Maned Wild Cat
The maned wild cat is a large species of wild feline found almost exclusively in desert terrains. They are usually around 60-90 cm (24-35 in) tall at the shoulder, and around 2.4 meters (7.9 feet) from nose to the tip of their tail. They weigh in at around 53-100 kg (115-220 lbs), with males being at the larger end of the scale for height and weight, and females being just a little smaller.
Unlike most, smaller wild cats, the maned wild cat is a social animal, living in small groups of around 2-5 animals. They usually consist of a male and one or more females and their young, with female cubs sticking around a little longer than their brothers, who are usually chased from the group once their manes begin to grow in.
Like many wild cats, their colors don't tend to vary very much. Their base coats are generally a light sandy-brown, though they can sometimes be a little darker or lighter. Their undersides are usually a pale cream brown, and they are covered by rosette spots. These rosettes become simple dark spots on their coat along their legs, tail, and head. The spots help to break up their form against the sand, mimicking shadows and light to make them harder to spot by prey animals. The backs of their necks and along their backs are covering by long, dark fur that often falls over onto one side. Despite the dark color, the hairs are hollow and absorb, then release heat, which helps to prevent overheating when the cats are out during the day. These hairs can bristle up and sharpen when they are threatened, making it difficult to be pounced upon. These hairs have a minor paralysis effect, numbing the area they touch.
Maned wild cats have serrated teeth that catches flesh and meat, and as a result, it gives them an almost toxic bite. The bacteria from the rotting flesh in their teeth and saliva can enter the bloodstream of their prey, and cause sepsis, often within just a few hours of being bitten. This allows the cats to exert the least amount of effort in their hunts, as a single bite can be deadly if the wound is not treated immediately. They simply follow after their prey and wait for it to weaken before they finish it off.
As a result, their stomach contains a gland that produces an enzyme to neutralize and kill the bacteria when they happen to swallow it, and the prey that has been infected with it. It can kill other bacteria as well, but had no effect on other toxins or poisons. They can also still die of another cat's bite, as the bacteria needs to pass through the stomach to be killed.
Like many desert animals, they can survive a while without food or water. They get the majority of their moisture from their prey, so it is rare that they will need to drink from standing water, but they will if it's available.
They are found throughout the desert, usually following along after herds of antelope or horses. While they have a fast reproduction cycle, 3 out of 5 cubs will die before their first year, and as a result, their population grows slowly, and they are considered to be rare.
They are generally nomadic, though females with new cubs will make their dens along the river that runs through the desert so that their young cubs have access to water. Once the cubs are a couple of months old, however, they will become nomadic with the rest of the family.
They are, as most cats are, obligate carnivores, meaning they need to eat meat to survive. They feed off of antelope, horses, cattle, sheep, and any smaller animals that they find around the desert or in the oasis that dot the region.
Due to the fact that they often prey on livestock for food, maned wild cats are routinely killed by the people that live in the desert. This makes them generally very uneasy when they smell people, though there is still a chance they may attack if it's a small group of people, or the animals are hungry enough to try and kill them. They cannot be domesticated.
- Hollow fur on mane to prevent overheating
- Toxic bite that causes sepsis
- Stomach can kill bacteria from their mouth and food
- Not able to be domesticated
- Spines hidden beneath mane across back bristles into sharp points; causes numbness
- The mane of a wildcat is an unknown type of fur. It is capable of extreme compression and dispersal of kinetic forces, and when used as an article of clothing or on a shield, it cuts in half the kinetic force of any blunt damage it receives, and absorbs it within its fur. The counter to this is that it is more flammable then paper, and if lit alight will burn away within seconds.
- The gland from the wildcat's stomach contains a powerful toxin that causes quickly onsetting sepsis, which soon deteriorates into septic shock 2 septs after it begins, and leads to inevitable death unless treated. If used in an alchemical solution, it can become a potent poison.
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