John Pisaro ‘Fantastical Zoology’

Catullus

Catullus is a long, snake-like creature with fur everywhere except for its belly. The fur is many shades of white, grey and brown, which provide good camouflage in the snow and amongst the rocks.  It eats mostly small mountain animals, but can survive on leaves and grass when it finds it. It is often found in deep caves in dormant volcanic mountains in the centre of the Himalayas, but can also wander into town. It has two arms and two legs that can fold into large pores in its body. So it can either slither or walk upright.

It has very fine radar and can hear up to 100,000 hertz and down to 10 hertz. It can hear snow melting on the mountains and uses this knowledge to cut pathways through the thawing ice. Although many think that this animal has bad sight due its fine hearing, its sight is very good – it can see as well as a human being. When speaking with other animals of its kind it makes a series of glottal clicks. When angry with other animals it makes a very quiet sound, like the chilly wind through a graveyard. Its laugh sounds almost like the purr of a cat. It has telepathic communication with others of its species. Its powerful mind can send brainwaves through its radar. For example, when the Catullus is starving to it sends an extremely powerful brainwave for a distance up to 15 miles. The species is nice to each other. They somehow discovered that they were in danger of extinction and do their best to help each other out. There are only 500 or so known Catullus left.

A Catullus will bring food to other starving members of its species. When it meets humans or most other animals it is very friendly, unless someone threatens its nest. In those circumstances it will attack with razor sharp claws that come from its hands and feet.

The baby Catullus grows, like humans, inside the mother, but has a gestation period of 12 months. A Catullus can give birth to up to three cubs. The female Catullus during pregnancy has an extra layer of skin on their back forming a pouch, from which the newborns emerge. When all the babies have been born, the pouch reseals.

When first confronting a Catullus do not make any sudden movements or point anything at them. If a Catullus makes a whispering sound, back away very slowly. But if it makes a click or a purr you may be allowed to get closer. The Catullus, by means of its evolutionarily advanced mind understands human languages. Catullus will answer yes or no questions with a purr for yes and a hiss for no.