Mr. Snugglekins had lived a very happy life. His owner, a Darigan Hissi named Gazure, took good care of him. They lived in a nice Neohome in the Lost Desert. Of course, they heard stories of this strange place called the Kadoatery from his Hissi’s owner – but he never thought much about it. Then it was decided that they were going to move all the way across Neopia to Shenkuu. Not that there was a place for them yet or anything.
So, after a lot of thought, Gazure decided to send his beloved Mr. Snugglekins to the Kadoatery. There, Mr. Snugglekins would be looked after and taken care of while he and his owner found a new place (and built and furnished it). After all, the Kadoatery specialized in kadoaties. Except for their bad habit of turning out the lights at night – but other than that, the small cats were quite pampered.
Gazure spent their last few days together taking especially good care of his precious kadoatie. Yes, they would take good care of Mr. Snugglekins there, but that didn’t stop him from believing that he took the best care of the petpet. Yet, there was no possibility of him really being able to look after him during the move and construction as there was so much to do. With a heavy heart, Gazure packed up his kadoatie in the little carrier and headed for Neopia Central.
He slithered up to the forbidding metal building, clutching the cage nervously. Inside, there was a faerie Aisha at a desk – and behind her was a room filled with row after row of cages. She smiled at the nervous Hissi. “Welcome to the Kadoatery. We will look after your kadoatie while you are away. We make sure they get fed what they want, and they do get to leave their cage every day for exercise. Name, please?”
“Gazure. And this is Mr. Snugglekins...” he replied.
She made a note in her book. “Mr. Snugglekins, white kadoatie. Owner: Gazure, Darigan Hissi. Thank you.” She stood up from behind her desk, and gently took the carrier from the Dariganite. With a final look at his owner, Mr. Snugglekins was carried into the back and placed in a cage with his name on the front.
Soon, he adjusted to the place. Other than the lights going out at night. Like all kadoaties, Mr Snugglekins was afraid of the dark. Though there was an unspoken competition of who could cry the loudest and the shrillest.
He fell into a pattern. He’d cry until the lights would come back up. Then he’d get hungry – and request something like a Lime Faerie Bubble or even a Spooky Doughnut. It just depended on his mood. Though he did get tired of having several dozen of whatever he wanted shoved at him almost immediately. He’d bitten and scratched a few in panic the first few times, but now he just requested and moved to the back of his cage until the commotion had died down.
After this breakfast, he’d be let out of his cage into a small exercise yard. There he’d nap for a few hours in a warm, sunny spot. He’d wake up and go back in and request some more food.
It was during one of those times that he first saw it. His neighbour – an island Kadoatie named Kakashi – requested a funky fruit named Vinarok. He’d come back in a little early, when someone approached their set of cages. This shadow was carrying the most interesting thing he’d ever seen – an almost teardrop shaped fruit with a vine wrapped around it. He stared at it as it was offered to his hungry neighbour. After the mysterious user had disappeared – Mr. Snugglekins came to the front of his cage. “What was that?” he mewed.
“A Vinarok. My owner, fluffy_pinkcutie, fed me one once – they’re very, very good.” Kakashi meowed back, between bites of his fruit.
Mr. Snugglekins asked him a few more questions before deciding upon a quick meal of Mint Rolls. But the idea of the Vinarok stuck with him. He couldn’t shake the pretty fruit out of his mind’s eye. Every time he selected his meal, it came to mind first, but he’d change and choose a Screlon or a Froozle. Finally, he gave in – and requested the Vinarok.
No one came to his door to give him the desired fruit. Well – he’d expected that. Kakashi had gone some time before he’d gotten his. But it wouldn’t be too bad, would it?
He waited. And waited. As long as he didn’t get his Vinarok, he wasn’t allowed to leave his cage. But he did get moved to one that had a sunroof – so as least he could still nap in the sunlight. Days became weeks, and still he waited. He was given dried kibbles to munch on – tasteless bit of cardboard, as far as he was concerned. Not that he had a choice, unless he wished to starve. He missed his owner and wondered how close their house was to being complete. Not that he could go home – there was some rule about kads not being able to go home hungry.
But it wasn’t fair. Here he was, ignored, despite having such an excellent name, while those with inferior names like Donna and chibikadoatiekawaiibaka were fed immediately.
At some point, Gazure came for a visit. Excitedly, he told his kitty (after telling him how much he missed him) about their new home and how close they were to being done with the construction. “Just another week, Mr. Snugglekins. Then you get to leave this place and come home with me. To our new home in far off Shenkuu.”
If I ever get fed this stupid Vinarok, Mr Snugglekins thought morosely, though he just meowed for his owner. After the Hissi had left, he settled in his patch of sun.
Finally, he couldn’t stand waiting any longer. He waited for the next time users rushed the cages. Then he quickly snagged a Green Tea Custard off one, and devoured it. No more kibbles for this cat! But it did not register as him being fed, so he paced in his tiny cage – wanting to go home.
Two more weeks passed. He couldn’t take it anymore. He begged with the Faerie Aisha to let him change his requested food. To anything but the Vinarok. Gazure had been by a couple of times, but was not allowed to take him home. He begged and pleaded. He even forced himself to stop crying as loudly and shrilly at night, in hopes of gaining his wish.
But she refused. She told him that he had decided to ask for it, and now had to wait for someone to be kind enough to feed him it. That was how the system worked.
“You can’t even wait for another to ask for one, then let them switch places with me?” he asked.
“No. Hopefully you’ll be fed soon. I know your owner wants to take you home.”
He’d given up all hope of ever getting to see Shenkuu’s panoramic views. It had been two months since Gazure had told him the house was ready. That’s when it happened – a woman slipped up to his cage and set a Vinarok there. He blinked at her as she smiled at him. Eagerly, he snatched up the fruit and grinned.
Home. He’d get to go home. Finally. He nibbled on the fruit. While it was probably the best thing he’d ever eaten, he did decide that he preferred the cheaper Tchea Fruits and Lime Ice Creams to this expensive dish.
The next day, he happily went home, snuggled in the wings of the Darigan Hissi Gazure.
Author's Note: Thanks so much to sunshine_gurl_10 for giving me the idea for this story and for letting me use her kacheek fluffy_pinkcutie in the story. Hope you enjoyed the story.