longjyaīntau̯˨˩˦ as in Adopter (lo˧ŋʨjai̯˥teɪn)
Cat Queen Adopter , The First
"I called her longjyaīntau̯˨˩˦(Adopter), because she adopted me. She was minding her own business in the plaza, when I was visiting Starkastar, a city in nearby Kagomei. The local lord was really testing my ability not to yawn at his prattle. Then the little pure white kitten, she was probably four months old, just locked eyes with me, and I couldn't look away. Checked her for a chip, no, she was just a stray, so I 'exported her' from Kagomei into Tsou."
"One eye blue, one eye yellow, she was distinctive. I imagine that played a part?"
"Yes, and no, it was certainly remarkable, but what drew me to her was her force of personality. Just locking eyes with me, she was telling me she was expecting a kind of behaviour from me, a standard I would have to meet, but in return, she would be the most loving pet I could ever imagine. And she was. She's been gone twelve years now, and I still miss her, despite some of her kits keeping me company." Indeed, I saw she had four kittens attending her, all pure white, with mismatched eyes, one either green, blue or slate, and the other yellow or orange, although, if she'd been gone 12 years, those weren't her kits, but great-grand-kits at this point, or more.
"I'm told you and she started the tradition of Kitten-Ra, or Kittening, can you speak more about that?"
"Well, among the common people of the Tsou, it was already common, but it was not yet recognized as a former of alliances between nations, Adopter adopting me kickstarted a process... The Brunswick jumped in, and the Alessian, Loroni and the Bresciani within five Arnds, all allying with the nascent Kagomine, who were ever keen on making firends, especially in those days.
-- Epilogue Interview, Ghostwritten Memoirs of Reiki Tsu'Reik
"So, why was this so important?"
"High Queen Reiki is widely held as the founder of modern Tsou and the writer of its constitution."
"It will shock some of you, but I hold Queen Reiki in more esteem than even most of you. Certainly more than the orthodoxy expected of me by the ministry. You see, Queen Reiki did not only do all those things. Nor did she only propagate the tradition of kittening, or Kitten-Ra, to the upper classes of Tsou society, then to neighbouring states. At a time where women were thought to be little more than baby-carriers, she engineered the alliance with Kagomei that kept both nations from being absorbed by the militaristic Moniq."
"The Kagomine have a different version, they imply that their Bameimeito, also their Kitten-Ra, was the one who planted Adopter on her..."
"Hmm, well that's certainly thought-provoking, and I'll grant you without either of those two alive, we'll likely never know this kind of detail with a hundred per cent certainty, but I'll argue that regardless of which of the two fooled the other, both their purposes were met, and their 'plant' was the symbol of an alliance that lasted almost three hundred arnds. It didn't even stop there, 'Adopter visits' were added to the protocol, and the cat princesses of Moniq and the cat princes of Gogur and Kagomei were known as the gang of four, often meeting to promulgate policy. Moniq reversed their militaristic stance the year after they were first invited, and relations with the Loro, always frought, unthawed for all four nations at that time. I submit to you, that according to the diaries of at least two of the four dignitaries present, Adopter was a moving force, sensitive to mood, and always preventing the meeting from going sour. Calling them Adopter visits is a relabeling, they were then called friendship visits, but Queen Reiki's will asked for his posthumous recognition."
"Why only when she was dead? She had the power to do it within her lifetime?"
"Ah, that's been debated, but I have my own theory..."
"Please, tell us?"
"She'd been needing every bit of credibility, for so long, that she didn't want to diminish herself even unto death, figuring once she would be dead was good enough, since he'd passed a decade and a half earlier... To this day, she remains the only Tsu ruler to earn the title of High King or Queen, all her descendants make do with merely King or Queen, and that was also posthumous, she probably felt acute imposter syndrome, as a Queen born out of our country."
"But, quite right, this lesson is about her pet, not her. Or at least, I should focus on acts and events where the cat was a deciding factor... Such as her two disastrous first marriages... Apparently, Adopter was a fine judge of character not just for allied rulers, or family friends, her diary clearly outlines, day by day, how the cat and the husbands could barely be kept in the same room without injury, from the cat for her seccond husband, to the cat for the third."
"And the first?"
"He fell ill within six months of meeting her and died, before she met Adopter. We have no idea what opinion it held on the matter. Now, the fourth husband..."
"Didn't she marry both her late husband's brothers?"
"As was tradition, the unhappiness of the marriages speaks to the tradition's worthiness..."
The students gasped.
"I only speak to the traditions of the Tsou people, as documented by the ministry, if even one cat speaks against an union, it is null and void now, and had been ever since... Having a check against marrying a husband's brother may always have been as the holy elements intended..."
-- Classroom recording, Ministry of Eduction, testimony in the case against M. Sejoun Tsallaki, treason, CR#20122091230-223
Relationship values are written as dishonest/insincere below, because, like most cats, Adopter makes a great show of aloofness, only allowing her affectionate nature out in private. Her trust was shown in other ways, like her bringing her kits to her favorite humans immediately after their being able to open their eyes, as if proud of their coming.
"Mau." Adopter belaboured the servant, shaky in his salmon clothing.
"Don't feed her that, she's already had six meals today." Reiki instructed the servant and the others around him.
"No, you're not hungry... Wait." She reached down, and the cat just plopped to get a belly rub, indeed, she was gravid. "Oh, congradts Adopter, more babies... We've already got your babies new homes in half the nations of Kagomei, my little diplomat on padded feet."
"Six meals is enough even for a pregnant lady cat, I asked. Now shush." Reiki continued to rub the cat's belly, who was, for once, just purring.
"Quite the act you two got going..."
"What are you trying to say Garan?"
"Oh, just that you two act like a well practiced act when others are around, pretending she's much more obedient than she really is."
"Oh, you know the rule, get a dog, and you own it, get a cat and it owns you, and complains about your shortcomings..."
"You can't fool me, Adopter acts a lot more 'obedient' if that's even a word that applies to a cat, when the Moniqan visit."
"Oh, Adopter here can sense they'd fear her if she didn't act at least a little subdued... White heterochromia iridens cats are called ghost cats in Moniq for a reason. And she saw what happened the last time she tried."
"Some aide gave her chest an improvised haircut with his thrown blade, she's been so very good since..."
"So is that the secret? Threaten your cat and she'll be good?"
"No, that way lies disaster... What happened is a lot closer to: misbehave, get the person who reacts with violence sacked, realize that means you're too important to worry about such things... Don't rock the boat too much and lose your cushy quail-egg gig."
"Ok, ok, you can have one quail egg, since they're small."
"You let her eat it raw?"
"Yes, they're cultivated for food, although most of the output goes to the Tsou City Zoo... Screened for parasites and such. And Lady Tamaretsu here prefers the taste with the shell." Said picky eater proceeded to hold the egg in her mouth, bite it twice, rotating it with her tongue, then swallowing it, shell included. Purring intensified.
"Mew." As if to say, one wasn't enough.
"Just one. Each day I don't give into your every whim is a small victory, you overgrown pusscat."
"Crriiii." The crisp sound was more moderate than the cat usually made, then she yawned prodigiously, and bent down for a nap.
"Cats are great reminders of a simple, primordial truth."
"You don't get what you don't ask for..."
Towards SC.2023.24. Reiki Tsu'Reik
Towards longjyaīntau̯˨˩˦ as in Adopter