Tag Archives: dustcats

Written in dust

Dustcats are clearly flavour of the month, so here’s a bit more dustcatty goodness!

Dustcats sleep in the air, often floating in profoundly undignified positions. It makes them attractive to other sorts of cats, who will, if chance arises, lunge after their wafting tails and dangling tongues. On the whole, this causes the dustcats very little trouble.

To protect themselves while sleeping, dustcats exhale small clouds of dust intermittently. It is enough to inconvenience a would-be predator, and the ensuing coughs and sneezes will wake a vulnerable dustcat, usually giving it time to flee upwards. The lingering taste of dust makes it more tempting not to eat a dustcat, but merely to try and play with its tail without suffering too much. Sometimes small children will participate in this sport as well.

Theophrastus Frog is probably the only person, living and not living, to have paid much attention to the dust that emerges from the tongue of a sleeping dustcat. Often it is of no great consequence. Sometimes however, patterns emerge in the cloud of exhaled materials. A person might observe landscapes – familiar and unlikely. There may be faces – horrific or identifiable, or both.

Theophrastus Frog has kept a diary noting the forms the dust takes. Or at least, the forms he perceives, for there may be some element of interpretation involved. It gratifies him to know that on the day before he died, three different dustcats made a dustface that he recognised as his own. He wonders if there is a predictive quality to the images made of dust. He wonders if these might be fragments of dustcat dreams, given form. He wonders most often if it is just that he is entirely mad, and seeing images where no images exist.

In the dust, he has seen shipwrecks and monsters from the deep. He has seen views of the island as though from above, and wonders if dustcats themselves go high enough for such views. His own dustcats seldom leave the snug safety of the library. He does not think they can have witnessed these perspectives first hand. Do they share their dreams with some other being? Or does the island perhaps breathe out through them sometimes as they innocently exhale?

(This piece was originally posted on Patreon some years ago. Making comics is time consuming, and does not pay a living wage, so Patreon support is really helpful for keeping us going. https://www.patreon.com/NimueB )

Where do Dustcats come from?

Dustcats were once ephemeral beings who have, by unknown means, achieved considerable solidity.

Dustcat puppets on the other hand were once ephemeral ideas that are now being reality.

Here is some dustcat fur!

Puppet maker Matt Inkel says that he is waiting for stuffing and thread and then needs to decide what technique he will use.  He said to us “I suspect I will sculpt a head and make a simple plaster mould to be cast in something soft and then attach it to the fur body… I just want to finalise my thoughts on the transition between the two materials and hiding the join and blending the fur”

More as it happens!
(We are now off to rasp our faces for signs of dust)

For the love of Dustcats

Dustcats are one of a number of Hopeless Maine cat species. They are adorable, floating cats who use their long tongues to slurp up dust. In normal circumstances, dust is their main food, but it is important to remember that dust is basically particles of dead skin. A hungry dustcat might not wait for the skin to naturally fall off.

Dustcats have been known to eat people’s faces. Island lore has it that they only eat the faces of the beloved dead, so this is only going to happen to you if you have a dustcat who loves you very much. Probably.

Like all cats, Dustcats are pointy in way they can use to attack and defend. However, they have additional capacities for violence. They can regurgitate dust – a process not unlike throwing up a hairball, only this is a dustball and can be launched from higher up.

In extreme circumstances, dustcats form a wrecking ball – knotting their tails together in the middle and putting all the pointy bits on the outside. It is a formidable thing to encounter.

What would a dustcat look like in motion? What would it look like as a puppet? We want to know. We know we are not alone in this. If you want to know these things, and you can spare a few pounds to help us make dustcats, we’re crowdfunding puppets for the Hopeless Maine film. If you aren’t able to chip in but want to help, please share your love of dustcats and help us find people who can help! We have social media badges and everything. More over here – https://hopelessvendetta.wordpress.com/bringing-hopeless-maine-to-the-screen-one-creature-at-a-time/team-dustcat/

Further Carnage at the Home for Uncanny Cats

By Frampton Jones

There were scenes of carnage last night at the Hopeless Home for Uncanny Cats. After the death of founder Crysta earlier this week, the cats have been uneasy. You’ve probably heard them. However, the yowling last night achieved new levels of volume and unease, drawing many of us out into the streets where we huddled together nervously. It’s never easy to tell whether one should face the horror, or hide under the bedclothes and pray for an easy death.

A bold few of us ventured towards the source of the sound. The cat’s home was covered in cats – far more than I think could have been living there. They covered the roof and surrounding garden, and the dim that they made was almost unbearable. It was clear from some distance that windows had been smashed, and the door broken down. Whoever attacked the establishment felt no need to be subtle about it.

Erekiel Morningstar Vaehne took over running the Home for Uncanny Cats only this week, after the sudden and still unexplained death of Crysta. There can be little doubt that whoever killed her must also have been responsible for this breaking, entering and murdering. Even Doc Willoughby, who is always reticent about blaming anyone for anyone’s death, had to agree that a man with a large, ornate knife sticking out of his chest probably hadn’t died of natural causes. Doc Willoughby concedes that while it could be suicide, it would seem odd to back violently through several items of furniture while trying to end yourself.

What did this violent intruder want? What was in the Home for Uncanny Cats that both Crysta and Erekiel were willing to protect at such costs? Should other cat owners now fear for their lives? Clearly, there is some horrific cat-related plot afoot, and it is one the perpetrator considers it worth killing for, and so dastardly is this plot that there has been no effort to disguise it. Who among us would do such a thing?

Erekiel has been left where he fell, on the understanding that resident dustcats would probably want to eat him. There have been suggestions muttered in the pub about whether the dustcats themselves may have turned psychotic, driven by a hunger for human flesh to start killing the people around them. It is my understanding that dustcats only eat the bodies of those they love, but even this long established truth now seems questionable.

Our second mysterious cat death!

Crysta, founder of the Hopeless Maine Home for Uncanny Cats, was found dead outside her establishment this morning. Her body was surrounded by cats – the apparently regular ones, the half-demon shadow cats, and a selection of dustcats. I arrived at the scene while the cats were still protecting her body. It was an eerie sight, and when they broke into wails of obvious lament, it was an eerie sound, too.

When Doc Willoughby arrived at the scene to assess the body, he was unable to approach it – the cats became hostile. Viewing from a distance, he said “I expect it was her fault, one way or another.”

I suggested that she might have tripped over a cat and endured a fatal blow to the head as a consequence, or that she may have choked to death being caught in a dustcat sneeze, or that perhaps a demon cat had been involved. He agreed with my assessment. That the ground around her seemed curiously singed was not mentioned, but then, burned ground is not a medical condition.

I may be seeing a pattern here where none exists, but I think this is our second cat related death of late – Lady Selina Arkham Kyle died in most peculiar circumstances outside the library, with possible dustcat involvement. Aside from the cat connection, I can think of little that might link the two deaths.

Only when Erekiel Morningstar Vaehne turn up to the scene did the cats let anyone through. Erekiel being a longstanding volunteer at the home, they clearly recognised him. At this point, the damage to the back of the victim’s head became visible. It did not look accidental to me.

The Hopeless Maine Home for Uncanny Cats will continue to do its good work, I am told. Crysta will not be buried – apparently dustcats like to eat the bodies of those they truly love.

Lady Selina Arkham Kyle – death by misadventure?

Lady Selina Arkham Kyle’s death has created a bit of a conundrum. Her body was found in the street outside the library three days ago. Doc Willougby observed the body at the scene and pronounced the cause of death to be sudden migration of the womb, leading to asphyxiation. He assured us that the damage to the back of her head must have been due to the violence with which she fell when her womb went mad and attacked her lungs. “When I see a woman’s body covered in bruises, I know it’s because of her womb,” he told me.

Much as I dislike arguing with the good Doctor in public, I cannot help but think there might be a connection between her death, and a rope dangling from an upstairs library window. As though someone had tried to climb up there, and had fallen, banging their head on the pavement and dashing out their brains. But I’m just a simple journalist and not qualified to comment on medical matters.

Given Lady Selina’s tendency to ‘discover’ unusual artefacts, I had long assumed she must have a penchant for exploring abandoned houses. And what harm does it do? The risk is always to the explorer – often such houses have been abandoned for good reason, and it’s all too easy to come out with a cursed item if you aren’t highly sensitive to these things. But why the library? Granted, no one has been upstairs there for years. To the best of my knowledge, the rooms are empty and there is nothing worth exploring, or removing.

And yet, I am certain I saw a flicker of movement at the open window. Not a human face, something much more feline. The library has always had a sizeable dustcat population, so this seems the most likely explanation, but it only deepens the mystery. Did Lady Selina fall? If she was pushed, it seems hard to imagine that a dustcat would do such a thing. But then, we do not know why she was there in the first place. We do not know if she was exiting or entering the window when she fell. We do not know if she had attempted to remove something from the library – there was nothing on her body, but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

This may prove to be one of those mysteries that remains unanswered. But I have a feeling in my bones that this will turn out not to be the end of the matter.

The Dustcat Wrecking Ball

Dustcats are generally rather cute entities, prone to floating about and slurping up dust. If a single dustcat feels threatened, it may spew dust at you. Unpleasant for most people, fatal for anyone with serious allergies.

On rare occasions when a large number of dustcats all feel put out, threatened, offended or enraged at the same time, they form a wrecking ball. All the soft bits go in the middle, all the pointy bits on the outside. It looks something like this…

Of dustcats, lullabys and singing snails

Hello people! (and others)

We have begun a thing.  We are making and publishing tiny books. Our first one (Lullaby for a Dustcat) took about two months from concept to having it out there among you. This is *Very* exciting for us because it creates a more immediate relationship with the book, as an act of creativity, and with all of you. (Yes, we love our publisher, Sloth, who brings out the graphic novels, but one a year is the limit there) So, Nimue and I will be making more of these. Probably three annually.

They really are tiny books. A6 size, which means that they can be sent instead of greeting cards in the same sort of envelope. They are very young-human friendly too.

This has also been made possible by Nimue’s Patreon people.  One level is that of Dustcat and she writes letters to them. (as though they were actual Dustcats) This poem/lullaby is one of those. Also- one of the illustrations and part of the border motif features the singing snail, which was brought to the island by Meredith Debonnaire who is one of our favourite writers and she is the one who brought singing snails to the Island. (Or as a way of getting to the island…) If you would like one of these tiny (but adorable) books you can do so by going here.

 

We hope (as always) this finds you well, inspired and thriving.