Wed 17 Aug 2011
Rachel Vincent’s shifters series follows Faythe Sanders… one of only a handful of female werecats in existence. This of course begs the question, what exactly IS a werecat? Well, read on and I will fill you in on the basics of werecats and the society they live in.
(Please note: I am doing this from memory, it has been a few months at least since I last read a Shifters book and over a year since reading the bulk of the series so it is entirely possible I am mis-remembering. If you notice a mistake, please feel free to comment and I will happily make a change to the article. Just keep in mind I am discussing Rachel Vincent’s take on werecats, and not the “species” in general)
What is a werecat?
A werecat, to put it simply, is a person who is sometimes a human and sometimes a cat, specifically a large, black cat commonly mistaken for a panther. After puberty a werecat has the ability to exist in either form. It has recently come to light that it may be possible to partially shift forms. Werecats are territorial, living within prides, each of which is (usually) headed up by a male Alpha. Werecat society is predominantly male. Werecats usually live seperatley from average human society in order to keep their existence a secret.
Why are there so many more male werecats than female?
Werecats can only produce werecat offspring with another of their own species and even then there are usually four or five males produced for every female. Also, while it is possible for a werecat to infect and convert a human there are no known cases of converted females. So far science does not have an explanation for the phenomenon but more and more information has gradually been coming to light.
How does werecat society work?
Werecats live in Prides within very specific territory line. Each pride is lead by an Alpha. Leadership of a pride is passed on to the husband/mate of the alphas only daughter so because of this, their breeding potential and their rarity female werecats are considered highly desirable. The Alphas sons usually work for their father, mostly as enforcers (the muscle behind the leadership) within the Prides territory. Other Pride males may also work as enforcers. Larger issues are handled by the territorial council which is made up of all of the Alphas within The United States.
Are there any threats to the werecat way of life?
Many werecats view the biggest threat to their society as humans and therefore value their species privacy above all else. It is an extreme offense to tell a human about the existance of werecats and not even human spouses are exempt from this rule.
There are also threats from werecats beyond American borders as not all cats choose to live by the same laws. The werecat species originated in the jungle and that is where some werecats still live. Jungle cats can be savage, dangerous and beyond reason.
And sometimes the biggest threats of all can come from those you should have been able to trust.
(dun, dun, dun)
Want to know more? You can read all about werecats in Rachel Vincent’s Shifters books.
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