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08.24.2017
8:01 AM
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Spirit of the Wind

Physiology

At first glance, an acitan can pass for a cheetah (if they bother trying at all). This is because acitan have the ability to walk on four legs or two relatively easily due to the joints of their hips. And since what usually distinguishes them from cheetahs is the fact that they can walk upright (most of the rest of their body morphology is the same), an acitan can if they want look nearly identical--useful for pretending to be a ‘stupid cat’. Many acitan are actually more comfortable on all fours, since they haven’t fully adapted to a bipedal gaint (they get back pain if they’re upright for too long).

Acitan have long, articulated front toes that have formed into something almost exactly like a hominoid hand. The difference is that acitan retain a dewclaw, which is kept extremely sharp. When an acitan really want to hurt someone, they don’t attack with their rather blunt front claws, they attack with their dewclaw.

The teeth of the acitan are virtually identical to those of Acinonyx jubatus--they are adapted for a diet of meat rather than plants (though the shearing carnissal teeth are useful for slicing up plant matter as well), despite the fact that acitan have lost the ability to effectively digest meat. Textured soy is a popular food among acitan, and they can make it so close to actual meat that the most dedicated carnivores would never be able to tell the difference in texture or taste. They would, however, be perfectly capable of telling it apart by the gastrointestinal problems they would experience shortly after eating the false meat, if their digestive systems weren’t built to take it.

Generally, acitan coat patterns aren’t that different from a normal cheetah’s. Rarely, though, an acitan will be born with king cheetah coat patterns, or an abnormally reddish coat. That is believed by the acitan to be due to inbreeding with the ash cats, but those acitan still aren’t fire resistant, though they do seem to have an affinity for fire, especially fire magic.


-- Citrakayah

Written 2012