Nicola

Beloved Nicola (a.k.a. Nica, The Enduring)

Nicola was a woman of furry race that lived in the southern side of Merthiorn island (now Tháur island) and one of the victims of the High Rust.  

A Rough and Shaken History

Nicola had earned the nickname of "The Enduring" by her friends and family, due to the share of tough luck that maimed her body on several occasions.
She spent her childhood in a small town on the south-west coast of the island. One summer when she was 6 years old, she crossed a small road running while chasing a friend, at the same time that a man riding an alzufhar was galloping through it. The alzufhar was unable to stop in time and trampled her, crushing her tail at the base and hurting her legs and arms in the process. The girl lost her tail and developed a weird posture, but surprisingly she was able to recover quite quickly.
  Just some years after that, being around 10 years old, she wandered by herself into a small patch of woods, with enough luck to find a big Hapist (An unusual sight on her town) walking on the ground. Having never seen one of these, she sneaked close to it by hiding behind the trees to try to touch it and surprised it from behind. The beast, startled, turned rapidly and bit her left hand, chopping off her index finger on the middle and missing her thumb miraculously.
  While she didn't have any other big accidents during her life (Besides the time she fell into a deep pit as a teenager and spent hours asking for help, which fortunately didn't cause any injury), she had a weak body and was prone to skin conditions. She was bullied by the other kids because of her body and became shy and easily scared.  

The Beloved Nica

  When Nicola was a teenager, her family moved to Birdland, which at the time was a very small city. She grew with it and got more mature friends and a supportive community of people around her. With the passing of the years, she made a 180° turn on her demeanour towards people as she gained confidence and trust and, while she always remained calm, she turned into a lovely and gentle person that welcomed everyone with open arms and ears.
She learned to cook and worked on several community places, taverns and restaurants while keeping a hobby as a writer of children's stories, that she used to narrate to groups of kids that visited her, putting a lot of effort into teaching them to be wholesome and kind to each other. The children and then the whole community started calling her "Aunt Nica" and eventually "Grandma Nica" as she grew older. Despite being quiet and sedentary, she became loved and well-known in Birdland.   She fell in love with Mandrake, a dark-haired bobcat man from one of the noble families of Merthiorn, whom she said had "the most beautiful eyes she saw in her life". They had five children and several grandkids.
Mandrake died on 3011 E.Alz, making the sad, but always smiling Nica go live with one of her sons. The next year, they decided to move north, to a small and upper-class little neighbourhood, in a fancy and high house. Grandma Nica fit right in with the new kids there, always telling stories and sharing cookies and pastries she would bake for them. The people from her old neighbourhood missed them greatly, so it was not unusual for them to go on a trip to visit her once in a while, which made her immensely happy.   And then the High Rust hit.  

The Rust

Banner Corrosion.jpg
Corrosion by Naelín
  During 3014 E.Alz, just two years after Grandma Nica settled on her new multiple-floored house, the air in the higher places turned orange. Anything that was too high above the floor, the water, the plants, the stones, the creatures and the people started showing the signs of the deadly Corrosion. Nica started showing spots on her left leg, and then on her head and neck. Her family was quick to move to the lower floors of their tower-like house, but her leg was consumed by rust within weeks, and she lost it. She maintained her good attitude around her family and friends after she lost her leg, despite the spots she was still showing on her head, and her family thought the worst had passed after her small rust patches went some time without change.   The months passed, while The Beloved received constant visits and company from kids and adults in her life. She continued telling children stories to them every day, until little after the start of the new year and the Era of Rust, when her health rapidly declined and her breathing became worked and difficult: In a rare event, the rust had been silently consuming her from inside out.   Grandma Nica died the 23rd of Sowing of the first year of Rust, surrounded by her family and community. Seven years later, people no longer talk about the era-changing death of Queen Tesel of Merthiorn as they used to before Thaur rose where her empire had fell. But the then-kids from Birdland still remember Nica's stories, and will tell them to their children.
Phenotype
Cat
Alignment
Lawful Good
Species
Conditions
Ethnicity
Age
76
Date of Birth
25 of Swimming, 2939 E.Alz
Life
75 E.Alz 1 E.Ru 76 years old
Circumstances of Death
Died peacefully after the rust ate her from inside
Biological Sex
Female
Eyes
Soft, light olive green
Hair
A thick white coat with big black patches
Aligned Organization
There’s no narrative to your life, no arc, no reward for achieving all the things you want. That kind of thinking is a recipe for a you-centric world view and is a very lonely road. Focus instead on the role you play in the stories of others. When I was young, there was an old man named Brady at our church who always had gum. No matter what, Brady always had gum that he offered up freely. When he died, it devastated our youth group and I still remember him two decades later. Brady might have only played a bit role in all our life stories, but by playing it with generosity and kindness he achieved a sort of immortality. Putting others first with a cheerful heart isn’t easy, but because of that, even the smallest acts can leave an incalculable impact.
— Justin McElroy
 
Nica, the tail-less cat (2003-2020)


Cover image: by Naelin
Character Portrait image: Nicola by Naelín

Comments

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4 Dec, 2020 11:17

Awww this is amazing. I love the sound of her - the bit about her falling into a pit made me laugh a little. I assume that's she's based on an real kitty from the picture, so sending hugs for that. <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea! Please check out my peculiar plants entry! :)
4 Dec, 2020 12:39

Yes, Nica was my IRL cat and everything on the article was based on her (replace the alzufhar with a car, the hapist with a dog and the pit with an abandoned house). She had a rough start and end, but she was the kindest kitty on earth.   Thank you for your comment! <3

HuginRonin
Juan Belío
4 Jan, 2021 19:29

I'm very sorry that you don't have Nica with you anymore. If the tales are true, she sounded like a loyal, great-hearted companion. A beautiful way to honor her and a beautiful article. Also damn, she had some tough luck only losing that index finger, a Hapist looks like it could bite the whole hand off no problem.

5 Jan, 2021 14:51

Thank you very much Hugin <3 She was the kindest living being I've met and has taught me and my family a lot of important lessons.   I'm glad the article reflects that :)