The matadroli /ˈmɑtɑdrəʊli/ is a diminutive stranger characterized by the two pointed, ear-like protrusions on its head. The stranger's exact markings vary between individuals, but coloration tends towards shades of black, white, and grey, with only very slight saturation in certain lights. Half of individuals possess four nub-like, clawless toes on each foot, while the remaining fifty percent lack toes entirely.
The matadroli's skin is soft, warm, and pleasant to the touch,ᵭ and generates static electricity when rubbed tail-to-head. The eye markings reflect light in a manner similar to a nocturnal animal's tapetum lucidum, making them greatly visible in low lightꝔ levels.
ᵭ ...hypothetically, you mean.
Ꝕ Yeah, right...they seem to glow.
It has no mouth, but it meows.Ꝡ
Ꝡ It also purrs. Or makes the sound a cat makes when it wants a bird, but can't get to it.
The matadroli appears in a wide range of outdoor environments, and seems to favor peaceful areas whose varying levels offer a wide vantage point of its surroundings, such as porches, awnings, the stairways in back alleys, or the stone walls around bushy gardens. It is only very rarely found in industrial or wholly interior locales.
Within these spaces, it emerges from the shadows, taking solid form as lightɟ touches its body.
ɟ But there were still stray cats with paws that padded in silence over fields of clovers, and water, cold, from the well outside.
Zenno Harukatzi, A Temporary Afterlife.
The matadroli's demeanor is playful and cheerful. it possesses an inherentҚ and ingratiatingꚊ curiosity towards most things around it. It is curious, if not rambunctiously so, and rummages through trash cans and dumpsters, follows sounds and movements,Ӊ and climbs along the tops of fences, and up trees. It plays with strings or crumpled up pieces of paper, and chases and attacks any cockroach, or small animal that it finds.Ꚇ
Қ I don't trust it.
Ꚋ It's endearing.
Ӊ Like the shadow of a seagull, states inland.
Ꚇ It can't really do much damage, since it's not like it has claws. And it doesn't act like it wants to do anything, either.
Its days are spent aimlessly wandering through its environment, with semi-periodic patrols around the perimeter, and frequent periods of rest that resemble naps. It displays aversion to loud and sudden sounds, changes within its environment, and being splashed with water. It also acts terrified of dogs, hissing and growing defensive before it runs away – or attempts to, as dogs seem compelled to attack and rip apart the strain, regardless of their overall aggression and demeanor.
For the most part, the matadroli is a solitary strain. It lacks any territorial drive, however, and is always friendly towards other matadroli that it encounters. Small groups of matadroli sometimes gather for short periods of time, and in these unstructured congregations, they meow, cuddle, and play amongst themselves before dispersing just as randomly.
The matadroli is gregarious towards cats. It trots over to any it finds, its tail held high, and its meows cheerful. Real cats, however, rarely acknowledge the matadroli's existence with anything more than a wary indifference, and occasionally, outright terror and aggression. Despite this, the matadroli does not display any sadness towards their rejection, and instead purrs with incessant happiness following even brief encounters.
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The matadroli meanders with confidence towards any lone sensitive it sees. Nearly all contact elicit a response of joy
; the stranger rolls onto its back, curls up into a ball, or rubs against the sensitive's legs, a steady stream of purrs and meows emanating outward from its small, round body.
Due to its low stability, however, the matadroli is unable to survive the presence of sensitives, and there is no encounter that does not prove fatal to the stranger.ᴔ
ᴔ If you want to touch it, you only have a few minutes before it fades away, it won't leave anything behind for you.
Despite its attraction towards individuals, the matadroli always avoids directly engaging with groups of sensitives. Instead, it watches from a distance, finding a secluded perch from which to watch with cautious concern.
The matadroli likes human corpses just as much as it likes sensitives, and displays the same happiness upon spotting one. A corpse can, at times,ᶘ act like a magnet around which small groups of matadroli congregate around, unperturbed by the lack of interaction. It curls up on the corpse's chest or at its sides, purring loudly the whole time, and only occasionally batting at the face, or pawing at the hands or feet.Ꝇ
ᶘ How many corpses are just laying around in a city...?
Ꝇ It really goes after shoelaces.
৬ does something have you by the...tongue?
Cat corpses, however, cause enormous distressᵹ to the matadroli. It mewls for hours upon encountering one, and stays by the body's side, offering its companionship until decomposition sets in. When the matadroli does eventually leave the body behind, it does so with its head, ears, and tail hung low, and with several hopeful glances backwards before it appears to give up.
ᵹ It seems really sad...more like, utter anguish.
It returns to its usual cheery self only upon meeting another living cat or matadroli.
Otherwise, only dead beetles or mice draw the matadroli's attention as playthings; all other corpses are ignored, as are body parts in isolation.