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Coming from feline progenitor stock, the appearance of Caitians included many feline features like a tail and retractable claws. The skin of most Caitians was covered with fur that varied in color from orange to black, various markings oftentimes present on females. Female Caitians grew long manes resembling human-like hair on their heads. Both genders spoke with a purring to their voice though female voices tended towards a softer, cat-like purring, whereas males tended towards a rougher lion-like sound. Some Caitians did not find it necessary to use footwear.
- 1 Biology
- 2 Home System
- 3 Language
- 4 Clothing
- 5 Family
- 6 Mating & Bonding
- 7 Society
- 8 History
- 9 Philosophy
- 10 Disclaimer
Caitians were upright, bipedal beings with manipulative hands descended from a felinoid life form. Fur covered their bodies, most times a solid color or shades of a similar tone. While most ranged between sandy and golden, black fur was not uncommon, and white was quite rare but not unheard of. Caitians sported a mane of fur, usually several shades darker than that of their body fur. The manes on females were noticeably larger. In almost all Caitians, the eyes were a golden color and provided excellent night vision. However, in those with black fur, green eyes were observed, and white furred Caitians tended toward light, almost clear-blue eyes. Banding and stripes were common on female Caitians, though nearly unheard of on males. The markings were far more pronounced on younger females, fading out as the Caitian reached maturity. Caitians shed in small amounts throughout the year, since their world's orbit was less elliptical than most and maintained a near constant season, lacking the winter that would require thicker fur and subsequent shedding. As a result of this temperate to hot climate, Caitians had a lower tolerance for colder climates. Their feline ancestry showed in their facial structure, the fur covering their bodies, long and agile tails, and their voices, which resembled the purring of Terran felines. When agitated, Caitian fur 'bristled' in a manner akin to that of a Terran cat. There was very little that a Caitian could do to control this bristling response, and it took place with nearly all the fur on the body, excepting the mane.
There were two sexes, male and female. The most notable external difference was the slightly increased size of the male, though specimens of both genders tended to be lithe for their size due to a higher volume of muscle than most mammals. When manes existed in a given sub-race, both sexes were maned, though the thickness and placement of the mane varied widely from one individual to the next. No widespread cultural significance was attached to a mane, and Caitians possessing the feature wore their hair in innumerable ways.
Caitians stood one to two meters tall, similar to, but often more lithe, than the average humanoid. However, they were more agile and dexterous than their size suggested. Digitigrade legs remained a part of the Caitian physiology. Though this form of leg was most common in species that ran on four legs, Caitians were able to do so only for short periods of time, the structure of the spine, hips, and arms evolved away from moving on all fours. These legs could store quite a bit of potential energy in the 'crouch' that was the resting state. This gave the Caitians the ability to spring quickly into action, granting them a significant ability to accelerate from a rest state. The power of those legs also granted Caitians an impressive leaping ability of up to 7 meters. Due to the way in which steps were taken, a gradual absorbing of the weight as opposed to the sudden impact of a plantigrade leg, Caitians had incredibly silent footsteps. Bipedal movement on digitigrade legs did require more energy than on plantigrade legs, making Caitians excellent sprinters (many able to reach 40 kilometers per hour for short bursts), but left them little endurance for long distance running. Caitian limbs were well designed to deliver quick and powerful motions, and offered quite a bit more flexibility and range of motion than most other species. They tended to lack the endurance for extended exertion, though this shortcoming could be overcome with an extensive regimen of exercise and a specialized diet. As a byproduct of the Caitian reliance on a tail to aid in balance, most Caitians coped with damage to one inner-ear, though loss of the tail or micro-gravity conditions led to extreme disorientation and nausea in most Caitians.
Cait had long tails, generally accepted as one of the key features allowing them to achieve a bipedal form. The tail functioned as a minor aid to balance, but Cait who lost them were capable of physically compensating for the loss. Scientists assumed that the tail was once a key component of communication, but once actual speech developed, it was no longer needed as much (though Caitian tails certainly provided a gauge of emotion, as did the positions of the ears). A Cait could manipulate the tail to caress a loved one or swat at insects, but the muscles of the tail provided little fine motor control.
Caitians required a minimum of four hours of rest per day; however, whenever possible they tried to get 10 hours. Unlike most species, Caitians preferred a rather short work day of only six hours, though they were capable of working longer hours, such as the 'traditional' eight hour work day that many species adopted. During the remaining hours, Caitians tended to remain somewhat dormant, taking few actions that were not leisure-related. The exception to those workdays tended to be in local stores, where the shopkeepers would remain in and work for as many as 10 hours at a time. Most stores remained open for business for as many as 20 of the 27 hour day, needing only two shifts from the shopkeepers. The vast majority of stores produced handmade items rather than replicated or mass-produced items. Most cities concentrated the bulk of the stores in the center of the city, though homes that boasted a small sales area were not unheard of.
Having evolved on a hospitable world with little in the way of natural predators, their immune systems were not as hardy as many other life forms and thus susceptible to many diseases on other planets. As a result, most Caitians carried at least some very basic medical supplies with them any time they travel off-planet. Unfortunately, Caitian hearts were somewhat weak compared to most species and almost invariably required replacement or, at the very least, surgery around the age of 63. The wide variety of flora and fauna on Cait led to a rather adaptable digestive system: Caitians could consume nearly any meat and even handle some grains and plants. Many ingested poisons had an even more potent effect on the Caitian body due to their higher speed metabolism. Caitians avoided alcohol, as they had an incredibly weak tolerance for it in all forms. A single shot of most 'hard' liquors could cause vomiting, possible brain damage, or even death in the case of a high proof rating. Beer and 'lighter' spirits could cause a drunken state from a few sips. While the ill effects of alcohol on a Caitian were often observed quite rapidly, in a matter of minutes, prompt use of neutralizing drugs before, during, or immediately after ingestion could mitigate or negate the harmful side effects. Fortunately, Caitian medicine was advanced enough to cope with many of the virological problems resulting from interplanetary travel.
While they evolved from strict carnivores, the Caitian digestive system developed over time as well, allowing them to handle some grains and fruits. Most fruits were avoided by Caitians in general, except when they were only just ripe. This was an instinctual response, as overly ripe fruits were known to ferment. Alcohol was highly toxic to the Caitian system, and was linked to many deaths. While it was possible for a Caitian to get drunk, this required only a very low blood-alcohol level, and so could be achieved though minute quantities of hard liquor such as Romulan Ale, or low quantities of light alcohol, such as beer.
Eyes / Ears
Caitian eyes were large and golden, capable of dilating widely to grant the race expanded vision in lower light. A Cait could see functionally in 20 percent of the light required by a human. The irises contracted in a ‘V’ shape, decreasing ocular response time and allowing them to adapt from low-light to bright light conditions quickly. Additionally, where Humans had visual receptors placed evenly in the inner eye, Caitian receptors were concentrated on a more defined horizontal axis. This allowed a high degree of visual acuity, enabling the Cait to catch movement and details on their horizontal plane at greater range, and with greater clarity and accuracy than humans.
Caitian ear structures enabled them to hear in ranges far beyond the human baseline. While they were no better than Humans at hearing in low range bands, their high-end aural sensitivity extended to four times that of Humanity—they could hear tones up to two full octaves higher. In addition, Cait could rotate their cup-shaped ears for better auditory focus, and in fact could directionally locate sounds to within 20 centimeters in any direction without physically looking.
The Caitian sense of hearing was incredibly acute, able to hear in a higher pitched range far in excess of humans, more comparable to that of Vulcans. Caitian eyes were geared toward low light levels; as a result, they had slightly less color acuity than non-nocturnals. They were, however, able to operate in near darkness. The Caitian sense of smell was quite well-developed, nearly a match for an Antican or Terran canine. The Caitian sense of taste was also highly developed, though often not used, a result of the rapid eating process. Thus, Caitian mouths were ill equipped to savor food. Caitians possessed an unusual method of resting as a byproduct of their 'hot' burning metabolism. Caitian metabolism was designed to break down protein quickly and effectively, but could handle some carbohydrates and other more slow-burning energy sources. The 'hot' metabolism made it difficult for a Caitian to develop much in the way of body fat, especially given that most of the foods they were able to digest were metabolized quickly rather than stored. This resulted in a higher-than-average body temperature and ability to take quick action; in very rare cases, the metabolism was slow, as slow or slower than a human metabolism. This often led to mild to chronic obesity in those with the genetic disorder. After eating, most Caitians became mildly lethargic for approximately a half hour, after which their body had broken down the bulk of the meal.
A good deal of attention was paid to the claws. Cait had three fingers on each hand and an opposable thumb, as well as four toes on each foot, and each digit had a short, curved retractable claw. While dueling was never terribly common on Cait, claws were considered a point of racial pride, and were often used for their utility. While on rare occasions, Caitians dulled their claws to keep from damaging things during casual contact, they never of their own free will deliberately trimmed their claws to the point of uselessness or had them permanently removed. It was considered embarrassing (and in some circles, humiliating) for a Caitian to have useless claws, and forcibly removing a Caitian's claws was viewed by many as a violation not unlike rape.
Like other species, Caitians evolved to suit the environment, with those who occupied an area for many generations tending to have adaptations that made them better suited to that environment (at least in the case of groups that lived in an area since per-industrial times when natural selection was more a factor). Even though Cait's negligible axial tilt and mostly uniform orbit around Prooka (15 Lyncis) resulted in mostly uniform conditions without seasons, there were still several distinct environmental zones, ranging from the arid desert region of Shgroothanha to the colder climate in the Ghrethdrak mountain range. There were three distinct phenotypes of the Caitian species, loosely classified as: plains, mountains, and jungle according to the region they were predominantly found. The Plains phenotype was most often seen as the standard, and was the one described throughout this document.
- Plains (or Desert): Most often featured a short pelt of tan, gold, or similar color, this phenotype evolved in a manner similar to lions on Terra, operating in groups to take down prey and making use of fur the color of the local grasses or sand to hide. Ears were larger and the muzzle longer than other phenotypes, in order to not only help dissipate heat from the body, but in the case of the muzzle, help trap any grit that was stirred up. For all the size of the muzzle and nasal cavities, the nostrils were somewhat smaller than in other phenotypes.
- Mountain: Found in higher altitude regions, or in those groups that lived in the southern continent, this phenotype featured either dark to very pale gray pelts (white is not unheard of but still uncommon) to better blend into the stones that made up the bulk of the regions. Ears were smaller, and the muzzle was shorter, both adaptations to help control the dissipation of heat. The chest of this phenotype tended to be somewhat enlarged, with both the heart and lungs enlarged to compensate for the thinner air. In comparison to the other phenotypes, Mountain Caitians had shorter claws, though comparatively larger hands and feet, which showed a higher level of dexterity. The pads on both hands and feet were markedly tougher and at the same time more sensitive to heat, an adaptation that helped judge the stability of rocks.
- Jungle: The last phenotype, this was originally the most common, as the Caitians were believed to have evolved predominantly in the jungles of the planet. Most often, these Caitians featured a black pelt, often with streaks of lighter colors (similar but darker than those of the Mountain phenotype). The ears were of slightly smaller size than that of the Plains phenotype, as hearing was one of the most important ofsenses in the jungle. These Caitians tended to feature larger claws on both hands and feet, and still had a more hunched over posture suggesting that they were more slowly adapting to bipedal locomotion. This phenotype had the best vision of them all at low light levels, but had trouble when exposed to bright lights or rapid changes in lighting levels.
Male Reproductive Physiology
The Caitian male's primary reproductive system was similar in most respects to other humanoid species. The basic anatomy was the same and fluids produced were not known to cause reactions in any species. The Caitian penis was larger in girth (averaging 5cm) and length (averaging around 16cm) then a typical human. While the vagina of most humanoid females could accept the Caitian's girth without any discomfort (the larger girth described as 'filling' or 'stretching') the longer length could cause discomfort if complete penetration was attempted on the part of the male.
The Caitian penis, while similar in basic shape, had two noticeable differences. The head of the penis was pointier in shape, an evolutionary adaptation for reproduction in the species, and was also covered with numerous rear-facing fleshy barbs. These barbs, unlike those of the Terran Feline, were soft and supple. When mating with a Caitian female, the barbs were used to stimulate ovulation. In non-Caitians, the barbs were described as providing an extremely pleasurable sensation during copulation.
Female Reproductive Physiology
As with the male, the female reproductive system was similar in many respect to other humanoid species. The basic anatomy was the same and fluids produced were not known to cause reactions in any species. The female vagina differed from most humanoids in that it was covered in small fleshy nubs inside. These nubs were designed to interact with the male's barbs, triggering ovulation during the final stages of mating. As with the males barbs, humanoids of the opposite sex have often described these nubs as heightening pleasure during intercourse.
Female Caitians possessed two pair of mammalian breasts, an upper and a lower pair. The upper pair tended to follow to human norms, exhibiting some variation in size though typically limited to between a B and C cup. The second (lower pair) tended to be comparatively quite small, swelling to noticeable (and to a Cait, unwieldy) size only in lactating females, and slowly returning to their original size after the young were weaned. As their primary function was to nourish offspring during their infancy, the breasts were normally not very sensitive.
Caitian females went through an semi-annual heat cycle from the onset of puberty into their early 50's. The cycle tended to last a period of a week. During the heat cycle, the female tended to be more amorous towards her partner, wanting more physical intimacy then normal. Females without a partner typically sought out a partner, the desire for physical intimacy extremely strong during this period.
Home System15 Lyncis (Prooka in the Cait language, consisting of a Type G8III and Type F8V pair). It consisted of 12 planets, one of which, Caitia Prime (Prooka II), was the only Class M world (having two moons Rea & Sura), the rest being unsuitable for life, though terraforming was ongoing on several planets, and mining colonies were established on all but the two gas giants.
Slightly smaller than the average Class M planet, Cait was a warm, tropical world of thick lush jungles, sunny grassy plains, and wide sandy beaches. The bulk of the land was in a single landmass. However, small strings of isolated island chains appeared over the surface, each boasting its own unique flora and fauna, and a large landmass formed the southern pole of the planet. Since the planet was largely geologically stable, despite being rather young, there were next to no mountains except buried deep in the center of the main landmass, called Cait, and the lesser landmass buried under the southern polar ice cap, Pirrrem.
Cait's lush jungles teemed with several varieties of hardwood and untold numbers of plants with medicinal qualities. As yet, despite the generations of botanical study, it was estimated that only 93% of the species of plants within the jungles were identified. Insect and animal species were thought to have been only 76% identified due in large part to the concentration on flora for medicinal uses. Many of the plants proved incapable of growing off-planet, and contained substances which proved impossible to replicate. Measures were taken to cultivate these useful plants, though no true outright farms existed.
The fertile plains of Cait were covered in tall grass-like plants, though they were capable of supporting nearly any species of plant, which led the Caitians to be very cautious about the introduction of any plants to the area that could have damaged the somewhat fragile ecosystem. The few fruits that the Caitians enjoyed making juice-drinks from grew on these plains.
The thick atmosphere was heavily perfumed with the scents of thousands of species of flowers and blooming plants. Due to a relatively high concentration of iodine in the upper atmosphere, the sky was a light purple color and helped to shield the planet from the higher-than-normal ultraviolet output of the star. The iodine was also found in heavy concentrations in most of the flora on planet, leading to most foliage having a mild purple tint. Though hot and sunny, frequent breezes swept its shores and plains due to a high concentration of underwater heat vents that created frequent currents in the ocean. These currents lacked a seasonal ebb and flow, evident on most planets with a more distinct season cycle. During the hottest time of the year, the currents encouraged more severe weather, similar to tropical storms, though never to the point of a hurricane. The planet's climate was inviting to most life forms, and Cait became a popular tourist stop (except during its short rainy season). The abundance and variety of plant and animal life kept Caitian zoologists and botanists busy for centuries, and off-planet scientists found Caitian ecology a complex and fascinating thing.
The bulk of the cities were situated along the shores and rivers, and were designed to have minimal impact on the local environment, utilizing incredibly efficient water purification systems and sewage treatment. In some cases, the cities were built downward, but not without dissatisfaction: though Caitians were not ill at ease underground, they prefered to see the sky above them. When possible, valleys were used so that a tiered structure to the city could be used, maximizing the area available for vistas. Ground transport was still in wide use to move from one city to another, usually preferred to use of a transporter as it allowed Caitians to travel along mag-lev lines that were laid in a manner to best display the surrounding natural features. In most cases, this was done for no other reason than to enjoy the ride and scenery.
Every city of reasonable size sported a massive park, similar in size or larger, depending on available land, to Central Park in New York City, Earth. The parks offered several fields designed for sports such as Sh'thres, a game that most closely resembled Flag Football on Earth. Most Caitian sports revolved around either working as a group toward a goal, such as Vra'shan, a Capture the Flag game. Other games tested the abilities of both sides. These games often stressed stalking, hiding, or patience, H'rassh, an analog of Hide and Seek, was one such game. Nearly all parks contained a track, even if it was nothing more than the perimeter of the park itself.
Most Caitians were able to speak at least two languages, and write three. As part of basic education, Caitians were taught to speak both Cait and Federation Standard, but most often at least one additional language. In addition to the spoken languages, training included both the written forms of Cait (Derrina Fht and Derrina Hree) and Federation Standard. If the Caitian was taught an additional spoken language, they were trained in the written form at the same time. Due in large part to their curious nature, many Caitians learned additional languages, even 'dead' ones from as many cultures as they were able to. As a result of this, Caitian xenolingusts were highly sought after - not only for their knowledge, but their superior hearing. Given the proximity to the Tholian Assembly and the Klingon Empire, Klingon was a common language spoken by Caitians, and many attempted to understand and learn Tholian, if there was even such a language.
The set of both ears and tail in a Caitian formed a second layer of communication, similar to the 'belly talk' in Human cultures. While ears and the bristling of the fur could be controlled to an extent, the motions of the Caitian tail couldn't. In states of agitation or mental conflict, the tail lashed about or swayed as it attempted to 'balance' the mental state. To those who knew how to read it, this could prevent any Caitian from hiding their mental state or lying. Misdirection was also somewhat more difficult to accomplish. Caitians understood these signs on an instinctual level, though they could become cognizant of it as well. Some of the more easily noticed body language cues included:
- Tail curling or looping – Laughter or Amusement
- Flicking of tail tip – Frustration or Annoyance
- Ears folding back rapidly – Astonishment or surprise
- Ears folding back and remaining back, widened eyes – Anger or fear
- Gripping own tail and wringing it – Extreme distress (this motion disturbs the balance badly)
- Quivering of ears and whiskers – Excitement and Anticipation
- Stiffening and straightening of tail, bristling of fur – Hostility or Anger
- Whiskers and tail drooping and remaining still – Sadness or Depression
The Caitian spoken language consisted of mostly soft tones, spoken with a purr-like resonance that Humans found difficult to emulate, and that also caused Caitians to have some trouble with Standard and several phonetic languages. When Caitians did speak Standard, most did so as a second language, and punctuated it with a purring trill to the 'R' sounds and a hissing to the 'S' sounds. In very rare cases were Caitians able to overcome this tendency. Caitians had a huge preference for the use of oral histories and traditions that dated back many centuries, preferring this manner of recording history to the written form, though some effort was made to write down at least one version of these oral histories.
The Caitian languages, spoken and written, had a smaller and more limited vocabulary than many other languages. This was intentional, allowing for a more precise speech than many races since it allowed for little in the way of shading of the truth. For instance, something could be 'good' or 'better', but there were not the myriad shades of distinction that most languages accrued over time. Accurate use of the language was seen as a virtue, and many Caitians thought that lies and deception with words were one of the lowest forms of communication.
Pronunciation of words was very precise, and often carried over to other languages that the Caitians learned. Many Caitians that learned English spoke 'proper English', accented much like an British gentleman from the mid to late 1900s at least for some time before the continued use of the language allowed them to adapt a more measured use similar to native speakers.
The earliest forms of organized Caitian writing were similar in method of creation, though radically different in form. Both had some similarity to Cuneiform and rune or glyph-based languages from many worlds. Early examples of the writing were found on petrified wood or baked clay tablets. There were a very few instances of carved stone inscriptions of the earliest forms. Rather than represent sounds, the two forms were more symbolic and pictographic. The two forms developed independent of each other prior to the era of unification. The form practiced by the more 'civilized' Caitians called 'derrina hree' featured a more curved and stylized set of characters. The form used by the more aggressive and warlike clans, called 'derrrina fht', featured striking straight and aggressive slash marks. Early contact specialists likened the written Caitian language to that of early China on Earth. The written language was most often expressed in a shorthand format, with few pictograms being used to convey simple messages. While they made widespread use of written language for lists and records, Caitians had a preference for using spoken language to convey information.
Over the centuries, the written forms became stylized and simplified to an extent, but the highly tradition-minded Caitians resisted a more complete revamp. Over time, derrrina hree was chosen as the dominant form, and so contained far more technical terms then derrrina fht. Most Caitians knew both forms, though rarely made use of derrrina fht in anything but informal settings, such as notes between friends or simple notes.
Originally, the forms were created using actual claw slashes on softer materials, thus early Caitian 'books' were often composed of clay tablets or wooden slats. Over time, inks were developed, and scribes could be easily identified by the green tinting on their claws, the result of the earliest inks, containing high levels of copper. It would not be until very late in Caitian development that the use of stylus and finally pen and pencil analogs would be introduced.
Caitians generally had little need of clothing as most weather did them little harm, and the temperatures on Cait very rarely dropped low enough to require additional clothing for warmth. Clothing, as a result, developed more for functional or ornamental reasons. Though Caitians were generally willing to walk around with no clothing at all, social customs evolved so that most wore at least minimal attire when not in their own homes.
The most basic attire for a male Caitian was a loincloth and baldric-like arrangement, with pouches for small possessions on both the belt holding up the loincloth and on the baldric. For females, the baldric was replaced or supplemented by a vest, which could be opened or closed depending on conditions. Older Caitians, or those of higher station, most often wore loose robes over basic clothing, a sign of their position.
Pants and shorts were common among Caitians when mixing with others, normally loose and baggy in a manner similar to the Terran pantaloons, cinched around the waist with a belt and around the first ankle or knee. Pants and shorts traditionally fastened in the rear, atop the cutout for the tail. Skirts were more or less unknown to Caitians, irritating the tail by holding it down and throwing them off balance. Like pants, shirts and vests were often loose affairs, cinched around the waist, if at all. Talbards and robes were sometimes worn over these more basic clothing styles, though were usually reserved to show high station or as part of a uniform or ceremonial garb.
Since textiles were all but unknown to Caitians until around the 1700s, and even then were uncommon unless required for a specific reason, leather formed the basis of most Caitian clothing, though so well tanned as to be very supple and in many cases almost as flexible as early cotton or wool textiles. By the 1900s, cloth was more and more common, in large part because it was much easier to dye and create colorful patterns. Caitians' love of beauty turned most clothing into works of art, almost always original designs, handcrafted rather than mass produced.
Personal jewelry designs were incredibly varied. Some of the most common forms were torcs and necklaces, though armbands, bracelets, and earrings were also quite common. Gold and other more colorful metals were common, and lighter colors like silver were rare except on the most darkly colored Caitians. Bones and teeth were a common material to be worked into the jewelry, also featuring colorful stones or gems. Most often there was an incredible variety in any jewelry store to cater to not only individual tastes, but also the Caitian's own coloration.
While most Caitians kept their manes loose most of the time, while on duty or for decorative reasons, there were several common styles the mane might have been worn in. Most common was the use of hair bands or clips to create a ponytail, most often several clips were used if the mane was of significant length. Other styles included the braiding of the mane into one or more braids with variants coiling or looping the braids to keep them from getting in the way. These braids in turn could have been decorated with beads and clips. Other styles existed, using gels and similar products to style the mane, but these were rare for everyday use and were usually reserved for only the most important events.
Like most humanoid species, the typical basic family unit consisted of a male and female of reproductive age along with one or more offspring. In Caitian society, the clan, typically an extended family unit, formed a larger but almost as important unit for families. A typical clan was run by an older female (Den-mother) and her mate who managed the affairs of the clan and saw to the well being of family units and individuals within the clan. All members of the clan were expected to participate when not off-world, duties varying depending on the age and marital status of the individual.
Because of the clan structure and tight-knit bonds between members, much of the raising of offspring was shared between members. While the biological parents took primary responsibility, other members of the clan could discipline and/or train children as required. In the event a child was left orphaned, the clan would raise the child, typically assigning the primary responsibility to a older couple whose offspring were grown.
An old custom was the taking of multiple wives. Given the Caitian birth rate was skewed towards female offspring, and prior to the advent of modern medicine, death in childbirth was far more common, it was not uncommon for Caitian males to have two (sometimes more) mates. Unlike other humanoid species, where competition between the females was common, leading to strife in the household, Caitian families never exhibited such problems. Even when this practice became less commonin modern times, a few still practiced the custom despite it haven fallen from favor.
Mating & Bonding
Caitians traditionally practiced monogamous, lifelong marriages. At the onset of sexual maturity, which occurred around age 18, the Caitian pheromones altered. At this point, the pheromones declared the Caitian to be 'available'; however, this was picked up subconsciously. Should the Caitian remain unmated by their 32nd year, the pheromones returned to normal. This period was also the prime childbearing years for a Caitian female. There was a higher than average occurrence of homosexuality among Caitians compared to other sentient races; still, it was readily accepted, and not viewed as unusual. In the case of the pair being females, however, there remained some social pressure for one or both to bear at least one brre'l ("litters") for the good of the clan.
Caitian females do possess a 'season' (referred to in other species as being 'in heat'), though both male and female Caitians could (and usually did) take herbal remedies to alleviate the hormonal results to the presence of a female in season. Gestation typically lasted around 168 days. During the first 40, there was little physical evidence to suggest pregnancy, though the Caitian female often developed more territorial and aggressive urges as a result of changing hormone levels. As the pregnancy progressed, nesting instincts began to show themselves, leading to a general impulse to rearrange furniture, decorations, and other items within the living space, often including the creation of a pit or nest of softer materials to curl up in.
A couple usually had two or three brre'l of two cubs, but it was not unheard of for brre'l of one or three to occur. Most often a brre'l of one resulted in the Caitian being born with black fur, while in a three cub brre'l the third and smallest cub was usually an albino. Children of the same brre'l, known as brrel'mar, were exceptionally close, and the clan usually separated them in schooling and activities to prevent them from developing a disproportionate dependence on each other as opposed to the clan as a whole. Each clan member shared the responsibility of child rearing, and most employed a creche system, with older cubs helping to watch the younger cubs. Infidelity was frowned upon, but bearing a cub from one other then one's mate was considered a dishonor. Unpaired adults and infertile pairings were not exempted from aiding in child-rearing, and such Caitians often took on slightly more of these duties. Often, the assumption of additional time with the cubs was instinctively motivated.
Caitian development in many ways resembled that of Terrans. Caitian cubs began puberty in their early teens, becoming fully sexually developed by around age 18. While the onset of puberty included the onset of the heat cycle, in younger Caitians, the drive to mate was lessened and tended to manifest as an increased interest in spending time with male freinds. As she grew older the female's desire to mate increased though it did not reach its full intensity until she bonded with a male and copulated with him at least once.
Mating in the Caitian species occurred much like other humanoid species. Both partner's stimulated each other during foreplay, eventually resulting in the male inserting his penis into the female's vagina. Continued stimulation brought both partners to the peak of their sexual pleasure, triggering orgasm in both partners, the release of seed into the female, and the afterglow.
Caitian mating differed somewhat from traditional humanoid mating. During the pair's climb to orgasm, the female's cervix loosened somewhat, permitting the male's erect penis to penetrate deeper inside her body, the head slowly stretching her cervix in preparation for the climax of their mating. Meanwhile, the combined stimulation of the male's barbs against the female's vaginal walls, triggered an ovulation response, releasing 3-4 eggs to be fertilized. In inter-species mating, the female response to the male's penis scraping along her vaginal walls was lessened somewhat, triggering a release of 1 or 2 eggs at most, and in approx 30% of cases, no eggs were released.
At the moment of climax, the male penis had sufficiently stretched the female's cervix so that the head of the penis penetrated past the cervix, directly entering the female's womb. This final penetration triggered the female's cervix to clamp down on the male's penis, locking him inside her body for the remainder of their coupling. This triggered the male's penis to ejaculate into the female's body, typical volume during release being several tablespoons or more.
As the pair came down from their orgasm, the female's cervix eventually released it's grip on the male penis. Pulling out, the barbs in the male served one final purpose, that of triggering the female's cervix to clamp shut, sealing the male's seed inside her womb and giving the sperm a chance to fertilize the eggs released earlier during mating.
After mating, both partners typically entered a lethargic stage during which further copulation was impossible.
Their society was centered around large clans, and clan members were related by a set of connections that were basic knowledge for a Caitian and a hopeless, incomprehensible tangle for almost anyone else. To a Caitian, clans were an extension of self, and they depended on other clan members as much as the members depended on their own right arms. Clan members treated members of other clans as important beings with equal claim to their world and its resources, but did not rely on them as much as they did their own clan. Members of other races were considered equals, but usually offered slightly less in the way of consideration on claims to the world and resources.
Unlike many other clan-oriented cultures, Caitian clans did not specialize in separate areas. They encouraged wide diversity within the clan so that whenever a clan member needed a service or item, someone in the clan could help him. Different fields and businesses contained members of as many different clans as possible so that no one clan had control of that field, though there was invariably some level of specialization due to proximity to resources.
Because Caitians inhabited a planet where living was relatively easy, they could set aside concerns about survival and concentrate on the finer things in life. Their culture had developed a deep appreciation for beauty, which was expressed in many ways: study and contemplation of nature, producing works of art that mirrored nature, and, most commonly, surrounding themselves with beauty and comfort. Caitians were known to find beauty in nearly any aspect of nature, including such destructive ones as lightning storms. While the tropical nature of the planet kept there from being more than a token need for clothing, many Caitians dressed in light and loose robes, often of colorful prints, but disdained footwear beyond the occasional instance of wrapping feet for support. It was not unheard of for Caitians to move about wearing nothing more than a belt and belt pouch, since they lacked the nudity taboos of species like Humans. Jewelry was also seen as a form of beauty through which the Caitians could express themselves well. Given the coloration of their fur, gold was rarely used, though bronze, steel, iron, titanium, and similar metals were in wide use. Mated pairs traditionally wore matching anklets similar in function to the Human wedding ring tradition. Most Caitian jewelry contained gemstones, with red and blue being the preferred colors. Due to their lower color acuity than most species, the colors chosen by Caitians for clothing and jewelry tended to be quite vibrant, in some cases almost achingly so to other species.
Some clans practiced monastic, contemplative approaches to life, preferring the detailed appreciation of one flower to the overwhelming profusion of an entire jungle. However, most Caitians expressed their love of life and beauty by surrounding themselves with abundance. A comfortable, beautiful home was the desire of every Caitian. Home was the center of Caitian life, and the most significant sign of acceptance by a Caitian was being invited into his house. Despite the large numbers of tourists who visited Cait, very few ever saw the inside of a Caitian house. Caitians were very territorial, and they reacted aggressively against any threats to their homes, which in the past led to the development of truly impressive firefighting and repair technologies. Their cities were notably clean and well kept, as the fastidious Caitians couldn't abide a damaged environment. All Caitians considered it a part of their duty to clan and species to keep the cities clean, and tradition dictated that at least one hour of each day should be set aside to help make the common areas of the city more beautiful.
The evolution of Caitians upon the planet Cait (15 Lyncis) was well documented with fossil records. Unlike Terra, there was no Ice Age to slow down evolution or destroy entire species. The higher gravity, however, did make large species such as the terran dinosaurs evolutionary dead ends. Simply put, the limit of the bone density was reached and it became inefficient to have a creature with such large bone structure, requiring inordinate amounts of food to fuel simple locomotion.
The first proto-Caitians were creatures similar to Terran Sabertooth Tigers (FGH Insert scientific name here), large fanged, and bodied predatory felines. Unlike the Sabertooth Tiger, the proto-Caitians (FGH insert scientific name here) evolved to hunt collectively in groups similar to that of a Terran African Lion (FGH insert scientific name here) pride.
Over time, evolution began to favor the smaller and more energy efficient mammals over the larger ones, leading to the evolution of the Caitian race. The ability for limited bipedal locomotion eventually emerged some time around the Ice Age, though at this point Caitians could maintain bipedal motion for only short periods of time. The addition of this form of locomotion allowed for easier climbing, thus granting the evolving subspecies an advantage in diet.
The next evolutionary leap occurred around one million years later, and took the form of a crude, opposable grip. More in keeping with a grasper, the opposable grip was a curling up of an appendage, offering a limited grip that was useful, but not as versatile as the opposable thumb since it lacked much in the way of lateral motion. Nonetheless, this opened the way for true tool use, and as the species evolved, the grip would shift to a more common opposable thumb configuration. Even with the advent of the more common opposable thumb, Caitians never lost their ability to use quadrupedal locomotion, though over time it became more difficult and less often used.
As these predators moved out of the jungle, they turned mostly to the waters for food. Caitian civilization first developed as a clan-based fishing, sea-faring race, clustered in isolated settlements along the shore and rivers that fed into the ocean. Worthy of note was that the Caitians were almost completely incapable of swimming unassisted due to their low body fat, a result of their high metabolism. These early settlements were nomadic, moving with the seasons as they either depleted the local supply of fish, or the fish moved to different areas.
Some clans dedicated themselves to a mostly peaceful existence, fishing and hunting to take care of the needs of the clan. Others turned to preying on these more peaceful clans. Centuries would pass in this state, with many clans being exterminated, as others grew powerful. These more powerful clans began forming alliances, most of which were sealed with a mated pair who would claim rulership of both clans upon the death of the current Agra'nns ("King" or "High Chieftain"). In this manner, the number of peaceful clans dwindled, but in doing so grew powerful states out of the remaining clans. During this time, the first true village was founded. Offering a wooden and dirt palisade, the settlement of Barana became a rallying point for other peaceful clans, and a signal for how they might protect themselves. This time saw the gradual eradication or absorption of the nomadic predatory clans. In time, there would be only one clan, the Caitian Clan.
Those clans that had joined together though marriage would often retain some cultural differences, enough that, under the Clan, there were innumerable clans being considered either 'lesser' or 'sub' clans. This unification of the clans took well over 500 years to accomplish, with many clans resisting it until the very end.
Because the powerful clans had grown so though defensive postures, they boasted a powerful militia, but little in the way of an actual army as other species would know it. Every clan member of an age to fight was expected to aid in the defense of the clan when called to do so. Training for these militiamen was informal, but normally began young, around the age of 17. Since the 'citizen soldiers' were not a formal force, there was no uniform or specification on weapons.
Over time, the more effective methods of training and equipping the militia would become a near standard. Leather armor, often with beautiful knotwork or depictions of nature, was standard, with those that could afford to do so adding similarly decorated metal plates on the more vulnerable areas. Shields were usually fashioned of wood and painted, while the weapons, normally light javelins, were rather plain and unadorned. Normally a skirt that bore an identifying pictograph for the clan would be included as well. Most clans retained several sets of armor dating back to this period, and, even after it was no longer a rite of passage, most Caitians would fashion their own set of armor.
Metals were uncommon during this time, and most of the weapons and armor made use of natural materials such as hide and sinew. The first set of armor a warrior crafted was traditionally created from the results of the Caitian's first few hunts as an adult. Adornment made of bones, skulls, and teeth were common, though the most fearsome were those of the few remaining 'barbarian' clans, that would use Caitian remains to create gruesome armors.
Unified Clans Era
With the entire planet united (save for isolated areas that would later be discovered and integrated into the Caitian Clan), there was no real need for a militia force. However, early Agra'nn realized that the training provided a sense of unity, help curb and channel young Caitian energy and instincts, and formed a foundation of teamwork that could be turned toward tasks such as disaster relief. Every Caitian underwent basic training, stressing co-operation and constructive tasks. This practice also helped mitigate the predatory instincts of the Caitians, as well as the 'youthful energy' that could otherwise lead to mischief.
As a result not only of the formation of the militia but also of the strong ties between subclans, most Caitians were pacifists of a sort. This is not to say they would not engage in combat, merely that most saw it as an unfavorable alternative. When possible, negotiation and trade were the favored methods for dealing with others. Only when threatened, or when it was necessary to keep from being 'run over', would the majority of Caitians fight. A favored saying of Caitains was "Sfressk mrausha, hresstas mraush. Hresstas mrausha, sfressk mraush." (What negotiation cannot produce, battle can produce. What battle cannot produce, negotiation can produce.). Most times when Caitians fought, they did so from a defensive mindset, something instilled in them during their training in the Caitian Militia, only a few Caitians chose to undergo the training focused on more aggressive methods of combat.
Industrialization and Exploration Era
Since the planet now enjoyed a more or less peaceful state, with only minor feuds between sub-clans that rarely escalated to the point of fatalities, the arts and sciences flourished. The reverence for nature that was so much a part of the Caitian psyche did hamper some scientific development, as well as industrialization. Research mostly flowed into biological and geological sciences, with astronomy being more or less ignored for centuries. During this time, the Caitians developed quite sophisticated medicines and learned much about genetics, though their technology in other areas was near stagnant. An example would be vaccines: the Caitians developed vaccines for several diseases while their industrial technology was roughly that of the late medieval period. Only those technologies that were 'cleanest' were accepted, and even then, work was forever ongoing in an attempt to control any pollution or other damage to the environment that could result.
Clean energy sources and off-planet mining became priorities, leading Caitians to develop some of the most effective geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, and wind power generation systems seen in the galaxy. What mining and other ecologically damaging activities of industrialization and modernization were undertaken were never left to sit. Regarding every mine that was closed, the Caitians would return the area to as pristine a state as possible. Or, even better, utilized the mine itself for additional purposes.
Space exploration became a major focus of the Caitian people as they grew more industrialized and needed more and more raw materials to not only grow their population, but also to maintain and improve the beauty of their surroundings. Space-based mining and exploitation of the asteroid belt in the system mitigated most of cost of repairing the damage to the environment, and so, by the Caitian calculations, was a more economical method of acquiring the materials needed.
Exploration and colonization of the Cait system proceeded for many years, accompanied by periodic launching of deep space probes in a search for habitable planets or other civilizations. No contact was achieved, which was a good thing, since the nearest civilization was the Tholians. During this time, Verrel was turned into a mining colony, and while the Caitians working the mines were considered unrepentant and allowed to form their own government, good relations were maintained with the homeworld, ensuring there were no breakaway movements. Though economic means could be used to dominate Verrel, instead the Caitians on both worlds traded freely and equally. Verrel only had a nominal government, which examined the edicts from Cait to ensure they did not adversely affect Verrel's interests without good cause. In an irony that would strike many, by attempting to rule less or not at all, Cait ruled all of its outposts. Given free will and range to explore their own identity, they returned to the fold knowing themselves better. The lone exception was Ferasa.
Even with the early advent of Warp propulsion in 1994 that allowed rapid exploration of the Cait solar system and colonization opportunities, Cait did not make contact with other spacefaring races, due in large part to the isolated nature of their system. More than 150 light years separated them from any other inhabited planets. The production of a Warp 5 vessel in 2117 made contact a distinct possibility, though it still required a few months travel in just the right direction. Caitians, however, were exploring more toward the outer rim of the galaxy, the opposite direction from the closest planets bearing life. Caitians experimented with cryogenic ships and other 'sleeper' systems, but found them distasteful and prone to error. The technological development never advanced past that of Earth during the Eugenics War.
It was discovered in this time period that Caitians could not handle longer duration spaceflight in the small vessels they were capable of producing. The social nature of Caitians required more contact than the 50-100 they could support on voyages of up to a year. Not until contact with the Federation and the research in alternative structural integrity fields and construction methods could Caitians design non-sleeper ships large enough to support crews of 300 or more that were needed for longer voyages.
Federation First Contact Era
In 2224, the Federation starship USS Framingham entered the Caitian system, having been backtracking one of their earliest space probes (K'Amass launched in 1968). By this time, the Caitians had created colonies or at least semi-permanent facilities on or in orbit of every world in their system. Though initial contact was slightly strained by the problems Caitians had with Standard and the several ritual displays of hunts and feasts meant to honor the visiting dignitaries.
These displays were regarded as rather barbaric, and the offering of the choice pieces of the kill, specifically the raw liver, unfortunately was more than the stomach of one of the Starfleet officers could take. Once the Caitians realized they were dealing with a species that were omnivores rather than carnivores, efforts were taken to cater to the Humans. It was not long before a more civil, if possibly strained, dialog was truly established. Excited, though unsurprised at the existence of others in the universe, they were eager to become part of the Federation. Negotiations proved of little difficulty, since the Caitians had discovered dilithium in the asteroid belt of their system and so were able to trade access to the belt in return for shipbuilding technologies and access to the trade routes of the Federation. Cait was admitted into the Federation in 2234, faster than any other planet with a native sapient life form (Colonial worlds often laid claim to an expedited admission system).
Early Federation Era
In the earliest days of the Federation, Cait was one of the primary sources of dilithium for the quadrant, supplying most of the vessels in much the same way that Praxis supplied the Klingons of the same time. As a result of this arraignment, the Caitians were given some latitude in arranging their own defenses. It was a good thing that Caitians had a much more barter-based system of trade than the Ferangi, keeping them from taking advantage of the imbalance in this supply and demand for the rather coveted resource.
The 23rd Fleet, and the arrangements between Starfleet Academy and the Caitian Militia were forged in this time period. As the trade between the Federation and the Caitians expanded, shipbuilding facilities became a priority for the Caitians, allowing them to create a home-grown defense force and training cadre that would advance their urge for exploration. Most Caitians, however, did not seek command positions of starships, preferring to remain in science positions, and when advanced to rank appropriate to command, would usually transfer to positions on science stations or starbases.
As more advanced warp cores were developed that required a purer crystalline matrix, much of the Caitian trade in dilithium began to taper off. This did not hurt the Caitians as much as it might have the Ferengi, especially as they began exploring methods of refining the crystals into a form usable by the more modern vessels. No longer a main staple of the dilithium trade, Cait did not step down defenses or preparations for anything.
Agriculture never caught on with the Caitians, since they could do little with most grains. Indeed, it wasn't until joining the Federation that bread, beer (which is quite toxic to Caitians), and other processed plant-derived foodstuffs came to the Caitians' attention. One plant in particular was introduced as something of a joke, Nepeta Cataria, more commonly known as catnip. This plant was found to have a quite narcotic effect on Caitians, rendering them soporific, often with a sense of frivolousness, and occasional symptoms of manic energy or aggression. Ferasan Nepeta leaves had similar properties, though it seemed they had a much milder effect. The Ferasan variety was derived from specimens left behind by the First Contact team. Overuse of any of the Nepeta order of plants led to eventual loss of higher brain functions and even comas, as a result, these plants were highly restricted and regulated by the Caitain government. While it was permissible for a Caitian to grow and possess a moderate quantity of the plants, large scale production or import was illegal, with the exception of carefully regulated facilities that operated in a similar manner to an old earth pharmacy.
The original samples of Nepeta Cataria were either a gift or a joke (depending on who was asked) by the crew of the USS Farmingham, a new Armstrong Class vessel. The First Officer, Commander Nathan Stevens, had a terran feline pet with him, a Maine Coon. The Nepeta Cataria that was introduced to the Caitians was part of a supply for his cat, and though he did not know it, there was a residue on his clothing that was quite distracting in those meetings he attended. It took nearly three days of meetings before the difference in the behavior of the Caitians was noticed in his presence only.
Once the difference was noticed and enough questions were asked, the effects of Nepeta Cataria on terran felines was discovered, and after experimentation, the effects on Caitians were discovered to be similar, though in many cases more pronounced than that of terran felines. For a time, there was a black market for these plants, and they were linked to several overdoses that resulted in permanently impaired brain function or death. Twelve years passed before a strain that had been adapted with plant strains native to Ferasa was discovered. This strain offered a lesser effect on Caitians, one that was all but impossible to overdose on. Those already addicted to the Nepeta Cataria strains originally introduced pronounced these Ferasa Nepeta strains to be inferior, but nonetheless, they came to dominate usage since they were not restricted by the Caitian government.
Dominion War Era
Cait remained fairly safe though the bulk of the Dominion War, fairly far from the main lines of battle. This didn't mean that it was untouched, though. The Caitian Militia deployed its forces in numbers not seen since the Fera-Cait War. As well, ship production reached levels that had never been seen before. The Atrox Carrier was still in development, but the remaining military capable facilities turned production to the Miranda Class and the Nebula Class vessels. The shipyards of N'Rrrap meanwhile produced Tuffli freighters as fast as possible, modifying them to carry heavier armament and shield systems in an effort to reduce losses.
Since the whole of the Caitian population served in the Militia for at least a few years, nearly the entirety of the race that had already come of age were either currently in the military or were reservists, able to be called up as needed. Each vessel that left the Caitian shipyards did so with at the very least, a skeleton crew composed of members of the Caitian Militia that had served in the 23rd Fleet. Upon arrival at staging areas, these crews would be further supplemented by additional members of Starfleet.
Caitians also comprised several strong infantry groups, serving in either mainline combat or more commando style actions. While Ferengi had the ears to detect those Jem'Hadar that used stealth technology, Caitians generally not only heard, but also smelled these fearsome troops. Given their physical capabilities, as well as generally aggressive instincts, Caitians made for formidable troops, on par with or superior even to Klingons in many cases. Further, since Caitians made great use of non-verbal communication, part scent and part body language, they were somewhat more difficult to fool and infiltrate by Founders.
In the aftermath of the war, production of ships continued at full pace in an effort to ensure that the losses suffered during the war would be recovered from. Losses among the infantry were extensive to say the least, and with so many Caitians serving on the front lines, the species losses would take decades to recover from. The people of Cait mourned these losses, but they were in service of the Federation, to preserve ideals that Caitians held dear, so the fallen were honored for their service even as they were mourned.
There were no major powers in the Beta Quadrant that the Federation was on good terms with in terms of trade. Even with this problem, the Caitian culture's stress on handcrafting and general hospitality ensured that it remained a major trade hub even after the dilithium trade tapered off from the early ages.
Though not the sort of utopian vacation spot that Risa is, Cait drew its fair share of vacationers, artisans, scientists, and even architects and engineers. Science and art were fascinating to the Caitians, and as much as possible, they draw in all the experts they could in every field. One of the only few forms of development that was not actively pursued by the Caitians was weapons research.
While the practice dwindled in the last few centuries, several sects of Caitians still followed a monotheistic patron deity called Rrikalla or the Goddess. Traditions held that the Goddess created the universe for the benefit of Caitians (though this doctrine was expanded in some circles to include all the sentient races), and sought happiness for all. Opposing her was her identical twin sister, the Dark One, who tried to trick Caitians and make their lives miserable. There was little organized clerical support for this religion, and the Goddess was usually worshiped privately, with detailed statues kept in a personal shrine in the home.
Philosophically, Cait tended to seek peaceful balance with their surroundings. Experiencing their environments through sensory perception, and through that experience learning to co-exist with it, was considered very important. This found its most common application in a widespread drive for physical fitness — Cait believed that a well-honed body could better sense its surroundings. Caitians created a number of martial arts and fitness systems to this end, and several pieces of Caitian fighting styles found their way into broad application in Starfleet Academy’s fitness program.
A less common, but certainly not rare, expression of this co-existence dogma found expression in Caitian vegetarianism. Some Cait eschew the eating of meat on the basis of co-existence, theorizing that one couldn't share space equally with creatures one intends to consume. This philosophical niche eventually grew, especially among younger Caitians.
A large part of the information above comes from Matt Tierney's awesome resource on Caitians, which can be found here: LINK. Matt can be found on DeviantArt here, and he is known as R'Mikk@feyralwolf on Star Trek: Online. Thank you for all the hard work put into this resource, enriched the Trek fandom as you have.