Bernard Doove Chakat. Art by Dustmeat
|Credit and dates|
|Metazoan||Mammalian feline centauroid|
Chakats are a felinoid centauroid species once described as "Everybody's favourite over-perfected cat". They are the creations of Bernard Doove, inspired by some ideas brought forward by other people for their own characters, most notably artists Mike Higgs' Kendarii, Roy Pounds' Garetta, Mary Lynn Skirvin's snow cats and other similar characters.
Chakats are extremely social creatures, needing both physical and emotional contact regularly. Due to their empathic nature, this is frequently more intimate than most. It also means that they try to be friendly with everyone, but when crossed, can be dangerous enemies.
In the Chakona Space universe, chakats were designed as first-landing colonizers and ideal organisms of high intellect and great physical capacity; in space, their extra limbs allow them extra maneuverability, and when their colony ships land, they can act as their own heavy equipment. In addition, being hermaphroditic allows their population to expand quicker than a normal colony.
Chakats have the lower body of any of the big cats, a humanoid torso, and anthro-feline faces. They have prehensile tails, are all functional hermaphrodites, and all have feminine breasts. All four paws of their Taur half have retractable claws and the front paws have elongated toes with the dewclaw modified into a semi-thumb. This does not interfere with walking or running, but it does enable them to grasp objects. Adult heights range from about 5' to 5' 8" (1.5 to 1.7 metres), while their weight is between 350 to 440 lbs (160 to 200 kilograms). Life-span is around 150 years.
Though Chakats were designed to be "ideal organisms", Chakats have four major disadvantages. First, they are large, which means they are unwieldy in cramped areas. Second, they have increased life support requirements, including air, food, and water. Third, they are very sensitive to high temperatures making their inhabitable range more limited. Finally, they can suffer from mild atavism.
Chakats enjoy a very open and active polyamorous lifestyle, with each member of the family supporting each other in the upkeep of the family as a whole, whether it is by providing or helping to raise the cubs.
Chakats have a complex mating system, including (in ascending order):
- Companions - somewhere between best friend and lover
- Denmates - those one formally brings into the family
- Lifemates - those one wants to live with, grow old with, and die with
Additionally, a mateship of the heart denotes an unconsummated mateship, based on emotions entirely without any physical drive behind them.
- "Tail High!" is a chakat version of "goodbye"; it means "Be happy!". This phrase was borrowed from the Lensman universe of Edward E. Smith, PhD. (E. E. "Doc" Smith). It is a the war cry of a felinoid race known as Vegians, who are found in the book titled The Vortex Blaster, later Masters of the Vortex.
- Chakats are main characters in the comic Apollo 9. In this variant universe, chakats naturally evolved in Australia, Earth.