Caitians were bipedal, ranging from two to three meters in height, and feature a thick orange mane, a tail, and large golden eyes which gave them excellent night vision. Their fur ranged in color from tan to reddish-tan. They also had excellent hearing with a frequency range beyond that of most humanoids which made them ideal candidates for communications officers. Caitian voices often resembled the purring of Terran cats.
Caitains had a reputation for being one of the most cooperative and intelligent members of the Federation.
Caitian names did not follow a gender pattern, so no name was distinctively male or female.
Caitian culture emphasized a love of beauty and a focus on personal loyalty. Loyalty, both within the individual and between individuals, was highly prized by all Caitians. The interlocking individual and clan relationships that existing in their society were the main cause of this focus on loyalty. Most Caitians prefered a vegetarian diet and were not carnivorous.
The Caitians were believed to be the descendants of an ancient Kzinti colony.
They made first contact with the Orions and the Ferengi, and met Federation ships for the first time in 2249. Within a few years, such good relations existed between the cultures that they entered the United Federation of Planets.
Four other planets in the Federation had Caitian populations: Havelind, Hochlor IV, Macadarna, and Narval (Whether they were colonized by the Caitians before joining the Federation or after is unknown. Regardless, all four were either full-status members or associate-status members of the Federation). Also, Caitians composed 35% of Riviera's population (with the remainder being: Human 30% and Other 35%) and 15% of Commissariate's population (with the remainder being: Andorian 35%, Vulcan 20%, Human 15%, and Other 15%).
By 2363, Caitains had also settled on the planet Kirisha, near the Alpha Persei Cluster. This planet was near the outer borders of the Regnancy of the Carnelian Throne. A brief war broke out over the Caitains' reluctance to become "slaves" of the Carnelian Throne. When the unusual Carnelian use of the word "slave" was understood, the Caitain colonists agreed to become Cohorts of the Throne.
In 2370 a party of Caitains visited Deep Space 9 to witness the Illumination of The Prodigal.
Caitian Physiology and Psychology
Caitians are upright, bipedal beings with manipulative hands believed to be descended from an ancient colony of the Kzinti. Their feline ancestry shows strongly in their facial structure, the fur covering their bodies, their tails, and their voices which are reminiscent of the purring of Terrain felines.
Often standing two or three meters in height, slightly larger than the average humanoid, Caitians are much more agile and dexterous than their size would suggest. Their fur often is colored tan, orange or brown, but albino and even black are not unknown. Their eyes vary between golden, green or blue and have silted pupils. Having evolved on a hospitable world, their size does not include the hardiness it would suggest and they are susceptible to many diseases when traveling to other planets. Fortunately, Caitian medicine is advanced enough to cope with many of the more deadly viruses encountered and most travelers rarely suffer more than discomfort or minor illnesses during travels abroad.
Caitians are primarily noted for their loyalty. Their society is centered around a large clan dynamic, and clan members are related by a set of connections that are basic knowledge for a Caitian, but are a hopelessly incomprehensible tangle for most other races. To a Caitian, clans are an extension of self and they depend on their members as much as their members depend on their right arms. While clan members treat members of other clans, and other races, as important beings with equal claim to their world and its resources, they do not rely on them as much as they do on their own clan.
Unlike many other clan-oriented cultures, Caitian clans do not specialize in separate areas. They encourage wide diversity within the clan so that whenever a clan member needs a service or item, someone in the clan can help him or her. Different fields and businesses contain members of as many different clans as possible so that no one clan has control of the field.
Some clans participate in monastic, contemplative approaches to life, preferring the detailed appreciation of one flower to the overwhelming profusion of an entire jungle. Most Caitians, however, express their love of life and beauty by surrounding themselves with abundance. A comfortable, beautiful home is the desire of every Caitian. Home is the center of Caitian life, and a sign of acceptance by a Caitian is being invited in his or her house. Despite the large numbers of tourists who visit Ferasa, few have seen the inside of a Caitian home. Caitians are very territorial and they react aggressively against any threats they perceive to their homes. Their cities are notably clean and well kept, as the fastidious Caitians cannot abide a damaged environment.
Caitians practice monogamous, lifelong marriages. A couple usually has two or three brre'l, or litters, of up to four children. Children of the same brre'l, known as brrel'mar, are exceptionally close to one another and are usually separated by the clan in schooling and activities to prevent them from developing a disproportionate dependence on each other. Each clan member shares in the responsibility of raising the children of the clan.
Caitians do not differentiate between sexes in activities or social standing and strive to be egalitarian in every respect. They provide the elderly with special treatment, but do not consider this any more than a tribute to the wisdom and experience of their elders. As the traditional Caitian saying goes, 'Old age is a power all may achieve.'
Although Caitians are slow to anger, they are fierce when enraged and they have been known to hold grudges for generations. They do not like being angry because it is not a serene state of being and the idea of war is unspeakably ugly to them. While they shun physical violence, however, they are capable of devious psychological games.
Due to the ease of living on the planet Ferasa, Caitians have been able to set aside concerns about survival and have concentrated on the arts, sciences, discovery, and exploration instead. They are credited with making first contact with both the Orion and Ferengi prior to their discovery by the United Federation of Planets. They are also believed to have achieved minor warp speeds prior to Earth’s first space launch. As Caitians are so interested in nature, discovery, and exploration, their scientific interest has long emphasized planetary, technological, and medical sciences. Caitians are also intrigued by the variety of life forms in the universe and wish to study them all. Although their race has little psionic potential, they are particularly interested in the practice of psionics as they never dreamed such a thing was possible.
Caitian society is based on personal freedom. The freedom of one individual cannot be compromised, within civilized boundaries. Caitian cities are built with huge, graceful structures which are often open to the sky. They are also known for their safety and tranquility. Businesses open late in the day, often after noon, and operate until very late at night. One noticeable difference from other hominid species is the typical workday. Most Caitians work only six hours of the day, spending the rest dormant. Of their dormant times, they are often asleep for well over ten hours a day.
Place in the Federation
Caitian civilians often serve the Federation as scientists or researchers as they have little patience working in bureaucracy. Many Caitians travel the galaxy as independent scholars and a good number also travel as merchants and traders. More often than not, those who do seek such a transient life aboard their vessels bring along as many of their clan members who wish to come along to both ward off homesickness and to have all the necessary talents and skills that may be needed out in space.
While few Caitians can be found in Starfleet, even fewer can be found in Starfleet Marines or in the security branch as the direct and violent activity of these positions is often too much for Caitians to stomach. Starship combat, however, is sufficiently abstract enough for them to handle and some enjoy the sight of beams and torpedoes cutting through the darkness of space. While the shot itself may be beautiful, these Caitians force themselves to ignore the 'disturbing' effects of a successful shot.