- 1 Chapter Posts
Mon Nov 28th, 2016 @ 3:31am
Name Kai Yanaha Wintersong
Position Doctor (DVM)
|Aliases||Willy-Tree (Kai means Willow Tree in Navajo)|
|*Date of Birth||09/21/1969|
|*Current Address||13 Hoot Owl Lane
Coldwater Junction, MT
|*Employer(s)||Horse & Buggy MedCare
DVM Services (Coldwater Animal Care)
Alibi Saloon (part-time)
Position: Bartender, Performer
|*Professional Specialty||Veterinarian Medicine (Large & Exotic Animals, Avian Specialist)
Native American Studies (history, myths, folklore)
|*Hair Color||Black with deep red glints or highlights. It is very thick and mostly straight with healthy body.|
|*Eye Color||Dark Brown: Eyes are large, wide-spaced and almond shaped. In color, they are a very dark brown, appearing black in some lights, with coppery flecks. Lighting can make them look more like the color of new copper pennies.|
|Marks and Scars||Kai has the usual array of fading scars from childhood accidents. She also has two tattoos; an owl on her upper back and a dream catcher on her left upper arm.|
Kai's manner of dress ranges from colorful, long peasant-type skirts common to Native American cultures of the Southwest to comfortably worn blue jeans and hiking or riding boots. Kai’s work requires that she dresses practically in sturdy jeans or work pants. When not working, Kai likes to dress very feminine in floating skirts and dresses.
She wears her dark hair long, often pulling it back into a clasp at the nape of her neck or into a high ponytail. Her hair grows fast so she often has it cut to shoulder-length or into a page-boy style during the summer.
Kai likes to be clean and, as a general rule, she showers in the mornings and takes a bath before bed. She keeps her hair clean but avoids using any kind of hair products beyond a good organic shampoo. Kai hates the feel of hairspray or other products in her hair. She also avoids scented soaps and deodorants, preferring a clean, natural scent. Kai makes up her own sandalwood and cinnamon perfume oil which she dabs lightly on her wrists and behind her ears. She will also occasionally use a light orange oil or hair and body products with an orange scent.
When not riding the range, Kai likes wearing jewelry and has a beautiful collection of Native American beads and silver and turquoise items.
Her off-duty wear watch is set on a wide silver and turquoise wrist band. Kai also wears an ankle bracelet made up of tiny silver bells that chime softly when she moves. She has a second matching bracelet that she connects together with the first one to wear around her dress boots. Kai’s favorite earrings are a pair of silver, turquoise and diamond chip dreamcatchers that Cade got her for her 16th birthday.
While working, Kai wears a functional waterproof sports watch on a wide leather band.
Personality & Traits
|Personality Traits||Self Confident
- Proud of Heritage
- Even Tempered
- At peace with herself
- Good sense of humor
|*Personality||Kai has a strong personality. She is very intelligent and confident in her knowledge and skills.
She is also very proud of her Native American heritage and of being born to the Diné (Navajo) tribe.
Although she grew up in Montana, her parents often took trips home to Hesperus Peak for family vacations and clan gatherings. Having one of her people’s sacred places in her life was always a source of wonder and delight to her. It brought her sense of connection to the land and the Navajo that she cherishes in her adult life. This influence in her youth imbued her with a deep love and respect for nature and an Earth oriented spirituality. This lends her an air of calm or quietness of spirit that makes her easy to talk to.
Kai projects an inner calm that is very much part of her personality. She finds that taking time to be still is very important. Kai also enjoys having a good laugh and has an exceptional sense of humor.
It was her connection to nature and growing up on a ranch that led Kai to choose a career in veterinary medicine.
|Mannerisms||Kai’s speaking voice, like her singing voice, is a sultry contralto. She does have a slight regional accent, or what some would describe, a country twang. She speaks in a soft lilt as do most of the Navajo. Kai tends to be very still when talking using minimum body language and hand gestures but this is typical of her overall demeanor. She projects an image of calm, what she terms being still.
This does not mean that she speaks in a monotone or that she lacks animation. Her eyes dance with humor and her voice will rise and fall with inflections based on the conversation she is having. Like many Native Americans, she does not use contractions - as a general rule - when speaking.
Kai does not seek to hide her emotions. Her dark eyes can go nearly black, hard and cold or snap with anger. Mostly, however, they sparkle with good humor and laughter lurks in their depths.
People tend to confide in Kai. She is a good listener who genuinely cares for those around her.
|Languages||Fluent in the following:
- Navajo Code Talk
|Dexterity & Mobility||Kai moves with easy grace whether walking the range or on the dance floor at the Alibi. She is a tall woman with long legs and tends to walk with purpose rather than strolling. Kai is naturally ambidextrous but is left-hand dominant so tends to write with her left.|
|*Specialties & Interests||- Accomplished equestrian
- Rodeo eventer (calf roping, stock horse events)
- Rock climbing, free climbing
- Swimming / water sports
- Snow sports (skiing, snowboarding)
- Sail planing
- Music (talented singer, guitar player)
- Chopper pilot (recent)
- Navajo culture, spirituality
- The paranormal (history, myths, legends)
|Self Defense||Kai has not had formal hand-to-hand combat training. She has learned to fight and can hold her own in a scrap but anyone seriously tangling with her will find themselves on the wrong end of a long, skillfully wielded knife blade or a smaller wicked switchblade.|
|Weapons||Kai usually has a rifle with her when out on the range and always carries a boot knife, her switchblade, and a 9” fixed blade.|
|Beliefs||Kai does not have any paranormal abilities but she is highly sensitive to the world around her and, to a small extent, she is sensitive to those with paranormal abilities. She does have a prodigious mental library regarding the paranormal as well as a large amount of eclectic spiritual knowledge.
In general, Kai does believe in the paranormal although she is skeptical when it comes to the claims of alleged psychic mediums. Kai believes it is possible to receive information and signs from those that have died but not that they are going to tag along with someone while holding a conversation.
Kai does believe that a place, person or object can be haunted although not in the way portrayed in most popular television programs and movies. She also does not think the phenomena are as prevalent as people believe. Kai also believes that some places and objects carry powers or convey abilities beyond the normal range.
|Father||Mathias Gaagii Wintersong
Retired ranch manager
Co-Manager of the Alibi Saloon)
Paternal Navajo Clan: Halgai Dine’é (People of the Valley)
|Mother||Harriet Ooljee Wintersong
Retired teacher, trained midwife
Co-manager of the Alibi Saloon
Maternal Navajo Clan: Ats’osi Dine’é (Feather People)
Note: Per Navajo custom both name and clan follow the mother's lineage, hence Kai carries her mother's name. However, her parents chose to Anglicize their surname since they do not reside on the reservation. Out of respect for the customs of the People, they chose the maternal name.
|Other Family||Hastiin Storm (cousin, paternal clan, deceased)
Jonathan Gaagii Ahiga (maternal grandfather, d. 2016, WWII veteran, one of the last of the Code Talkers).
Between the two clans and the various related and adopted clans, Kai has many siblings, cousins, uncles, aunts.
|After World War II, Jonathan Gaagii (Raven) Ahiga (He Fights), a highly decorated soldier and Code Talker, returned to the Navajo Nation and the reservation. But, having seen the world during his time in the service, Jonathan could not settle down. Shortly after marrying a daughter of the Ats’osi Dine’é (Feather People) clan, Jon Raven (as he was generally known) bought a rundown ranch in the Hesperus Peak region of Colorado. The land straddled Stillwater River, a tributary of the La Plata River that had its source high in Snow Storm Peak. Still Water was so named for the many deep, quiet pools that dotted its length, in between rapids and shallow fast flowing sections. Jon Raven and his wife named the ranch Still Water Ranch in honor of the river that would give the land life.
He and his new bride moved into the dilapidated ranch house and set to work renovating it and revitalizing the ranch. The land was perfect for horses, cattle and sheep with a smaller area suitable for subsistence farming allowing Jon Raven and his family to live off the land.
At the time Jonathan Ahiga settled on Still Water Ranch, the town of Hesperus Peak was primarily a wide spot in the road with a post office, a small school, and a Co-Op that served as a general and feed store as well as a place for locals to sell, trade, and barter their goods. Durango, nearly fifty miles away, was the nearest town of any size. Most of Jon and Sahkyo (Mink) Ahiga’s children were born at the ranch with the births attended only by Sahkyo’s visiting mother. Many of the children, most of them boys, were born with Jon Raven’s wanderlust and eventually established homes elsewhere. Two of his sons settled in homes on the ranch and one bought a smaller ranch that bordered Still Water. Their last child was a girl which they named Harriet, after an old friend and Ooljee (Moon). For many days she would not cry or make a sound. When she finally did, it was a gentle and musical sound. Jon and Sahkyo gave her the last name of Winter’s Song.
Hattie returned to the Navajo Nation reservation to attend college at Diné College, majoring in education and history. Upon graduation, she took a position teaching history at a reservation school. During a tribal celebration, she met Mathias Gaagii Storm, an oil rig worker who really wanted to settle down to ranch management somewhere. What first drew her to him was his middle name which was the same as her beloved father’s. The two eventually married and Matt took a job with Dynamo Petroleum which was based near Hesperus Peak. Shortly after their marriage, Ooljee had her last name formally changed from Winter Song to Wintersong. Mathias took her surname becoming known as Mathias “Matt” Wintersong.
When Harriet became pregnant with their first child, Mathias decided it was time for him to find work that did not take him away from home for such long periods of time leading him to answer an ad in a rancher’s journal and ultimately accept the job of managing Coldwater Creek Ranch for the Cade family in Montana.
|September 21, 1969
Kai Yanaha was born shortly after Mathias was hired as Coldwater Creek Ranch’s manager. The actual birth was rather unremarkable. In fact, Hattie pottered around the main ranch house doing light cleaning almost up to the moment that Kai chose to arrive. Her new employer, Sarah MacLeod, was far more upset and excited when Hattie went into labor than she was! Kai made her quiet entry into the world at the Kalispell Medical Center.
January 1, 1970 (a. 3 months)
Sarah MacLeod gave birth to a gorgeous, healthy baby boy during one of the worst blizzards in Montana’s history. Sarah was not due to give birth for another two weeks and the storm stranded the MacLeods at the ranch forcing Isaiah, with the help of the ranch foreman’s wife, Hattie, to deliver his son.
1969 to 1974 (a. 0 - 5)
The first five years of Kai’s life was spent with Cade MacLeod as a near constant companion since her mother worked at the main house managing its small staff, the household and its accounts.
At the age of five, thanks to Isaiah MacLeod, Kai was given the opportunity to start learning music.
August 1, 1977 (a. 7)
Cade’s brother, Joshua Malachi MacLeod, was born. Sadly, Sarah MacLeod did not survive due to unexpected postpartum complications. This was Kai’s first loss of a close personal level and it took her awhile to come to terms with it. Mostly, she hurt for Cade and her parents who were far closer to Sarah.
The main difference that Sarah’s death wrought was that Isaiah became a steadier part of the human landscape as he stepped in to fill the gap that his wife’s death left. Her mother was also kept busy helping care for the children although Isaiah soon hired additional staff to make it easier on Hattie.
Kai also found herself at a loss regarding how to deal with Cade and his anger over his mother’s death. His quick temper and implacable hatred toward the baby alarmed her. She found herself often playing the part of sounding board and being a calming influence on her friend. At no point did Cade ever express anger toward her or make her the brunt of his lightning fast reflexes and temper.
1981 to 1986 (a. 12 - 18)
Cade eventually settled down although his quick temper was still legendary at school and amongst their friends. The hatred of his brother engendered by blaming him for their mother’s death faded. It was replaced by an absolute devotion to Joshua, and a protectiveness that would eventually become a steadfast friendship.
During these years, Kai found herself spending time helping with Joshua. He was a sweet and gentle boy with a fascination for the world around him. It never occurred to Kai or Cade to exclude the younger child from their playtime and adventures. This suited Kai since she had always wanted brothers and sisters. Cade and Joshua filled that gap in her life.
Kai also became the go-to when someone had an animal in distress or found an injured wild animal. Her father, encouraged by her instinctive skill with animals of all kinds, converted one of the smaller, unused sheds for her use. Most of her allowance went toward equipping it with comfortable enclosures for her patients. She also started working part-time for one of the local veterinarians who provided her little clinic with free service.
She also joined Cade’s high school band as the lead female vocalist. Kai also played guitar and fiddle.
May 1987 (a. 17): Flathead County High School, Graduates: 3.0 GPA
Kai’s interest in music remained and she still enjoyed playing guitar and singing, especially with Cade, the No Names, and Isaiah. Her academic interests leaned more toward natural sciences, cultural beliefs, and history. Matt and Hattie encouraged their daughter to follow her heart when it came to her goals as long as she was happy and continued to move forward with her life.
Upon graduating high school, Kai was accepted into the pre-veterinarian medicine program at Montana State University.
1987 to 1995 (a. 17 - 25)
Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
B.S. Animal Science (Equine Option)
Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) WIMU Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine
While Cade’s restless spirit sent him to the enlist in the United States Marine Corps, Kai headed to Bozeman, Montana to pursue a college education. One of the benefits of her parents’ employment at Coldwater Creek Ranch was a college savings plan that was matched by the MacLeod estate. This meant that Kai could pursue her education unfettered by the need to work. Although she did not have to work to pay for her education, she took a part-time job at a Native American cultural museum because not working felt wrong.
Kai stayed in touch with Cade, Lucan, and Joshua even though their lives were moving in different directions. With access to the internet, handwritten letters gave way to email, but this suited Kai as she could quickly send notes to them and receive timely responses. As cell phones became less expensive and more prevalent, another mode of communication opened up.
The only bad memory she took away from her college years was from her first romantic relationship. The young man, a fellow student in the veterinarian medicine program, proved to have a violent streak, intensified by heavy narcotics use. After two years, Kai left the relationship, but he refused to leave her alone until Cade intervened during one of his military leaves.
1995 to 2002 (a. 25 - 33; 7 yrs.): Coldwater Animal Care
After graduating with her degree, Kai returned to Kalispell.
A few months after her return to Coldwater Creek Ranch, Kai received an invitation to have lunch with her old college roommate, a woman of the Blackfeet tribe, Kanti Ghostwolf. Her friend soon revealed that she was looking at starting a veterinarian clinic based near Coldwater Junction. She had the funding to buy a small bank-owned property, but needed a partner and co-signer on the loan. Kanti asked Kai if she was interested in joining the business venture.
Kai had several job offers with other vets, but not in the immediate vicinity. She had been holding out, hoping to find the ideal opportunity in Flathead County. Kanti’s offer was a dream come true. She had specialized in small and exotic animals while Kai had done specialties in large and exotic animals. Their contrasting expertise would give their clinic and edge over others in the surrounding counties.
Kanti was married and lived with her husband on the reservation so Kai began renovations on the cabin on the property. With help from her parents and various MacLeods, she turned it into a comfortable home.
Cade purchased the old Coldwater Saloon in 1999 and began renovations. It officially opened its doors on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1999 with Isaiah MacLeod and the 3-7-77 Band headlining.
2002 to 2014 (a. 33 - 45): Horse & Buggy DVM Services
In 2002, Coldwater Animal Care was invited to join the Horse & Buggy MedCare consortium. Kanti elected not to join herself because she had a daughter to care for and needed steadier hours. Kai, however, signed on. She was one of a minority large and exotic animal experts in the county and having the backup for on-call and emergency work made life easier for her.
Between her veterinarian practice, working at the Alibi and helping at Coldwater Creek Ranch, Kai stayed very busy. She was present for Cade’s first marriage and the stillborn death of his first son. Kai did not know Tessa very well but was still sad for her and Cade’s loss and then later when their marriage ended.
Cade’s subsequent marriage to Cole Thornton in 2006 was a joyous occasion as were the subsequent births of his two children, Joss and Zach respectively. She considers being named as Josslyn’s godmother one of the greatest honors in her life.
In 2014, Kanti’s marriage ended. She and her daughter, Kimi, moved into the spacious cabin with Kai. The arrangement suited both women as it provided a measure of company as well as a way to cut costs.
Kai was delighted to see Joshua move back home in February, even if she was less thrilled about the reason. Still, it was good to have her friend home again.
March 13, 2015 (a. 46)
Kai was devastated to learn of the death of Cade’s wife, Cole. While they had not been best friends, the two women got along well and Kai liked and admired her.
Fall 2016 (a. 47)
Jonathan Gaagii Ahiga, Kai’s maternal grandfather and one of the last of the Navajo Code Talkers, passed away. Kai felt as if an era had ended, but she found that she was able to celebrate his life rather than mourn his passing.
Over the years, Kai has dated casually and even had one or two serious romances but has yet to meet anyone that made her want to settle down permanently. The clinic is very successful, and she still supplements her income with work at the Alibi. She also lends her expertise in the paranormal to Cade’s business, Storm Shelter, when needed. Her parents retired from the strenuous business of running the ranch and now manage the Alibi.
Kai is still close to Cade, Joshua and Isaiah. She also feels that she has a full life and looks forward to the next many years.
Kai has been taking classes geared toward holistic medicine as it applies to animal health and care.
|*Looks Like||Catherine Bell|
|Singing Voice||Ann Murray, Crystal Gayle|
Notes & References
|Friends & Foes||The MacLeods
Kai has known the Cades all of her life and considers them part of her extended family. She views Joshua and Cade as brothers and best friends. In turn, they are as fiercely loyal and protective of her as they would be to a sister related by blood. Isaiah Cade is viewed in an avuncular role and someone she’s always felt safe and comfortable with. He generally treats her little differently than he does his sons, albeit somewhat gentler. Josslyn, Cade's daughter, holds an equal place in Kai’s heart. Kai is her godmother and loves Joss as much as she would love a child of her own. With the loss of her mother, Joss has become even closer to Kai, leaning on her as the surrogate mom in her life.
Kanti Ghostwolf (friend; 1990 - Present, 27 years)
Kanti is a woman of the Blackfeet tribe that Kai roomed with during the last couple of years at college. They became good friends and, later, when Kanti contacted her and asked if she was interested in going into business with her, Kai eagerly agreed. The two women are co-owners of The Hoot Owl Attic and are, once again, roommates since Kanti’s divorce. Kai shares the large flat above the shop with Kanti and her daughter, Kimi.
Others to be determined in game play.
|Character Notes||Kai’s maternal grandfather taught her Navajo Code Talk. They played a game up until his death of exchanging coded letters and email. Cade has even tapped her for this skill when he felt he needed an extra layer of security on Storm Shelter communications.|
|References||The Diné (Navajo)
The Navajo (Navajo: Diné or Naabeehó) of the Southwestern United States are the largest federally recognized tribe of the United States of America with 300,048 enrolled tribal members.The Navajo Nation constitutes an independent governmental body which manages the Navajo Indian reservation in the Four Corners area of the United States. The Navajo language is spoken throughout the region with most Navajo speaking English as well. As of 2011, the states with the largest Navajo populations are Arizona (140,263), and New Mexico (108,306). Over three-quarters of the Navajo population reside in these two states.
The name “Navajo” comes from the late 18th century via the Spanish (Apaches de) Navajó "(Apaches of) Navajó", which was derived from the Tewa navahū "fields adjoining a ravine". The Navajo call themselves Diné, the People.
Traditionally, like other Apacheans, the Navajo were semi-nomadic from the 16th through the 20th centuries. Their extended kinship groups had seasonal dwelling areas to accommodate livestock, agriculture and gathering practices. As part of their traditional economy, Navajo groups may have formed trading or raiding parties, traveling relatively long distances.
Historically, the structure of the Navajo society is largely a matrilineal system, in which women owned livestock and land. Once married, a Navajo man would move to live with his bride in her dwelling and among her mother's people and clan. Daughters (or, if necessary, other female relatives) were traditionally the ones who received the generational property inheritance. The children are "born to" and belong to the mother's clan, and are "born for" the father's clan. The mother's eldest brother has a strong role in her children's lives. As adults, males represent their mother's clan in tribal politics. The clan system is exogamous: people must date and marry partners outside their own clans, which for this purpose include the clans of their four grandparents.