The Innocent Impkin (felis innocens) is a venomous feline creature native to Crepundium. Not much is known about them as they are still being studied.
Creatures of this species often appear naïve, thus the “innocent” part of the name. “Impkin” refers to the species’ behavior resembling that of a playful child and a mischievous demon.
The first known Impkin was a reformed Ronzor known as “Chessie”. How she actually achieved the transformation is still being studied.
Physical Description Edit
Impkins are small feline-like creatures with short soft fur. They never grow larger than a foot tall at the shoulder with a body length to match sans the tails. Impkins have retractable claws, but only on the forepaws. The claws are hollow and inject venom much like the Baluari’s. They have sharp teeth like most felines their size and a sandpaper tongue. From their necks grow large petals, forming a mane around their heads. These petals continue to grow as the Impkin ages, but never grow over eight inches long. They have four foot-long tails; each tail is prehensile and can be used to grasp items or branches. The main pelt tends to be an earth tone while the inner ear, petals, and tails are bright unnatural shades. The petals are lighter shades of the Impkin’s inner ear color edged in a lighter shade of its main pelt color.
Impkins are active from afternoon until dawn. They sleep non-stop in between, curling up in trees or burrows they dig under a tree’s roots. They use the same burrows for most of their lives, and have no more than three in their lifetime they rotate between. If adopted by another species or kept as a pet, they will dig out a burrow in the wall near their adoptive relation or owner’s sleep quarters.
An Impkins’ bright colors attract plenty of attention, but its naturally young appearance tends to encourage those drawn in to care for them rather than attack. Their tendency to be playful and happy only adds to this. Convincing an Impkin that something is not a game is challenging at best and impossible at worst.
Social Behavior Edit
Impkins naturally live in colonies. Members are close and often groom each other as well as share parenting duties for the colony’s litters. Rank is undivided between genders and Alphas guard their rights with firm but gentle discipline. If separated from their group, an Impkin will search for them endlessly or seek to attach itself to a new one if the old cannot be found. The species of the new group doesn’t matter; Impkins hate being alone and will befriend just about anything to avoid it.
Impkins reach sexual maturity at 18 months. The mating season is December – February and kits are born two months later in litters of 1-5.
Like most small felines, Impkins primarily prey on rodents, birds, fish and lizards, but often delight in going after insects as well. Hunting usually takes place at night. Members hunt in pairs or groups. The stalk-and-ambush method is aided by their venom which quickly disables the victim.
As a recently discovered species, the Impkins’ lifespan has not been observed but due to similarities it is assumed they can live at least as long as felis catus.
Impact on Prey Species Edit
As noted above, Impkins prey on rodents, birds, fish and lizards. They are not the only predators of their size in their home range, thus how much they control such populations is unknown.
Defenses and Enemies Edit
Both genders have venomous claws. Besides the venom, the Impkin shares most of its defenses with other felines, such as sharp claws and teeth. Wolves, dogs and birds of prey are the Impkin’s main predators and the venom is their only chance of escaping should their general cuteness fail.
Impkins communicate much in the same way as common house cats; with meows, hisses, purrs, and body language. So far no unique vocalizations or gestures have been noted.
Impkins have not been studied long enough to see how susceptible they are to the diseases that plague related species. They have not shown to cause any illnesses like the Baluari however.
Impkins thus far have only been seen in Crepundium. If they exist elsewhere, they have not yet been discovered.
It is presumed that Impkins can hybridize with other members of genus felis, but no such hybrids have been found.