Catine809599 had had his fair share of owners. And here
he was, back in the pound. Why does this keep happening to me? he asked
himself, staring at the steel bars that imprisoned him.
He was old enough now to realise his owner would
not be coming back. But this time, he vowed, I will not cry.
Katie had been a nice enough owner, at first. She’d adopted the blue Nimmo
from his previous owner, and taken him to a home in Faerieland, filled with
expensive hand painted urns and cold marble floors.
"I hope you feel at home here," she said, in
what could be described as a slightly bored tone. "Your room is the fourth to
the left down that hall, and the bathroom is over there," she said, gesturing
in the general direction. "I have to go to the Deep Catacombs to meet a friend.
If you need anything, just tell Kristina."
Kristina was their clockwork Wocky, and the
only thing that looked out of place in this mansion, besides himself. But Catine
had a feeling that Katie had sentimental feelings for the loudly whirring robot.
He watched as she turned and left. Katie was
the sort of Neopian who just loved to be admired. She had long blond hair that
was tied in a tight bun, and elbow length white gloves that never looked dirty.
The entire time that Makar had lived with her, he never saw her hands.
"I guess this is my new home," he said to the
large empty room. His voice echoed and he felt silly. "I better go and check
out my room," he continued talking to himself, stepping out of the entrance
hall and into the long corridor.
It seemed to stretch on forever, but Catine809599
knew that wasn’t the case because he’d seen the house from the outside, and
though it was the biggest house he’d ever laid eyes on, it didn’t stretch on
for infinity. Chandeliers were fixed to the ceiling, casting pale light on the
empty marble floor.
"Forth to the left," the Nimmo muttered, counting
the doors as he went along. Talking to himself was one of his strange traits,
and it seemed normal to him after having nobody else to talk to for so long
in the pound. Finally he found his room, and as he opened the wooden door and
stepped in, he gasped.
It was all ... pink! There was a heart shaped
bed in the centre of the room, it’s sheets neatly tucked in and pretty pink
pillows piled up neatly. He was standing on a pink rug, blinking. He closed
the door behind him and looked around again.
The scent of marshmallows was coming from a
vase filled with white perfume mallows, sitting on a doily on pretty covered
table. The curtains were of white lace, and were drawn letting some light in.
A rose coloured vanity desk rested against the wall, with dozens of beauty products
arranged neatly atop it.
He exited the room quickly and went back to
the entrance of the house, then back into the long hallway and counted the doors
again. There was no mistake, this was his room.
"Katie wanted a girl," Catine809599 said in
shock, sitting on the bed and taking everything in. Still -- he had a home,
and he would be positive and wouldn’t wonder why Katie had adopted him; a common
male blue Nimmo.
He couldn’t stay in that room for very long, being
used the the concrete grey but familiar walls of the Pound. Cat decided to explore.
"Oh, hello Kristina," he said to the mechanical
Wocky that was pacing the corridor. "Do you know when Katie gets back?"
Kristina just clattered in reply, following
him as he made his way into his neighbouring room.
It was a huge library. Cat’s heart skipped a
beat, for reading was one of his passions. He picked up a book and sunk into
a low and uncomfortable chair, and began to read.
The books here were a mixture of first editions
and new books, and they looked as if they had never been read before. He remembered
his old home, the books had been dog-eared and some had had covers missing.
Catine had meant to explore the whole house,
but he was just closing the book when he heard the jingling of keys, and his
new owner sing out, "Catine! Dinner!"
He wanted to please his new owner so he followed
the sound of her voice immediately. They ate their gourmet dinner in silence.
It was so well presented and expensive looking that he hadn’t wanted to touch
it, but Katie was observing him strangely so he had no choice. It was delicious
-- the best meal since he had eaten Pizzaroo everyday with his first owner.
They hadn’t exchanged words for a while, when
Katie suddenly said, "Take your elbows off the table Cat, it’s not very lady
Cat obeyed quickly. "I don’t think boys are
supposed to be lady like," he said, in an attempt at a joke.
Katie’s eyes widened and she put her fork down
with a loud clang. "You’re -- you’re not a girl?"
"No, I -- what?" Catine said, confused.
"No, this is terrible!" Katie wailed, leaning
over her half-eaten meal and clutching her head in a gloved hand.
"I’m sorry?" the Nimmo said awkwardly. There
was a long pause, broken only by the crackle of the fireplace. "You thought
I was a girl?"
Katie drew a loud breath. "There must have been
a mix up with the papers," she said, sitting up straight and regaining her composer.
She had the perfect posture.
Cat started to wonder if she would put him up
for adoption again.
"Oh, don’t worry Cat, I won’t disown you. I’ll
sort everything out."
Still, Catine809599 wasn’t 100% reassured.
* * * * *
Weeks went by, and his room hadn’t been changed in the least. However he never
mentioned anything because he didn’t want to seem ungrateful. Katie was rarely
at home, and the few times she was he saw her staring at him with a kind of
sorrowful look on her face.
One day he was in the library, which had come
to be his favourite room, when he heard the familiar sound of the door opening
and Katie’s heels on the marble floor.
"Kitty!" she called, and he cringed. She had
started calling him ‘Kitty’ a few days ago.
"Kitty, I’ve bought you something," she said,
flinging the library doors open. His owner handed him a paper bag. Her cheeks
were flushed and she was smiling as she sat down across from him.
Catine reached into the bag and pulled out a
strange potion. "Oh, umm, thanks!" he said, faking enthusiasm. He wondered if
it was an ordinary healing potion. It looked the same, but he could feel the
throb of magic through the glass, it felt more special. Besides -- he didn’t
"It’s a gender potion silly," she said fondly,
The blue Nimmo stared at the flask for a few
moments, but didn’t uncork it.
"I told you to drink it," Katie said, her voice
a shade more nasty.
"But, I don’t want to be a girl!" Cat protested.
This was the closest he had come to disobeying an owner in his entire lifetime.
He felt slightly guilty as he handed the potion back to her, but then again,
he really didn’t want to become a female Nimmo.
Instead of getting angry, Katie simply smiled.
"Oh, you don’t want to be a girl?"
Catine nodded, glad that she understood him.
He never liked arguments.
"You don’t want to obey your nice owner?"
Katie continued coolly, examining the potion casually.
"I, guess?" he said awkwardly.
"All this time I thought you were a nice little
Nimmo. You always did whatever I said, you never complained in the least." She
turned to him, her eyes blazing and the false smile no longer on her lips. "Well,
this is the wrong time to grow a backbone Kitty," she almost snarled.
He didn’t know what to say. Catine809599 had
never seen this side of Katie. She stood there, glaring at him, stray strands
of blond hair fallen out of her bun. He’d never even seen her hair messy before.
The strange potion was thrust back into his hand.
"I just want a girl," she said, her voice turning
sad. She sat back down in her chair, somehow smaller than before. "Kitty? I
just want a little girl..." she almost pleaded, as she stared at him.
"I don’t know," he faltered. He didn’t want
to be a girl, that much was true, but he didn’t know what would happen if he
"If you don’t," she said, no longer pretending
to be sad, "I’ll have to take you back to where I found you, Kitty."
"I’m sorry," he said, "my name’s not Kitty."
So Catine809599 sat in the pound, sighing to
himself over his luck. All he wanted was an owner that loved him for himself,
an owner who could respect him.
Katie wouldn’t be returning, and he wasn’t sure
he wanted her to. Although the sight of her tear-streaked face, and her begging
for forgiveness would be nice.
And the humans passed him without a second glance.
They couldn’t see how much he had suffered, how much he had been through to
please them and try for them. He wondered if they would ever see.
Why does this always happen to me?
NOTE: I based this story on a random pet I saw in the pound. I don’t know
if he’s adopted yet, in fact I hope he’s not so some random NT reader can adopt
him! That way his new owner will be as well read and nice as you ;)