Saturday, March 24, 2012

Speculative Zoology #7: House Cat

The feral feline population increased steadily after the disappearance of the human race. Although many of the now abandoned felines had been neutered, any that were not were able to breed unhindered and of course their kittens would grow up to continue the population explosion and inbreeding was not uncommon. Luckily, there were plenty of mice and rats for the cats to hunt, but one strain of burmese cats specialised in a different prey. Birds.

This small clan of burmese cats chose the highest rooftops as their domain, and leapt from building to building, never touching the ground. They were close knit, inbreeding with each other and after a time a fluke mutation lead to their kittens being born with a webbing of skin between their fore and rear limbs. At first this flap was small, but it proved to be advantageous to the kittens exhibting it and helped them leap longer distances than their ordinary peers. This made them desirable mates, and as the cats continued to breed within their small colony, the webbing became fuller and fuller until it had established into a gliding membrane. The gliding cat can make leaps of more than four or five times the distance of an ordinary feline, and has the agility to snatch birds in flight. It lives an entirely arboreal existance, having little interaction with its less nimble kin and can be regarded now as a separate, distinct species.

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