|Other Names||Stealth cat, The Unseen|
|Climate/Terrain||Jungle, dense forest|
This strange animal is a four legged predator that seems to be somewhere between a feline and a lizard on the evolutionary scale. It has the body mass and shape of a large cat and moves very much like a feline. It even purrs when content. However, the creature is covered in reptilian scales. The shimmer cat is about a meter tall at the shoulder and weighs about 45 kilograms (100 pounds). It has a scaled tail and large, swept back ears. Its face is vaguely feline as well, but with a hint of something reptilian.
A female shimmer cat on the hunt.
The scales of the shimmer cat are an evolutionary masterpiece. Each scale is a raised and faceted piece of chitinous shell. They do provide armor protection like regular scales, but these do so much more. They protect the cat by acting like a perfect form of chameleon camouflage. Each scale can alter its color, reproducing almost any hue in the spectrum. These scales are linked to each other through the animals nervous system. Each scale acts as an "eye" and perceives light and color around it and communicates that information to all other scales in the network. In this way, the scales can mimic the colors of whatever is directly behind the cat (as viewed by an observer from any angle). In this way, the shimmer cat can camouflage itself with a near perfect chameleon ability. When "cloaked" in this manner, the shimmer cat is extremely difficult to see. When it moves, a cat shaped shimmer is noticeable.
Since this chameleon phenomenon is carried on in the nervous system of the animal, it is not dependent on the eyes. Blinding a shimmer cat will not affect its chameleon ability. However, sudden shocks to the animals system (being stunned, a lightning bolt, etc) may temporarily negate the shimmer cats camouflage.
The camouflage of this animal is constant and the animal is "cloaked" even when it is sleeping. Usually, the only time you can actually see a shimmer cat with its camouflage turned "off" is when the creature is dead. In these cases, the scales appear light grey.
The shimmer cat is a solitary predator which does not fear man and has been known to attack and kill humanoid sized creatures. It has the speed, reflexes and agility of a cat.
Shimmer cats are usually found in dense forests and jungles, taking advantage of the thick foliage to maximize their chameleon ability. They range from the temperate to tropical.
Scholars have no idea how to classify this creature. It is a warm blooded relative of the feline, yet is completely covered in scales. It lays eggs instead of giving birth, yet produces milk for the young. It is a walking contradiction. Scholars also disagree as to whether or not the animal is the result of aberrant evolution or the pet project of a long-dead wizard. For the most part, these arguments are academic.
A male shimmercat can be identified by the heavy build and shorter ears.
This website was last updated January 6, 2018. Copyright 1990-2018 David M. Roomes.