by Max Barry

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Neko Ethnography- What's New Pussycat?

Our Place in the World
The "neko", name attained after figures of Japanese pop-culture, is the popular term for Homo sapiens felis: human suspecies known for having cat-like ears on their heads and "tails".

Fig. 1.1 Neko servant girl.
Made by Akai Sashimi.

The European explorers anticipated the neko in part, being inspired by Isidore of Seville and Pliny the Elder's tales of Dog-Men in Asia (Colombus and many others originally thought they disembarked in Asia). In any case, the Catholic missionaries' debate of their "humanity" or "monstrosity" put the neko in great risk of being exterminated as a sector of religious authorities thought the Neko to be Satanic in origin. Ultimately though, the more benign group prevailed justifying that if the ancients knew of them then they were a part of post-Flood creation still worthy of Salvation and humane treatment; 20% of the original neko population died off due to introduced diseases.

However by 1571 the Spaniards were ready to disembark in the American mainland, grand old civilizations like the Inca of Perú and the Aztecs and Maya of México would meet their fate. And the former "Cat Empire" would serve as an invaluable base of operations for the colonial ambitions of Spain, and also as logistical support and even as an auxiliary military force. A glimpse of what was to come of the roles of the Cat isles' inhabitants in the almost 400 years of colonial rule under the Spanish Empire.

From the start the neko exerted a great deal of attention from scholars and naturalists and even kings; as many were shipped to the courts of Spain and the Holy Roman Empire just to entertain and serve nobility, initially at the behest of the Holy Roman Emperor Karl I/V: establishing their reputation in Europe as servants akin to blackamoors. Their condition as luxury servants and exotic concubines in Europe -and especially in Spain, Austria the Catholic regions of Germany- continued until well into the 19th Century.

The neko had a profound effect on the national sex ratio over time though, something which resulted in it being titled in favor of a female majority even among seemingly human populaces in Las Palmeras: something which resulted in the applied labor power of females even in traditionally male roles such as factory work and military service.

A Mysterious Origin
How could two population groups practically identical to each-other be separated so far away? Who came first? The nekomimi in Japan or those in the Atlantic isle of Las Palmeras? Hypotheses that revolved around Trans-Pacific journeys assumed this feat was too large to originate in Japan as originally proposed; and even if island hopping could've been achievable it wouldn't have resolved why the neko didn't simply settle in South or Central America when reaching land and instead took to the sea again as would be claimed. Furthermore, coastal migration -though relatively easier- would have limited the supposed populations to the Pacific shores of the Americas unless they. Though a pole-crossing journey would have been relatively shorter, it also would have been far more perilous for a pre-industrial peoples- and these hunter-gatherers would've had to go to the sea anyways.

To make matters more confusing, the nearly matching known dates of the "first" neko in the Las Palmeras and in Japan have been dated at around 15,000 to 12,000 BCE. There are indicators of conflict in Japan between neko and humans since prehistory and throughout its early history, and it's jarring to note that the nekomimi in Japan are a minority group. This leads most archaeologists and anthropologists to infer that while neko were newcomers in Japan who may have had to compete with humans, they settled the Palmeran Isle -then uninhabited.

Ethnolinguistic reconstruction has confirmed that proto-Japonic and Old Empire cat had a common linguistic ancestor or were possibly part of the same linguistic family before. A hypothetical "First Common Culture" has been raised by some investigators, regardless of who developed first.

Other more adventurous writers claim that Japanese and Palmeran neko were once one same group that landed in different places; thus claiming their origins are indeed extraterrestrial. However this would also imply that neko and humans would be very closely related to another third group. Or that said hypothetical group influenced in the evolution of both ancient humans and neko.

The Isle before the Spanish

"Nekomimi" society in the Palmeran islands experienced vast cultural change in the almost 400 years of colonial rule, though trustworthy registries of pre-Colombian neko history exists about 516 years before 1492 and more sketchy archaeological evidence dates as back to 2000 years.

Fig. 1.4 The sole surviving major site in Home Island

The Neko in Las Palmeras were hampered by a lack of large resources and also modest to subpar soil in the arid island made sure the population was slow in it's rise. Their society transformed and in full complexity by the 3th Century. They developed a civilization, which was only possible through rudimentary terraforming in the form of slash-and-burn agriculture though intensive agriculture wasn't developed until the 11th Century. They also made circular pyramids out of rocks, and continued on with a functionalist nature worship which developed into a form of organized Imperial Cult where an imperial ruler -a priestess empress- was the living embodiment of divinity.

Achievements in this time include the use of 0 in mathematical base-10 calculations -which were used for a particular interest with recording the Martian orbit. The neko also used copper, nickel, and by the 5th Century began manipulating iron.

However the over-exploitation of the soil and deforestation needed to make way for farmland, mining, and for providing fires took it's toll; famine and social unrest led to a systemic collapse by the 9th century and a once splendorous civilization reverted to self-sustained farming and fragmented governance that was a shadow of it's former self. I It's been noted that hieroglyphs in many sites appear to be defaced, indicating intentional vandalism since then and some researchers suspect the malcontent peasants did it. In any case, by the time of the Spanish arrival, the neko ruins had been ruins for more than 800 years.

Ironically, the Warring Period (9th Century to 1439 AD) that followed also ushered in centuries of gradual niche technological advancement in the form of military technology. The Arts and High Culture were subservient to a growing militarism and overshadowed in historical annals. The development of gunpowder and refined tar for explosives and propellants and trench warfare are well known, as is the development of "modern" armor. By the time the island was once again unified under the Imperial Head and Capitol City, the Empire wasn't even a shadow of it's former self. In this weakend form, the small and professional army managed to win a Pyrrhic victory against Portugal but ultimately surrendered to Spain.

The only city of the "neko empire" that remained diplomatically surrendered to the Crown of Castille/Spain more than 70 years after Colombus' first landing; however for whatever reason -be it realpolitik, genuine negotiation after a costly war, or a condescending attitude towards the female majority neko- the local political apparatus was absorbed into Spain's in a relatively peaceful manner despite the culture shock of late Medieval Christianity's misogyny and mass social changes because of mass intermarriage....and the rest is history!

General list of Ethnic Features:

    Other defining features are:
  • X-Marked haplogroup which didn't originate from the Old World.

  • Broad ethnic similarity to Asian/Siberian/Native groups despite not being within that group; though other researchers call them proto-Caucasian.

  • Extremely small set of genes belonging to some unidentified mammal. Some researchers suggest genetic tampering was at work seeing as how evolutionary adaptation models find no connection; this implies some far more advanced group may have genetically engineered the neko in a remote past.

  • Rod-rich eyes, more so than humans. Rudimentary night vision.

  • Tails are an extra appendage which seems to also act as organic "walking sticks" or motion-sensors, also capable of sensing pressure differences in air.

  • Unequal sex-ratio. 1:6 in favor of females; unusually small Y-Chromosome in pure neko. Some authors speculate if the Y-Chromosome was shrinking in size prior to contact with Homo sapiens sapiens.

  • Mixing with humans in both what's now Las Palmeras and Japan have left dominant and recessive phenotypes among even human populations, so it's not uncommon for two seemingly human people to have neko children. Over 70% of the Palmeran population is part-neko, and well over half looks like it physically.

  • Though the population of "pure neko" is currently reduced, areas with significant numbers of neko include Japan (550,000), Las Palmeras (4,670,000), Spain (852,600), Germany and Austria (146,476) *see the explanation in History