Catrinas always appear as festively dressed skeletons usually decorated with or carrying flowers. Eschewing the funereal themes and colours preferred by most other psychopomps, catrinas dress in festive shades, surrounding themselves with light and colour. Catrinas are genderless, though an individual may have a more masculine or feminine voice and personality. They typically stand between five and six feet tall and weigh about 20 to 30 pounds.
Catrinas lessen the shock and terror experienced by mortals who have not accepted their own deaths or who still grieve for themselves. The main purpose of this is not compassion for the soul, but rather making its progression calm, since screaming and outrage disrupt the processing of the dead.
Catrinas usually only visit the Material Plane at the command of Pharasma or a more powerful psychopomp who seeks to ease the passing of a mortal of singular importance, to whom they serve as companions and ushers into the afterlife. However, catrinas can serve as executioners as well if kept from their duty by mortals, who find their lives instantly snuffed out by the catrina's deadly painless kisses.