CatCAT

FELICIA

History:

Felicia Albrecht was a brilliant, but timid, biologist working for a medical research company when her life was changed forever. The company Felicia worked for was in reality a front for biogenetic research run by a splinter group of the criminal organization H.I.V.E., though she was unaware of this. When they needed test subjects for an experiment the H.I.V.E. scientists grabbed poor Felicia. The scientists were attempting to splice together human and animals to create a new life form, and in Felicia's case they were going to merge her with a stray cat they had found. The experiment apparently succeeded beyond all the scientists' expectations and a new, cat-like, humanoid was present where before there had been Felicia and the stray. Before they could perform any tests on their new subject, however, the H.I.V.E. lab was found by the hero team Justice Inc. and the scientists were taken into custody.

FeliciaThe new being, who began calling herself simply Cat, remained with Justice Inc. and the heroes began investigating what had happened. While she appeared to possess many of Felicia's scientific skills, Cat had no memory of being Felicia. She was superhumanly strong and agile so Justice Inc invited her to join the team full-time. Soon after Cat discovered she could change into a normal cat (apparently identical to the one involved in the experiment) and could also change back into Felicia. For her part, Felicia also had no memory of being Cat, though she also could change into the normal cat or back into Cat. Felicia was in shock, her whole life was turned upside-down. The company she had worked for was gone now that's its connection to H.I.V.E. was revealed so she needed to find work. Felicia initially found work at the Central Park Zoo but Justice Inc often would have need of Cat for missions, and the timid Felicia would reluctantly agree to change form. These unexplained absences resulted in Felicia losing her job at the zoo.

Meanwhile, Justice Inc. were beginning to question exactly what Cat was. At first they thought the reason Cat and Felicia shared no memory was because they were split personalities, but a telepathic examination of Cat by Mindblade could find no trace of Felicia's psyche. An examination of Cat's DNA by Rita Muldoon (a member of Justice Inc.'s allies, the Monster Hunters) revealed that while she had some human characteristics, Cat was in fact just a cat, albeit a highly-evolved form of one. They could offer no explanation as to what happened to Felicia when Cat was present or what happened to Cat when Felicia was "awake". While this was happening Cat began a brief, mostly physical, relationship with Monster Hunter Desmond Farr (aka Tiger-Man). After the relationship with Farr ended, Cat became infatuated with her teammate, Nemesis, who initially ignored the advances but later agreed to a date in order to ensure the fickle Cat's participation in one of Justice Inc.'s missions. Felicia's life, meanwhile, was just getting worse and she was quickly heading for a nervous breakdown.

Things changed during a mission against the ancient Egyptian sorceror Kheth-Amon. While battling the sorceror in a mystic dimension resembling ancient Egypt Cat was given two magical items by the Egyptian cat-goddess Bast: a spear and an amulet. Cat learned that Kheth-Amon had survived over the centuries because he had hidden part of his soul in the body of Cat's teammate Quiksilver while the latter had been traveling through time. In order to defeat Kheth-Amon, Cat would have to use the spear to remove the portion of the sorceror's soul from Quiksilver by literally carving the taint from the speedster's heart (something that could only work because they were in a magical dimension). In the process of destroying the portion of Kheth-Amon's soul embedded in his heart Quiksilver's body was killed. His soul, however, was saved by being transferred into the body of a small, grey kitten by Cat using the amulet Bast had given her. After returning to Earth, Quiksilver's soul was returned to human form by transferring it into a clone of his original body. The kitten was then "adopted" by Cat who named her Streaky and began treating her like her own daughter.

It was at this time that Buck Wargo, leader of the Monster Hunters, devised a means to allow Felicia and Cat to communicate with each other in a virtual reality environment using a mix of Vuldarian technology and limited time-travel. The two found a way to co-exist in the real world by having Cat use the amulet Bast had given her to temporarily transfer her spirit into Streaky, allowing Felicia to stay in the real world for several weeks. During those weeks Felicia accompanied the Monster Hunters on an expedition to Dinosaur Island, a remote island in the South Pacific where dinosaurs still exist. While on the expedition, Felicia and Desmond Farr were separated from the group and Desmond was badly injured by a pack of velociraptors. Felicia was able to save Desmond's life and got the two of them back to the Monster Hunter's camp. The expedition became turning point in Felicia's life. After returning to New York and again having to share her existence with Cat, the timid Felcia was replaced by a more confident, and sometimes aggressive personality. The "new" Felicia accepted a permanent position with the Monster Hunters and began a relationship with Desmond Farr. Felicia also began openly showing her dislike for Justice Inc., whom she held partly responsible for her situation. She would later extend that dislike to most metahumans, heroes and villains alike, and especially to telepaths. One of the few super-heroes Felicia does not despise is Superman, whom she holds in high regard.

Cat and Nemesis' relationship, meanwhile, began showing signs of strain due to a combination of Nemesis' personal and power-related problems, Cat's fickle behavior, and a period of high stress between all the members of Justice Inc. at the time. This was a time of upheaval for the team, when it did not appear as if any of the members would stay together. The stress finally caused Cat to snap at Nemesis and the others and she left the team. To further disassociate herself from Justice Inc. Cat donned a black, ninja-like costume to conceal her identity and began an aggressive campaign against New York City's criminal underworld calling herself Dark Stalker. During this crusade Cat met up with Nightflick, a vampire who had once been a thief but after an encounter with Justice Inc had chosen to reform and now also was attacking members of the underworld. The two joined forces and wreaked considerable damage on organized crime over a period of several weeks. Eventually Mindblade summoned the members of Justice Inc. to help combat the threat of Monarch and Cat returned to the team, bringing Nightflick with her.

A few months later Justice Inc. encountered the wolf-man called Lupin, who had been a member of the Enforcers of Justice. Lupin had come to protect Cat, but failed in his mission and he, Cat, and the rest of Justice Inc. were captured by a group of humanoid tiger soldiers. The captives were taken to an alternate future where humankind had fallen in a mysterious "Great Disaster" and humanoid animals now ruled. The tiger soldiers served the ruler of much of what had been North America, an ape-man named Czar Simian. Before the captives could be delivered though, they were rescued by the intervention of Kamandi, a young boy who was one of the few remaining humans in this future. Lupin instructed Justice Inc. to transport them all across the ocean to the area that had once been Egypt, now the kingdom of Bastia and ruled by a race of humanoid cats.

CatOnce they were safely in Bastia, the team learned the full story of both Cat and Lupin's origins. When Bastia was threatened by Czar Simian's forces the royal family sought a means of protecting themselves should the kingdom fall. The high priestess of Bast (patron goddess of Bastia) devised a magical means of saving the royal family by sending them back through time. The spell was untested so the captain of the royal guard, the man-wolf Gervald, volunteered himself to try it first. The spell was cast and Gervald vanished into the timestream with instructions to use a magical amulet sent with him to return. At first it seemed that the effort had failed, but months later Gervald returned without any memory. The high priestess was able to divine what had gone wrong and set out to correct the spell. The key seemed to be that the spell required the traveler to have a living being in the past to serve as an anchor. Gervald had been anchored by a human and had been bonded with him, wiping both their memoriies and reducing the man-wolf to savagery. The priestess altered the spell so it would seek out one of the animal ancestors of the subject as an anchor. This time it was the crown princess of Bastia who volunteered to test the spell.

The princess was sent back in time to the present, her anchor was to be a stray cat who the priestess' divination revealed was in danger, but again something went wrong. This time the anchor had been in danger because it was being used in an experiment by criminal scientists and the princess arrived in the past as the experiment was underway. The princess bonded with the stray cat but also with the other subject of the experiment, Dr. Felicia Albrecht. Rather than a merging as the first spell had done with Gervald and his anchor, the new spell should have allowed the subject and the anchor to share their existence but the presence of Felicia caused the spell to go awry and both she and the princess were bonded to the anchor. As a result both Felicia and Cat share their existence with the stray cat but not with each other.

Though reunited with her family, Cat had no memory of them as a result of the spell. While still in the future, Cat had a vision where she was visited by the goddess Bast who claimed to be her true mother. This claim seemed to be borne out by Cat's sudden surge in power afterward, allegedly due to her divine heritage being awakened. After Justice Inc. helped defend Bastia against the Tiger armies the team, Cat included, returned to the present. Even with all the information they had gained about Cat's origin, where she and Felicia went when the other was present remained a mystery, but not for long. During the Revelations crisis Cat and the rest of Justice Inc. had vanished into another dimension. As the crisis continued on Earth, the Guardians discovered Felicia in the mystic realm of Dreams. With Cat no longer in the Earth dimension Felicia was able to leave the Dreaming and help during Revelations. Cat and Justice Inc. eventually returned to Earth and she and Felicia resumed their shared existence. The end of Revelations also saw Nemesis leaving to help his people, leaving Cat behind broken-hearted.

A short time later most of Justice Inc., including Cat and Streaky, were exiled into deep space by Vandal Savage. During the long journey back to Earth, Cat fell into a deep depression and deliberately switched places with Felicia, who was not the least bit pleased to find herself thousands of light-years from home and in the company of Justice Inc. Things became much worse for her when the team encountered a group of space pirates and Felicia was killed. Nightflick saved her life, after a fashion, by turning Felicia into a vampire like himself. The two conspired to keep Felicia's new status a secret from the rest of the team, including using their hypnosis powers. Both Felicia and Nightflick were restored to human later when the sorceror Mordru siphoned their vampiric powers in order to turn his associate Vrykos into a "super-vampire". Justice Inc. were eventually able to defeat Mordru with the assistance of Nemesis and Azure Star who were also pursuing the sorceror, and Paladin, ArcAngel, and the Monster Hunters who had set out from Earth to locate the team.

After such a long absence from Earth and their loved ones, many members of Justice Inc. decided to get married. Felicia and Desmond Farr were the first, they were married in a ceremony in Warriors. The other weddings did not go as smoothly, though. ArcAngel and Paladin's wedding was interrupted by Death Spider and just before Cat was to marry Nemesis he vanished without a trace. Nemesis' disappearance was another blow to Cat. One of the only things helping Cat through the situation was Streaky, who had undergone a sort of metamorphosis while the team was in space and was no longer a normal kitten but appeared to be of the same evolved species as Cat, although she was still a child. Further investigation by Rita Muldoon of the Monster Hunters also revealed that genetically Streaky appeared to be Cat's daughter, though there was no evidence as to who the father was.

StreakyAfter reestablishing themselves as a pre-eminent hero team, Justice Inc. again found themselves in conflict with a new version of H.I.V.E., who seemed to be specifically targeting Cat and Streaky. H.I.V.E. had by now realized that Cat had not been created by their scientists and they wanted to know what had created her. Kidnapping Streaky, H.I.V.E. was able to obtain enough data to reverse engineer the mutagen that originally evolved Cat and Streaky's ancestors (the mutagen would later be revealed to be identical to that used by Dr. Michael Grant for the U.S. government's Project: Moreau during the 1940s). H.I.V.E. used the mutagen to begin creation of a slave army of evolved animals. Discovering this plot, Justice Inc. free the enslaved "humanimals" and at the suggestion of the Monster Hunters relocated them to the hidden valley of the Tiger-Men in the Amazon jungle. Cat chose to remain with the humanimals to help them adjust and because that meant Felicia would also be there, Desmond Farr stayed as well.

Cat's absence from the team did not last long. H.I.V.E. launched an attack on the Tiger-Men valley in retribution for their previous defeat. Justice Inc. intervened along with Paladin and the remaining Monster Hunters and defeated the H.I.V.E. forces, but the damage had already been done, the entire world was now aware of the humanimals existence. To protect them, the U.N. had the entire population relocated to the Pacific Island that was home to the evolved animals that resulted from Project: Moreau. To avoid a political conflict with the existing rulers of the island Cat remained behind and returned to New York along with Streaky. Cat remains a member of Justice Inc. and she and Felicia are still seeking a way to break the spell that forces them to share their existence.

Powers and Abilities:

Cat originally possessed agility and reflexes equivalent to several times that of an Olympic-level gymnast and superhuman resistance and strength, able to lift several tons, run for short periods at over 100 mph, and jump over 30 feet. She also possessed razor-sharp claws, a semi-prehensile tail, superhuman hearing, night-vision, and enhanced smell. Cat also had the ability to communicate with normal cats. After the awakening of her divine heritage Cat's agility and strength increased dramatically granting her reflexes comparable to metahumans with superspeed and the ability to lift weights in the dozens, possibly hundreds of tons (her maximum lift has yet to be accurately measured). Cat's senses were all increased as were the strength of her claws, which could now slice through the hardest steel. Cat's resistance to damage has also increased, it takes a high-yield explosion to hurt her and she is able to heal damage at an accelerated rate. Her ability to communicate with cats has improved to the point where she can mentally summon cats that are in her immediate area. As a result of the bonding spell Cat absorbed many of Felicia Albrecht's skills which gave her a knowledge of English and an understanding of modern culture as well as many of Felicia's medical and scientific skills, though these have atrophied over time because Cat makes little or no use of them. The bonding process also imprinted some of the small cat's instincts on Cat so she has a minor fear of water, an impulsive nature and other cat-like behavior (like playing with her prey).

Felicia Albrecht is an accomplished zoologist, geneticist, and xenobiologist. After joining the Monster Hunters, Felicia began mysteriously exhibiting combat skills. It turned out to be a result of the time Felicia spends in the Dreaming when she and Cat exchange places. Many historical figures exist in the Dreaming because they have achieved legendary status. While in the Dreaming Felicia learned marksmanship from the likes of Buffalo Bill and martial arts from Bruce Lee. When on missions with the Monster Hunters Felicia carries a pair of custom 9mm pistols designed by fellow Monster Hunter Rita Muldoon and she also possesses a Cosmic Converter Belt, a gift from Zodiak as thanks for Felicia's help against OMEGA.

Both Cat and Felicia have the ability to change into the small, white cat that was also part of the H.I.V.E. experiment. Whichever of the two that initiates the change retains control in the cat form. When in the mystic Egypt dimension Cat was given a magical amulet by Bast which was originally responsible for transferring Quiksilver's soul into Streaky but now allows the user to see through Streaky's eyes or exchange personality with Streaky. The amulet is always worn by whomever is present in the "real" world: Cat, Felicia, or the white cat.


Justice Inc