There weren't always cats in the Darkhive, but in the past two centuries of their recorded existence they seem to have become a natural fit to the realm.
Unlike many things in the Darkhive, the origin of the cats can be easily pinpointed. An obscure feline race crashed into the outer shell of the hive with their damaged generational ship. Vast numbers of the ship's inhabitants died in the crash, with perhaps a few hundred managing to get into the relative security of the hive. These survivors brought with them an assortment of plants and animals native to their world, hoping to establish a colony or survivors. The colony survived the first few years in general isolation, and even started to make a few trade contacts with some neighbouring settlements. But the survivors didn't understand that the Hiveguard were simply advancing on their territory to clean up the devastation caused by their damaged ship crashing into the hive. They fought off advancing waves of Hiveguard, each one more powerful than the last, until the Hiveguard won a decade long war of attrition. The feline race were decimated, and their remnants scattered through the hive. Interbreeding with other races before they completely vanished, the feline race sometimes manifests in children with throwback traits, and some of these throwbacks seek one another out with the intention of bringing back a more pure strain of their original people, but for the most part they have been lost to the mists of time. The race's cats have long since multiplied, often traded as kittens to nearby settlements, within a year of two having new litters of kittens to be further traded across the hive. The cats have proven far more adaptable to the hive, so have a few of the plants rescued from the generational ship which are even now used in herbal concotions.
Cats have become a useful tool for keeping the rats and rodents of the hive in check, but like cats everywhere they typically keep to themselves (unless wanting to be fed). Among some settlements, cats are seen as a useful ally, among others they are seen as yet another pest, and in those settlements near the original site of the crashed feline ship, they serve as a reminder of events now in the past.
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