Bastet (Homo Felinis) are an wholly distinct species from Homo sapiens. The term is commonly used to describe both inhabitants of the Bastet Tribal Protectorate of Sudan as well as any Bastet anywhere else in the world. The Bastet are all assumed to descend from a group of Bastet created, according to legend, from the magical workings of the alchemists of Necho I.
The origin of the Bastet are obscured by history, myth, and pervasive misunderstanding about the Time of Magic. The general consensus is that the Bastet were created, rather than evolved, by the Egyptian alchemist Necho I, who in 116 BCE under the orders of Pharaoh Ptolemy VII attempted to fuse human and feline characteristics in order to create a race of "super warriors." Necho I is said to have created 20 Bastet, both male and female in order to perpetuate his creation, but the suitability of the males as warriors was significantly less than that of Ptolemy's human warriors. The Bastet were consigned to being playthings of the Pharaoh's palace.
Not much is known of the Bastet between 116 BCE until the 47 BCE, when the Bastet are mentioned by Julius Caesar during his military campaign against King Pharnaces II. Caesar describes them as "pretty, but useless for all things Roman," and says that the population of Bastet in Southern Egypt had grown significantly in the previous fifty years.
Roman trade with Egypt resulted in several Bastet being transported to Rome, where the Bastet's reproductive incompatibility and immunity against human sexually transmitted diseases made them extremely popular with patrician Romans. When Caesar Augustus declared a crackdown on sexual immorality in Rome, owning a Bastet was struck from the list of offenses.
Archaeological evidence indicates that the Egyptian Bastet population rapidly moved up the Nile, eventually settling into what is now the Great Bast Valley north of Lake Victoria. At its peak, the Great Bast Valley and surrounding territory was home to some 20,000 Bastet. Pressures on the land from Sudanese forces eventually led to an invasion of the Valley by armed rebels. Intervention by the United Nations in the ensuing conflict resulted in a massacre of over 2,000 Bastet. The Valley is now fenced off and under the protection of the UN Sudanese Bastet Protectorate.
Those Bastet who were captured by Roman and European slavers continued to be prize commodities throughout the world, and Bastet were traded between Europe as far as China and India. In the 18th and 19th century, large numbers of Bastet were sold in the United States. The US now has the largest Bastet population of any nation in the world.
Thus there are two populations of Bastet in the world: Valley Bastet, and Diaspora Bastet.
Throughout the late 18th and 19th Century, many nations outlawed the practice of slavery and chattel serfdom. In Europe and the United States, however, Bastet were often bonded with a bond indenture contract to a particular person or estate, with the expectation that the estate was responsible for the Bastet's behavior and well-being. The common reason given was that Bastet were immature, child-like, and incapable of taking care of themselves.
It was not until 1897 that Austria outlawed Bastet bond indenture, with France, Germany, and England following soon thereafter. The United States recognized Bastet bond indenture until 1918.
Despite the outlawing of Bastet bond indenture, many nations continued to treat the Bastet as second-class citizens. Even today, many nations have different statutes regarding marriage and family to cover the the Bastet psychology. Despite attempts by some rights groups to unify these laws, the Bastet themselves often oppose many attempts to unify human and Bastet relationship laws.
Until 1956, Australia and the United Kingdom required all female Bastet of reproductive age who wished to immigrate to have a human representative agree to look after any kits should she die unexpectedly. Despite this restriction, Australia has the second highest Bastet population of any nation in the world.
Male Bastet are traditionally known as "toms," and females as "tabbies," often shortened to "tabs." Bastet under the age of 12 are often referred to as "kits." Only infants are referred to as "kittens."
The term "yowler" for a Bastet is regarded as offensive.
Generally, Bastet are similar in appearance to youthful humans, with the exception that they have feline ears high on their scalps and a long, distinct tail descending from the base of the spine. Bastet are typically shorter than their human counterparts, with an average height between 1.4 and 1.7 m (4 foot, 8 inches to 5 foot, 5 inches).
The original stock of humans provided to Necho were pale-skinned Mediterranean slaves from the Western provinces of Greece, and that appearance persists in the Bastet to this day. Skin color in Bastet ranges from extremely pale to an olive-brown.
The ears of a Bastet are physically similar to those of a large cat, most closely resembling those of the lynx or ounce. Despite their large appearance, Bastet hearing is on average less perceptive than that of human beings.
The eyes of a Bastet are human in appearance, but at night manifest the familiar eye-shine phenomenon of cats.
The hair of a Bastet is more fine than that of human beings, closely resembling a hybrid between human hair and cat fur.
Contrary to some popular belief, the penis of the average male Bastet does not have a barb and is physically indistinguishable from that of the average male human.
Bastet are not sufficiently biological similar to human beings to carry the vast range of human diseases. Thus far, no cross-species infectious agents are known between humans and Bastet.
Bastet are known to have their own diseases. The two most-knows are a genetic autoimmune known as "The Sneezes," and Bastet childhood leukemia, known as "Bloodfire." It is extremely rare for a Bastet to be vulnerable to either disease after the age of 11 years.
Bastet are subject to lifestyle diseases, however: drug abuse, lung damage due to smoking, and obesity-related disorders have been diagnosed among the Bastet.
The most famous characteristic of Bastet is their persistent youthful beauty throughout most of their lives. Bastet reach physical maturity somewhere between the ages of 13 and 16, and after that their physical appearance, barring trauma or other medical incident, changes virtually not at all until their deaths.
Life expectancy for most Bastet averages 46 years. The most common cause of death among the Bastet is kidney failure, which strikes all Bastet who live past 40 years of age.
Recent medical advances have improved the lifespans of Bastet beyond that, and with modern dialysis some Bastet have lived to reach 70. In the United States, however, the National Dialysis Initiative has not been extended to include Bastet and they must fund the treatment themselves.
The Bastet Kidney Foundation manages to provide funds for some 6,000 Bastet every year, a small fraction of the worldwide Bastet population.
Comparisons among humans in the aggregate indicate several major noticeable characteristic differences between humans and the Bastet. While many of the characteristics can be attributed to the fusion of human and feline, some seem to be unique and cannot be traced to either.
It is important to note that these characteristics are only tendencies, and that characteristics vary widely from individual to individual.
Bastet generally crave physical contact, and have a marked tendency to become clinically depressed without it. Studies conducted at Darwin University in Australia indicate that most Bastet can become withdrawn and depressed within a month of physical isolation, even if a high degree of social contact is maintained.
Male Bastet are generally loners. While they will live and work in concert with other male Bastet, the presence of a female Bastet will often raise aggressive tendencies that make compatibility and cohabitation difficult. Male Bastet typically have significantly less emotional attachment to their offspring.
Female Bastet will often group together, and in the Great Bast Valley it is the females who form the basis of the tribe, and who control the males' access to reproductive opportunities. Female Bastet do experience a heat that other male and female Bastet will notice. Valley Bastet experience heat on a season basis, but among Diaspora Bastet this phenomenon seems to be opportunistic rather than seasonal.
Bastet are generally more compatible with humans than other Bastet. Female Bastet will often live together in groups, but male Bastet tend to be happier associating with humans than with other Bastet. Social interactions between Bastet and humans can be wide-ranging, and are often circumscribed by local custom and ritual, although in modernized nations this interaction is highly flexible.
Despite repeated attempts to demonstrate otherwise, Bastet reach full physical and sexual maturity around 14 years of age. Their need for physical contact, their psychological temperament regarding sexuality, and an apparent physical compatibility with human beings that may exceed their compatibility with other Bastet, has led to serious conflict in many nation-states over the placing of pubescent Bastet and humans in the same schools. In the United States, the Supreme Court ruled in Giu vs. The School Board of Connecticut (1978), that schools had the right and the duty to protect ordinary students from "influence that is unhealthy to developing human children." Most school districts where Bastet reside provide a tutoring program or small, Bastet-only classrooms, and many Bastet tabbies choose to home-school their children.
Bastet sexual expression remains strong throughout their lives, and Bastet sexual orientation is more diverse than that of humans. The Bastet activist known as Atum once bragged that he had had sex with over 2,000 humans in his lifetime.
Sexual expression between Bastet follows a similar pattern as that between Bastet and humans. However, the phenomenon of Bastet heat associated with ovulation can make those brief periods where reproduction is sought seem disturbingly violent and aggressive for human witnesses.
Between humans and Bastet, there is no appreciable difference in outcomes on tests to measure general intelligence. Bastet are generally believed to be as intellectually capable of human beings in a wide variety of tasks.
Bastet are generally at much greater risk for what manifests in humans as attention deficit disorder. Bastet generally fare poorly on long-term educational or intellectual endeavors, and there are few Bastet high in areas of research and development. Nonetheless, Bastet have achieved high honors in art and science, and just like humans should be judged on their individual merit.
Bastet have markedly different reactions to many common pharmacological substances. Opiates barely register on their nervous system, and have a similar effect on them as does the popular pain management drug acetaminophen in humans. For this reason, pharmacies that cater to Bastet have different legal licensing needs in many nations, as these pharmacies can be attractive nuisances to humans who would use Bastet to acquire and abuse opiates.
Bastet are as sensitive to alcohol as human beings, although alcohol abuse is much less common. Bastet enjoy tobacco, as well as catnip. In some parts of the United States, catnip is a controlled substance, but not at the federal level.
Bastet are generally at higher risk than humans in the same age group for anti-social behaviors, depression, disruptive sleep disorders, and narcissism. Bastet are at lower risk for eating disorders and psycho-sexual disorders. Despite widespread popular psychology, Bastet are not at higher risk for narcolepsy than humans.
There are two major divisions within the Bastet, and as a result, two major outgrowths of culture.
Diasporic Bastet generally show a marked resistance to the religious beliefs of their locale. Instead, the Diasporic Bastet have adopted what is widely seen as a neopagan religious belief inspired by Egyptian mythology. Bastet religious centers are often syncretic in their construction, with Egyptian, Buddhist, Christian, and Shinto elements tossed together. Diasporic Bastet have no set collection of edicts and no holy text, and many Bastet religious centers and temples are idiosyncratic in their holidays and rituals.
Valley Bastet, in contrast, practice a form of animism, along with ritual worship of a large monolith of stone called The Catstone. Valley Bastet believe that the Catstone was material to their creation.
Diasporic Bastet are a mostly urbanized demographic. Despite the general asocial nature of male Bastet with one another, Bastet have formed communities in most major cities with populations greater than 500,000. Bastet often face economic hardship, as the general perception of them as being lazy and inattentive often prejudices human employers. Despite economic distress, Bastet communities tend to have less crime than other impoverished neighborhoods.
In the Canada, Mexico, the United States, all South American nations, the European Union, Australia, Greece, and South Africa, Bastet have legal right to vote as equal members of society.
Their current status in much of the Islamic world is that of an animal, following on the works of the 12th century writer Al-Farabi, who declared them "animal by nature, and not of man." There is no mention of the Bastet in the Qur'an. Despite this, modern Islamic scholars point to a Qur'anic story that Allah sent a woman to hell for her cruelty to cats as an indicator that Bastet in the Islamic world should be very well cared-for.
Bastet laws are rare to non-existent in much of the African continent.
Currently, there are six Bastet in high political office throughout the world: one each in the United States House of Representatives, the Canadian Parliament, the German Bundestag, the Parliament of France, and two in the Parliament of the European Union.