the world. Their appeal was quickly exploited upon their first discovery due to its popularity, and the feline remained an animal exclusive to Ithania for only a few months before being shipped overseas. The former hunting instincts of the Bearded Cat have since left them, instead they have been replaced by a disposition to lay about and wait for someone to feed them. With the popularity it holds nowadays, one would be hard-pressed to have not seen at least one of these animals in the any village they come across.
The Ithanian Bearded Desert Cat was originally a simple wild cat who after years of surviving in the desert, migrated northward towards the edge of La Cour de Ciècle. They remained there for several decades and became smaller with each passing generation thanks to a scarcity of food. The cat remained uncommon until 192 AC, when they were first officially discovered by a poor Ithanian merchant. Stranded on the edge of the desert, he came in contact with the small bearded animals and was overcome by their adorableness. The merchant snatched up some nearby kittens to sell on the market. Though he did not make the fortune he was expecting to, he did kickstart the animal’s popularity among the commoners of Ithania. For a short time after their discovery, several people tried to capitalize on the feline’s charms. The sale of this “exotic” alternative to the House-cat spread quickly over Ithania before inevitably spilling into the rest of Aloria. Currently the number of Bearded Cats who remain in their natural habitat is slim, as merchants quickly came and rounded up all specimen they could find. Despite this, Wild Bearded Cats have been sighted in small numbers across the desert but for the most part they have become a completely domestic animal.
The Bearded Cat has a very similar head shape to the Domestic Tabby, with pointed ears that extend just a little longer than their tabby cat cousin’s. They stands on four stubby legs, which causes the species to be much shorter than other feline breeds. At their end, they have a short, rigid snub of a tail that barely extends from their body. The Bearded Cat has exceptionally long haired, often pale yellow to white in coloration. Because of this, the species can easily described as fluffy. On their chin, they have their namesake beard, a tuft of longer, darker fur that extends several inches from the chin. This beard originally aided in navigating the desert at night, but since has been exaggerated by selective breeding practices to grow longer beards. Their average eye color match their original home; dusky, sandy yellow. However, all of these features are insignificant compared to the one they are named after, a long chin tuft, vaguely resembling a beard and growing as long as an inch on average.
Male and female Bearded Cats are very similar in appearance and size, telling them apart is impossible at a first glance and they are kept as pets in equal numbers. The only true way to differentiate between the two is to examine their sexual organs.
Life Span and Development
Bearded Cats live for thirteen years on average, though there have been recorded instances of some who have grown to be as old as seventeen. Mothers give birth to litters of four to five kittens, who develop over the course of the first two years of life. There is little difference in size between a kitten and an adult of the species, given they do not grow much between these stages in their lives. As they grow older, some members of the species develop weaker bones, causing them to be unable to move around as swiftly as a younger cat.
Ithanian Bearded Desert Cats are very low maintenance animals, and do not require a lot of attention. It can be completely content with occasional feeding and being left to its own devices. The sole exception to this is an innate desire to be outside at seemingly a moment’s notice. These adventures outdoors don’t last any more than a few hours but the species is known to get irritable if unable to leave the house. Thanks to a friendly attitude that is not restricted to their owners, most of the time spent away is in the company of another cat, though often their actions get them into places they should not be.
Territory and Groupings
The Bearded Cat is usually very open to other animals, without much care if they tread into their territory. There is not much that could be considered their ‘territory’ anyway, aside from the houses of their owner(s) and whatever urban areas they choose to linger in.
- The Bearded Cat has a tendency of bringing random items to the house of their owner’s, ranging from sticks to expensive rings. Sometimes this has caused problems for the owner when it comes to the authorities.
- Bearded Cats who are kept from being able to leave their house will become quickly resentful towards their owners, along with spending more time away from home when they finally do get the chance to leave.