Bisik (bee-zik)

The bisiks are small mammals native to the Samuaxi islands who became common pets and farm animals across all Hislariya in the last 300 years.  

Wild bisiks

 
Be careful in the forest, those bisiks are crazy and will jump at your neck too if given the chance
— A scaredy sailor
  The bisiks are small carnivores of a body length variable between 50 and 70 cm, with a muscular, flexible body, armed with powerful back legs and strong clawed paws that allow them to be excellent climbers. From their mouth, even when closed, is visible the upper pair of sharp canines with which they finish their prey, usually with a bite at the neck.   They are ambush predators and, in nature, prey on smaller mammals and birds that they attack from perches on tree branches, aided by the efficient camouflage provided by their maculated or striped coat on a golden agouti to black base.   In the wild, they form groups (clouds) of around 10-50 individuals who protect together a wide hunting territory and the nesting spots. Among them, they communicate with purrs and trills when content and hisses when upset and menacing, but they are usually quiet pets.   During the mating season, the cloud joins together and forms loose mating groups of 2-5 individuals all of which contribute to the preparation of the nest and share it after finished for the whole period until the cubs are old enough to feed themselves. Usually, these groups are formed by one or two fertile females and 1-3 males or non reproductive females that all mate with her and contribute to the feeding and education of the cubs.   After the mating, the cloud territory shrinks to a small area surrounding the nests, in order to add the protection of the larger group to all the newborns.   The female gives birth once a year, usually at the start of the warm season, to one to three cubs who are dependent on the adults for the first three months of age. The females who don't reproduce still go into hormonal changes that consent them to lactate and, if needed, feed the newborns of their nest (and on some occasions, others too).  

Domestic bisiks

 
Get your paws away from the curtain, Pepper, or I'll send you back to the ship!
— An exasperated Yarik
  The reason for their success as domestic animals is their playful and friendly temperament and the extremely soft fur that can be carded and spun to be used as a textile fiber.   Domestic bisiks are the product of the selection of a particular mutation naturally occurring in the wild, which has a dense, fine, non shedding coat rich in a waterproofing protein that makes it pleasantly soft to the touch. Domestic bisiks, thus, acquired a continuously growing coat of curly hair that is shaved once a year at the start of the warm season to give the animals relief and to gather the precious resource.   Intense artificial selection in the past centuries created a wide range of colorations that goes from pure white (the most commonly bred on farms) to solid gold, red, silver, black, and any combination of the above, with or without the markings typical of the wild ancestors.   A variety of breeds are recognized and selected in purity. Some of them are production breeds and are selected for the quality and coloration of the coat and the mild temperament when kept in large groups, while others are selected for their playfulness, attractive patterns of colour and softness of the fur, and affinity to the sapient species.   Two breeds have been specifically selected for their lack of fear for the water and are commonly kept onboard vessels along with the Varil ferret to control the population of rodents.  

Bisiks in the language and symbolism

 
Male: buck   Female: dam   Young: cub   Collective name: a cloud




Hottest Spices' Bisiks

  Yarik and the other Therapists share, somewhat reluctantly, their living spaces with two adult bisiks and their cubs.   The first to enter their life was Blue, a female with a strikingly soft silver blue coat, who one day materialized out of the Senses Chest in the arms of a speechless Yarik.   A year later, when Tarvan was brought unconscious to the shop, one of the ship's bisiks snuck in with the small procession and hid in the caves for 3 days before Sonqui discovered him while stocking the cellars. In the chaos of those days, it didn't occur to the therapists that they were housing a young and healthy couple of mischief breeders and it was only when Blue's belly started to show that they realized their oversight.   Now Blue and her mate Pepper have been joined by their cubs: the black Midnight and the ginger Pumpkin.
 

Hottest Spices Living Quarters

  Home of Blue's family, and their people.  
Hottest Spices living quarters
Building / Landmark | Sep 4, 2022

The home of Yarik and the other Sensory Stupor Therapists

Symbolism

 
Because of the fact that bisiks females nest with several mating partners, including other females, the animal is used as a symbol by both the sapphic and the polyamorous communities in Hislariya.   Women attracted to women or feminine people are often referred to as bisiks, sometimes in a dispregiative connotation, but more often as a playful euphemism inside the community. In the more affluent circles it is common for women looking for female company to wear pendants with green round gems to symbolize the bisik's eye, as a discreete signal to potential partners.   Polyamorous stable relationships are called "nests" in the community and people in any kind of open relationship commonly wear braided bracelets made out of bisik's wool, often in different colours to further specify their inclinations.


Cover image: by Thom Milkovic

Comments

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5 Dec, 2021 12:30

I love them. ❤️

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
5 Dec, 2021 18:28

IT CAME OUT OF THE SENSES CHEST HAHAHAHA I love this, and that there are now four of them plaguing the Hottest Spices. What was Yarik *trying* to get out of the chest? :D


You are doing a great job! Keep creating; I believe in you!
Luridity: Where love is love and life is lived. Contains NSFW content.
5 Dec, 2021 18:37

I'm pretty sure it wasn't that and that he didn't even know summoning living creatures was an option :P

5 Dec, 2021 18:45

That thing is just full of surprises :D


You are doing a great job! Keep creating; I believe in you!
Luridity: Where love is love and life is lived. Contains NSFW content.
Grandmaster AzounIV
Luca Poddighe
29 Jan, 2022 21:19

They remind me of very cheeky cats with harvestable fur! I am very happy about the new cubs at the Hottest Spices!

Transform your quirks, in your strength! Join the revolution and visit Phaldorya (Eng)
15 Feb, 2022 11:22

Oh my gooood, they are like carnivorous cat-sheep and I am here for them. <3

21 Sep, 2022 23:54

They somehow remind me of fluffy fossas and I'm here for it

22 Sep, 2022 18:33

Uh... while not directly inspired, it is pretty accurate. I was thinking at something similar to a genet, but the fossa is probably even more accurate as a visual reference. I must have had that in the back of my mind without even realizing, in fact :P