It not all doom and gloom in the Austral Wilds. Many creatures are able to thrive. One such creature is the Crittermorph, Cactus Cat, which can be found in the Just Desert . About the size of a regular house cat, the Cactus Cat is unique for its green skin and spiky needles which cover its body. The Cactus Cat's tail is longer than an ordinary cat and forks off into multiple barbs. When it curls into a ball, the Cactus Cat is indistinguishable from any other cacti, which makes for great camouflage in a desert full of deadly creatures. You can tell a male from female cactus cat, as the females have a pink flower bud which blossoms once they are mature (approximately 1-2 years of age). New litters of Cactus Cats are born from the blossom of the female's head. The cactus cat uses photosynthesis to gain most of the nutrients that it needs. Additionally, it can retain large amounts of water to help through desert droughts. However, many Cactus Cats enjoy stalking small birds, spiders, and scorpions to catch and make a meal. Though many will just as rather kill the tiny creatures and leave their corpses to mummify in the sun Cactus Cats are social creatures. They will often gather in multiple family groups, living and hunting together. They also show little fear around most Folk and will gladly walk up to strangers and rub themselves against them, leaving behind prickly needles in the process. Since more wicked Folk have taken over the Just Desert, some Cactus Cats have gotten more cautious around certain Folk. Call it a cat's sixth sense. However, the Cactus Cat can melt even the wickedest of hearts and many fiends and fallen folk are amused by the Cactus Cats. Often letting them live, some even adopting one for themselves.
Amplified StateAlthough most Cactus Cats will live out their lives in this single form, some Cactus Cats are able to reach an amplified state if bounded with a trainer or owner.
Through drawing on the energy of their owner, Cactus Cats are able to transform into the Prickly Panther. A large creature, the Prickly Panther is a fearsome opponent. Its prickly needles become miniature rapiers and on it's forearms, two large bones jut out, which are perfect for slashing. The Prickly Panther is covered in yellow, spiky buds, which it can release at will for long ranged attacks. Although it is possible to mount a Prickly Panther, it certainly wouldn't be comfortable!
Catnip Cannibals?One interesting fact to note is that Cactus Cats are addicted to the sap found in cacti. Using their claws, they will often slash into a cactus and consume all of the sap. After doing so, they will exhibit extreme playfulness for up to an hour before relaxing in purrr-fect contentment. Of course, the question is whether their love of cactus sap amounts to cannibalism since they are cacti cousins. No, cactus cats do not eat each other!