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On the surface, ainmihi are similar to anime cat girls- their ears are very feline and have feline tails. They also have claws in place of nails on both their hands and feet. They also have cat-like eyes. Their feet are plantigrade- they walk with their feet solidly planted on the ground, just like humans. Other than that, they seem extremely similar. Biologists theorize that their similarity is the consequence of convergent evolution. This is somewhat supported by the fact that Tarsus is very similiar to Earth, with only a few different presence of gases in their atmosphere.
Beyond the surface, the ainmihi are more similar to humans. Musculoskeletal structure is almost the same, save for a much larger amount of muscular fibers and myofibrils in ainmihi. Beyond that, organs seem to be in a very similar structure to humans. However, there are a few differences. Ainmihi have two hearts whose cardiac cycle is tuned to have one heart in systole while the other is in diastole. This means that their blood is constantly flowing at a high pressure and rate. As is expected, ainmihi then have a higher stroke volume and cardiac output than humans. Their cells seem to regenerate at a higer pace than any other species can. They have large amounts of the protein myoglobin in their muscles, meaning that on average an ainmihi can hold his or her breath for eight hours. This does not mean that they can survive the rigors of a vacuum. It also does not mean that an ainmihi can survive cardiac arrest for long. Beyond the circulatory system, there are a few more differences. They appear to have a redundant nervous system. Their eyes have a large amount of rod receptors, which allows them to see in the dark. Their skin has a high percentage of keratin, which makes radiation much less damaging on them.
The ainmihi have two genders, female and male. They reproduce sexually with the xy-system. They are quite mammalian, so females have a menstrual cycle.
Generally, ainmihi live very long lives. The oldest ainmihi alive is celebrating her 723rd birthday.
The majority of ainmihi societies are matriarchal. Because of that, they have flipped gender roles- women are traditionally seen as the breadwinners and men as the homemakers. Generally, they see patriarchal societies as decadent. Women are more commonly seen around the galaxy due to the belief that men must stay at home and look after their children. This has led to the misconception that the ainmihi are monogendered.
Schooling in ainmihi society begins at the tentative age of six years old. Progression is very similar to human schools. In addition to learning normal subjects, the ainmihi learn how to fight, how to ride creatures and take part in team sports.
Beyond that, they have very intricate rituals. At the age of 13, an ainmihi receives her or his first ain'la- a tatto on their face that represents a quality or accomplishment. There are no bad ain'las. They may also spread out onto the body and tail, if there is no room on the face. The ain'la is very stylized and beautiful- not gaudy like some tattoos. Because of this, many non-ainmihi have wanted to get tattoos similar to ain'las. But many ainmihi do not allow that. Ain'las are regularly gained through accompishments- either in business or military promotions or creation of awarded artworks, for example. At the age of 20, the ainmihi receives a crafted ain'si, a blade similar to japanese wakizashis. The blade is a representative of their family line and is generally considered only for ornamental purposes- going into battle with an ain'si is considered offensive and crass.
Ainmihi are considered adults around the age of 22. This passage into adulthood is marked by a rite of passage called ain. This often involves the ainmihi in question traveling to an oracle and receiving a goal to do. In ancient times, it involved traveling across the galaxy to slay beasts. In recent times, the ain has been limited to small hunts on the world the ainmihi grew up on, much to the chagrin of the conservative ainmihi. After this, the ainmihi has three choices: go to a university, go into the military or learn a vocation. Men have these options, but are usually expected to marry quickly and have children. It is considered unusual for the opposite to happen.
Generally, the ainmihi wear rather loose or revealing clothing. This is seen as a sign of confidence and sexual readiness. Older ainmihi and children often are dressed conservatively. Their outfits are adorned with jewelry.
Children are seen as an integral part of ainmihi society. This is marked by names such as Sul'niri, which means "there is no blessing greater than a child". Because of this, the ainmihi generally do not accept homosexuality. Still, homosexual ainmihi do exist and some are quite open about it. As time has gone on, ainmihi society has become friendlier to the idea.
Conversation is a huge part of their culture. In fact, it is often considered polite to talk to an ainmihi about life and other subjects long before getting to the main point of the conversation.
A large part of the ainmihi language are the use of kennings, metaphors, similes, metaphysical paradoxes and comparisons. In fact, to even be considered proficient, let alone fluent, is to be able to create the above devices at will. Because of this, the ainmihi language took the longest to be translated and in translator augmentations, the device must be specially optimized to translate the simplest of dialects and constantly updated.
The ainmihi have a polytheistic religion. They believe that the world was created by a single all-powerful goddess named Tel. Where the polytheistic part comes in is that it is considered impossible to pray for intercession directly to Tel. Rather, the ainmihi must supplicate to one of 12 ara- aspects that represent a different part of Tel. They have a concept of heaven and hell- leading a good life will get rewards and leading a bad life will get punishments.
How Species View the Ainmihi
The ainmihi are seen as powerful warriors due to their strong army. Because of this, they are also feared as conquerers and barbarians. They are powerful enough to make the Galactic Government acede to certain requests. Ainmihi are also seen as eerily beautiful and promiscuous. They are not on the best of terms with humans because of the First Contact War. Common slurs against ainmihi are "cat girl", "you can has cheeseburger", and others.
How the Ainmihi View Aliens
The ainmihi, however, a quite receptive to aliens. Except humans, whom they view as savages.