|Official Name||Tsarr Cat|
|Common Nicknames||Vlad Kitty, Rêveur Chat|
The Tsarr Cat is a rare species of feline found only on Etosil, and specifically most often in the homes of Vladno citizens. Formerly existing as a naturally occurring feline on Etosil, rigorous domestication and breeding led to them becoming a close reflection of the Vladno culture. The Tsarr Cat is one of the largest domesticated cats in Aloria, and retains many of the traits of its wild ancestor. Today, the Tsarr Cat is a trademark to the home of every Vladno family and serves them loyally as a living cultural reminder.
The Tsarr Cat was first a species of mountain cat that lived in Etosil for several centuries. In the aftermath of the Cataclysm, as the growing Ailor population expanded, they battled with these creatures as dangerous wild animals. However, in the second century, the Etosians learned to domesticate the animal until it became a symbol of protection for the local herders. When the first Vladno arrived on Etosil, they ignored the animal as a pet of the common fringe of society but this attitude changed in 188 AC. The story goes that on a walk in the nearby mountains, several notable Vladno nobles were set upon by a bear. A local herdsman came to their defense with a Tsarr Cat. While the nobles were already familiar with the bear, the fierce yet domesticated feline intrigued them. Since then, the Tsarr Cat has been bred almost exclusively for Vladno nobility and is rarely found with the herdsmen who first introduced it to civilization. Their wild counterparts in the hills are no more, and the animal can now only be found in domesticated areas of the Isles in the households of the Vladno.
The Tsarr Cat stands as one of the largest domesticated felines in Aloria due to its size and power, a key trait retained throughout its domestication. The Cat stands at a height of two to three feet and a length of two and a half to four feet, weighing in around 35 to 50 pounds. The head of the Tsarr Cat features short whiskers below a pink nose, and light green or blue hooded eyes above that. Their mouth shows no teeth on the exterior, but strong upper and lower incisors give them a nasty bite. The animal also has two small scruffs of fur at the base of their head pointing off to the sides. Their ears are of a reasonable size for a feline, pointing up off of the head and have a low level of mobility when it is needed. They possess a thick neck, which attaches the head to the body. The rest of this body is well built for agility and power. Their four legs are powerful, capable of great leaps with each also possessing a robust and padded paw. The body then ends in a stub tail and is covered with a coat of thick, dark brown fur highlighted in a spotted and lined pattern of silver-blue fur. These highlights are also present on the face, especially around the eyes and mouth where they help create a regal or decorated look to the feline.
The Tsarr Cat has a gender bias towards females with a ratio of three to one. The numbers were once equal but breeding them into symbols of the misogynistic Vladno culture resulted in an increase of females over males. The other aspect of diversity to the Tsarr Cat is their body patterns, a combination of their parent's patterns.
Life Span and Development
The Tsarr Cat is born in litters numbering between two to five kittens. These kittens require care and attention to survive, but they quickly mature over a two month period into curious, miniature versions of their parents. Over the course of a year, Tsarr Cats mentally mature while physically, another year is needed before they can produce their own children.
Tsarr Cats have mentalities well suited to the Vladno culture and its ideals. Males are dominant with aggressive tendencies towards females as well as other males who they are not familiar with. Even then, males constantly tussle for dominance but it never grows lethal. Males also show little to no interest in their children but do acknowledge growing males as a familiar presence in their lives. Meanwhile, females hold a similar idea of dominance as the female head of the house. This usually stays naturally with the oldest living female who gives upstarts a quick tussle or a firm bat of her paw to assert herself. Females additionally show care for both genders of their young but grow disinterested in the males once they have physically matured after two years. This makes family units only exist for and around birth where the father watches the kitten’s first few days with the mother before the father distances himself. However, due to the enclosed nature of their domestication, this means that they can’t be physically far from their young and are mostly distant emotionally. The only time Tsarr Cats will attack people or other animals is when they are aware of a threat to themselves; the cats have a unique understanding of aggressive language and violence among sentient races to an impressive degree. They will, however, not intercede in household violence such as a man hitting his wife or children.
Territory and Groupings
Tsarr Cats are territorial in the homes they are born and raised, as well as the humans who are present there. When unfamiliar people enter a home, Tsarr Cats usually group up on members of the household they like and watch the newcomers, gradually becoming more accustomed to their presence. If other Tsarr Cats are brought in, males usually posture a bit and if needed, establish dominance through fighting. Females acclimate better, getting along after a few sniffs of the other before life returns to normal.
- Most recently, a pair of Tsarr Cats was gifted to Cedromar I following his announcement as the next Emperor with a statement in Etosian saying “May they protect you as well as they did the Spirit’s most truest servants in the mountains on that day 117 years ago.”
- Varran tend to find Tsarr Cats somewhat unnerving as the creatures seem strangely smug and comfortable around the sentient feline-like race. The Varran say the Tsarr “has a dark soul” which is curious given how many Varran are involved with the criminal element.
- The Tsarr Cat has an urban myth about how they gained their silver-blue fur colorations. To escape from pursuing Undead, a Tsarr Cat had to crawl through a Lapis-filled tunnel which stained the feline with blue. It got out and bred this coloration into the wider population. It is thought to be based on how Elven records mention an all-brown cat on Etosil but not one with the markings like the Tsarr Cat of today.