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Confessions of a Hungry Kadoatie


by valerielundberg

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Goldie sat staring at the cold iron bars in front of her. Would she ever see home again? How long would she be imprisoned here? And why won't they install a night light, don't the people running this place know how terribly afraid of the dark she is? The feeling of entrapment and paranoia were weighing heavily against the poor little pink Kadoatie's chest...she had to think of something else. Anything else besides her situation. She needed to clear her mind.

     She glanced down at the newspaper lining her cage and began to read over the page, hoping to distract her thoughts.

     "Hmm, that's interesting. Seems like Mystery Island is expecting a good deal of rain. King Skarl announced that next Wednesday is Gruel Day....and...wait a minute, what's this?"

     Her bright feline eyes widened as she saw the beautiful colored advertisement in the lower left corner of the paper's second page. On it, a cheerful Meerca in a leather vest was holding up a sign saying "Visit Meridell Foods! Now with 20% less mold!". There was an assortment of food items listed in a photo price list underneath the caption. A bag of peas, a raisin twist loaf, a raw potato...

     And then she saw it.

     A Draik egg. A beautiful blue Draik egg.

     Goldie's stomach growled. It was all just too much. Goldie's mind whizzed back to happy memories of her owner and her life in the Lost Desert. Goldie was a privileged Kadoatie; to say the least. Her master being of royal blood, and growing up in the wonders of Sakhmet Palace meant that she was afforded luxuries rarely relished upon petpets. At home she was not your ordinary petpet, but a feline goddess. She smiled as her mind flashed in memory of how her owner would bring her a Draik egg every Saturday, since that was the day his special shipment from Meridell arrived.

     But here, she was no longer a goddess, but just another Kadoatie sitting in a cage waiting for their owner to come back from vacation, or in Goldie's case, an important royal summit. Here she no longer sat on pillows of green and yellow velvet, but instead on a tattered version of the Neopian Times which the Kadoatery keepers used to line the cages with after they had read it over morning coffee.

     "If I could only have a Draik egg right now, I wouldn't feel so bad," Goldie murmured to herself.

     "It would be almost like being at home, on a Saturday, with my owner..."

     Her stomach growled once again, this time louder and more demanding than before. It was certain now. Now that she had thought about it, no other food would satisfy her. She had to have a Draik egg. Nothing else would do.

     "Hey Goldie! You awake?" a voice came from the cage next door.

     "Yes, Snowball." Goldie said in the direction of the metal wall to her right.

     "I can hear your stomach from over here! You must be pretty hungry over there, huh? Well, don't sweat it...I can see the clock from my cage here and it'll be feeding time in just two minutes, okay?"

     "Thanks, Snowball," Goldie whispered back, still staring at the advertisement under her paws.

     Just then a loud "CLICK!" came from one side of the room. Though none of the Kadoaties could see it, they all knew what that sound meant. The door from the visitors area was unlocked, and soon many excited Neopians were about to rush through the room hoping to do a good deed by feeding them, making them feel a little less insecure in their owner's absences.

      "MEW!" "MEW!" "MEW!"

      They began to cry, hoping to grab the attention of one of the passersby,and get a special treat.

     Goldie could see a boy leaning over Snowball's cage.

     "What can I get you, you cute thing?" he asked.

     Snowball replied: "Well, I sure would appreciate a Rainbow Chia Pop right about now!"

     The boy reached into his backpack and pulled out just what Snowball asked for, and slipped the Chia pop through the iron bars on his cage.

     "Sure thing, here you go! Lucky for you I had one on me!" Then he smiled at Snowball one last time as he headed toward the exit.

     Goldie watched the boy walk out, and wondered if anyone that nice would be by to visit her today too. She began to mew even louder in hopes someone would hear.

     A nice lady holding a bright red purse peeked into Goldie's cage.

     "Well hello, little sweetie...you sound hungry! Can I get you something to eat?" she said with a sweet smile.

     "Yes please, I would very much like a Blue Draik Egg. Thanks!"

     Goldie purred, with the knowledge that this was the part where people handed the item to her, and if they didn't have it, most would try to run out and buy it for her. She closed her eyes and licked her chops knowing soon her tummy would be full again. She waited in anticipation of her yummy treat. But instead she heard:

     "You want a....what?!"

     "I'm sorry, can you repeat that, for a second there I thought you were asking me for a Draik egg," the woman said with a look of bewilderment.

     "Yes please," Goldie replied. "But not just any Draik egg, I would prefer a blue one if you would. I only eat the blue ones."

     The lady pulled a cookie out of her purse and handed it over to an island Kadoatie below Goldie's cage. "Sorry kitty...but I'm NOT buying you a Draik egg," she said frankly with a frown as she left the room.

     And then...it was quiet.

     Goldie began to panic as she realised the mewing had stopped. Could it be everyone was fed? Everyone was happy? How could that be, she was still hungry! Where did the visitors go? Why did nobody feed her?

     Goldie curled up in her cage and began to cry. She had already felt scared and alone since her owner had left her there two days ago. But now it was worse, now she felt truly alone.

      And hungry.

     As the day passed, many visitors came into the Kadoatery. But all of them went on to tend to the other cages when they heard Goldie's request.

     "Goldie, you have to eat something! You're going to starve, tell them you want something else! PLEASE!" Snowball tried to persuade her from his cage. But Goldie wouldn't listen, instead she sat in the corner of her cage staring at the advertisement that began her craving in the first place. It was now night, and she was scared. She buried her head in the corner of the cage and tried to sleep while hiding from the horrible darkness.

     The next morning the Kadoatery staff noticed something was wrong while they sat drinking their coffee over breakfast. "That pink one in the corner has been moping around ever since yesterday," one replied.

     "No time to worry about that now, we have errands to run. We'll check back on it later," the other said. As they finished their coffee, the workers began making their daily rounds. They placed fresh water in every Kadoatie's bowl, and lined their cages with the day's newspaper. Goldie laid limp and lifeless as the employee picked her up to replace her cage's lining. Again she turned to the corner, and hung her head towards the floor of her cage.

     But wait, what is this?

     Goldie peered down at her paws. Another colorful advertisement from the Neopian Times caught her eye. "When in Neopia Central, visit Hubert's Hot Dogs?" she read aloud with a bit of puzzlement.

     Suddenly, it was back again...the "CLICK!" noise. The morning visitors had arrived, and all the Kadoaties began their mewing. A friendly face peered in to Goldie's cage.

     "Hi honey, can I get you some...."

      "...Oh...it's YOU."

     It was the woman with the red purse she had seen the morning before! The woman turned away and started towards another cage.

     "I'd love a hot dog with mustard and relish!" Goldie cried.

      The woman turned around slowly.

     "A Hot Dog?" she said with a raised eyebrow. "What about the blue draik egg?"

     "Please ma'am. With mustard and relish. I am so hungry..." Goldie begged.

     "Okay kitty, I'll be right back," the lady said. Within a minute she came back to the room, holding a hot dog with just what Goldie asked for on it.

     "Thanks!" Goldie chirped, scarfing down the hot dog as fast as he could as the lady walked away.

     Happily fed, she sat with her back towards the cage door and began wiping the crumbs from her mouth with her paws. From the corner of her eye, she noticed a shadow over her her shoulder.

     "It's okay, I've been fed...thanks though," she replied to the stranger's shadow.

      "You mean you don't want to go home?" a voice said.

     Goldie spun towards he cage door as fast as she could.

     HER OWNER! Her owner was back! She was going home!

     "You've been such a good girl while I was gone, Goldie! I missed you so much!", the noble figure said while lifting Goldie out of her cage and into his arms. "Let's go home!" As her owner was carrying her out of the Kadoatery, Goldie noticed a worker bringing in a blue Kadoatie who was to take Goldie's place since she was going home and a cage was now free.

     "How is it in there?", the blue Kadoatie whispered to Goldie, obviously very nervous about his upcoming stay. "It's okay I guess, but here's a word of advice...." Goldie warned the young feline.

     "Be careful what you wish for...because in here, you might NOT get it!"

The End

Author's note: After feeding Kadoaties myself, I've been plenty frustrated. Writing this little story truly helped. ^_^ I know technically petpets aren't supposed to talk, but how else do they let you know what specific item they are looking for while in the Kadoatery, right? ^_^ I hope you enjoyed reading this, and I would like to thank everyone who mailed me after reading my first and only submission to the NT that encouraged me to write again. Happy Kadoatie feeding! -Val

 
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