The Manual of Cats

Written by Herder Terrice
in partial fulfillment of the
Herdercraft Journeyman Project

Introduction

Cats generally fall into two catergories: Longhaired and shorthaired. Also, there is a medium length between these two, which came from crossing the two main groups. And in these groups, there are varying degrees of length, depending on where the cat is originally from. And within these catergories, there also seem to be some distinctly different color patterns, characteristics, and body composition. There is a standard with these animals similar to the runner, canine and herdbeast. I will try to discuss as many as I can, at least briefly.

Northern Breeds of cat(longhaired)

Most cats from the northern continent, with the exception of the deserts at Keroon and Igen, tend to have long, thick fur, and/or a double coat for protection from the weather. They tend to be compact, heavy animals, with slightly shortened limbs and long tail which can cover their noses.

The Ruathan Longhair (OOC Maine Coon) is a gorgeous animal with a luxurious coat, extremely long and thick tail, and rather doglike squared muzzle. Unusual for a northern bred cat, its limbs are long, making it one of the largest breed of domestic feline. Most reach the weight of a 2 week old newborn (i.e. anywhere from 15 to 25, maybe even 30 pounds) and they are quite affectionate. They are also easy to train.

The Benden Longhair (OOC Norwegian Forest Cat) is a creature similar in looks to the Ruathan breed and may be the origin of the Ruathan Longhair. They are most often striped, or tabby, but a few have been noted with solid colors or tricolor markings.

The High Reaches Longhair (OOC Persian) . Most noted for their flat, dished in face, with large eyes, and short ears, these docile creatures are often called the 'doglike cat' for their enjoyment of licking their owners. They make very good pets for anyone of any age and are recommended for a first time pet for children (provided the child knows how to handle an animal.)

These are the major contributors to the 'Medium length' coats for cats when crossed to the Shorthairs. There are probably more types as yet undiscovered.

Medium Haired cats

This, also is a mere representation of the diversity of these midhaired felines. There are boundless more yet unknown. These cats are somewhere in between the long, midhaired, and short hairs. Their coats can range from long to short, but are usually right in the middle.

The Igen Midhair (Ragdoll) is a hybrid of a High Reaches type cat and a Keroon Desert Cat (domestic shorthair) with fur ranging through from longish to very long. It is generally along, well balanced animal with muscular, firm body. They can get up to about a two week old newborn baby in weight (15 to 20 pounds).

The Fort Foxcat (Somali) is a beautiful creature resembling the small wild canines which haunt the plains. Large ears, masked face and thick brush of a tail. They seem to be feral upon first glance, but they are actually a good family cat with their doglike antics and social ways. Most comical among their talents are running sideways with tail and back arched, holding objects and food in their paws. They are adept at opening cupboards, cabinets and drawers. Many are not afraid of water and can manipulate some pumps.

Another beautiful cat, the Lemos Snowcat (Turkish Angora) is a beautiful creature, usually all white, although many other colors are present. Gorgeously fine boned, yet strong, these intelligent creatures enjoy playing immensely.

The Shorthairs(desert breeds)

I have found that these cats' fur is either very short or nonexistent, due to the hot climates in which they are found. These cats are to be kept indoors or wrapped warmly if taken outside, as they don't have suitable protection against cold.

The Keroon Shorthair (Sphynx) is actually without fur. It has only a soft down to cover it. Yet, it is a very adorable creature nonetheless. It must be bathed frequently, as the lack of hair makes it impossible to absorb natural oils. They are like most cats in their ways.

Igen Shorthair (Russian Blue) is a beautiful shorthiared blue cat.They are affectionate, gentle creatures with a distinctly silvery blue coat. Their eyes are usually a vivid, pretty green. The regal carriage of its long, fine bones and well muscled body combine to make it a very popular creature indeed.

The Southern Shorthair (Korat) is a small, compact creature weighing no more than a small firelizard (6 to 8 pounds). They are always silver blue and mature slowly. Their eye color is always periodot green and will appear as they mature. They bond as a lizard will to a human and will follow said human about. They will accept affection from others, but prefer their human. They also bond to other pets.And they are also easy to train.

General Cat Behavior

Cats are generally well behaved, athough that tendency to chew or claw is annoying. And the climbing, yowling and biting. To correct these behaviors, you may hiss, growl, snarl shout no, rattle something noisy, or spray them with water (most cats hate water) because they don't like surprises. Hitting is unacceptable with this or any other animal. Remember that training with canines is different than with felines. Cats sometimes spray their territory to let everyone know that it's *theirs*. Removing the odor immediately with some strong cleanser is appropriate if it is indoors. But first, check with a beasthealer to distinguish whether the cat is sick or no. These and other general problems can be corrected with the above mentioned measures.

Breeding cats.

If you don't intend to breed your animal, keep it indoors when it goes into estrus, or is 'proddy.' She will stay that way for what seems like forever, and keeping her confined will be a trial. Actually they are proddy for cycles of every half month, lasting eight to ten days at a time. Male cats will be just as hard to keep out, and the yowling outside is deafening as they are loud about it.

Health problems

Some medical problems cats face are things such as colds, and other respiratory infections that can lead to pneumonia if they are not properly treated. Also, they are prone to ear infections, and little pests often settle under their coats and cause severe itching, especially on the underbelly and chin, where there is thicker fur.

Symptoms of Respiratory Infection

Often, coughing, wheezing, and sneezing occur. The nose will run as well. Taking your kitty to the beasthealer as soon as you notice these symptoms are occuring. The sooner you get them healed, the better.

Pneumonia in Cats

For a cat, this can be fatal, as they usually get to the point where they can't breathe.

Symptoms of ear infections

The cat will often hold his head to one side, and stagger. Vomiting is also common. Many times, an odd smell can be discerned coming form the inflamed ear, and a red, raw color can be seen. Most often, it is attributed to tiny insects building up in the ear. The ears should be cleaned often to prevent this, and if it happens, get healing for the animal.

Converted to HTML from (#5801)Manual of Cats on the Harper's TaleMOO on Tue May 21 01:07:53 1996 CDT.

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