Diary of a Kadoatie
17th day of Sleeping
This is my diary. Not sure why I'm keeping it. No one's going to read it. But I'll write in it. Maybe if I keep a diary, maybe this dull monotone called life in the Kadoatery will separate into days and events (what little of those there are). Maybe it'll begin to mean something to me. Maybe.
18th day of Sleeping
I don’t remember a time when I haven’t been in this cage. When I haven’t been trapped here, crying, left alone long into the dark hours so that the blackness presses around me and screams tear themselves out of my fragile chest. When I haven’t been curled up in twenty-eight minute monotony, stomach purring and grumbling, until it is my feeding time. Then people come, and they give me food, and I smile, for only a few minutes. After a moment of gloating about their trophy, and whining about others of my kind they have not fed, they leave, and I am alone again.
I stare out through the bars of my cage. Out there, there are petpets milling about contentedly with their owners, strolling over to a hot dog stand and buying a snack.
I am alone. I know that above me, and below me, and to my left, there are other kadoaties, all cursed with the same life as me. Yet I can never see them. I never have. So somehow, they remain not-quite-real in my mind. I hear their cries as they whine with the hunger in their bellies and the broiling fear in their minds, and I cry along with them, but still, there is a wall between them and me. Between me and the world.
20th day of Sleeping
Sometimes I accept my situation. Sometimes I say to myself, “Okay. I’m in this cage. I will never get out. I will never have an owner or a companion. That’s life.”
Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes the unfairness of the whole thing rises up in my mind, in my throat, burning the roof of my mouth and jerking me up to crash myself against the bars of my cage, fruitlessly trying to break the door open. It doesn’t work.
If it were “just life”, if it was the fate of kadoaties to be stuck in a kadoatery for the rest of their life, maybe I would accept it. But that’s not true. That’s what we’re supposed to believe, that’s what everyone is supposed to believe, but it’s a lie. Everyone thinks the place of a kadoatie is in a Kadoatery. But then.
I know other kadoaties are for sale. I know they are. Very expensive, but they are. And some people buy them. They do. Why couldn’t I have been one of those? Why not?
It is someone's fault.
I don’t know who they are. I have never seen their face. I have sometimes tried to pierce the metal wall with my eyes, trying to see through it, trying to decipher who they look like, the villain who has me enslaved and entrapped in this prison. But I don’t know.
What I do know, however, is that they are a liar. An evil liar. When people come by, and peek into the bars, they explain us cheerfully with a bright “Oh, these are kadoaties that their owners have left here for the day so we can take care of them. They’ll go home at night.”
I want to scream out. I want to yell, “What a lie! What a lie! We sleep here, day after day, in the pitch darkness that you leave us in, and we have no owners. We’ve never had owners. We’ve never had anyone.”
But I don’t.
21st day of Sleeping
Today, something happens. I am moved to the front of the kadoatery, and suddenly I have an urgent craving for a certain, specific food: a Snowberry Crepe. My mind pores over the deliciousness of every bite, the cool taste of the frozen jelly on my tongue, the satisfying melt of the crunched ice as I swallow. I will not have anything else.
People come, and they have food, delicious food, but somehow I can not bear to taste this mediocre fare, barely edible, now that my mind and mouth is fixated on that one delicacy. I have to have that, and everything else is incomparable.
24th day of Sleeping
Hunger. Days pass, and no one feeds me the one thing I need. My stomach feels like a tightening pit, squeezing my insides. And I cry.
25th day of Sleeping
"She wants a Snowberry Crepe," I hear someone complain. "And she's the only one hungry. Why are there never any cheap ones?"
I blink myself awake and look up, attempting to ignore the grumbling greeting of my stomach. A pink Wocky is giving me a disgruntled stare, before turning back to her friend, a blue Shoyru. "That's 120,000. I can't afford it. I give up on this 'kadding' thing. Whenever I come here, almost all of them are full. Let's play something else." The Wocky stomps away.
The Shoyru glances at me, to after her friend, to back at me. "Wait!" she calls to the Wocky. She gazes at me compassionately. "Look how hungry she is. She's probably been starving for days because of how expensive those stupid crepes are."
I give out a loud, pathetic mew and widen my eyes.
"Who cares? It's just a kad. With a stupid name, look, RightBehindYou!. Come on. I want to get a Cheat trophy."
"It's not her fault." The Shoyru hesitates, then opens up her purse. "I have 90,000 Neopoints. It won't take me more than a day to make the rest. I'm going to buy that crepe."
The Wocky snorts. "Your loss." Then she wanders over to the Wishing Well.
The Shoyru carefully counts out the money, and then runs off, with a "I'll be back soon" yelled behind her, hovering in the air.
I am shocked.
26th day of Sleeping
The blue Shoyru came back. She came back! She pokes the Snowberry Crepe carefully through my bars, and watches, smiling, as I attack it. Within a couple seconds, it is consumed. I feel so much better.
After licking the remaining crumbs off of the floor, I look up at her. I can't talk, but I hope that she understands what I am conveying through my eyes.
31st day of Sleeping
Every day, maybe twice or three times a day, the Shoyru has come back to feed her. She tells me I am her new "spot". I am so proud and happy. Sometimes someone else gives me the food before she can, and when they do, I turn my nose up at it. I nibble the corner, then toss it through the bars when no one is looking. Only she can feed me.
When she leaves, I can tell she is sad to do so. She drags her feet and looks behind her several times. My fur writhes with joy. I am liked! I am wanted!
1st day of Awakening
Today the Shoyru comes and sits down, leaning against our cages, to read. Her paw subconsciously reaches up and pries itself through the bars of my cage to stroke me gently. The time goes by as she turns the pages with the other paw, and it is with surprise that we both realize it is dark. Reluctantly, she pulls her paw out of my cage and, dogearing her place, closes the book.
"I wish I could keep you, take you home," she confides in me.
I let out a soft mew. So do I.
2nd day of Awakening
The Shoyru has met her goal, 75 feeds! She is extremely excited, and many of her friends came to the Kadoatery to congratulate her. I am happy too. Almost a third of those feeds had been fed to me. I helped her.
My attention is drawn back to the conversation when she points to me, grinning widely. "I wouldn't have been able to do it if not for her. See the pink one? She's the one I've been feeding all this time. She's my favorite."
I swell with joy and pride.
4th day of Awakening
My owner -- I mean, the Shoyru, I don't know why I wrote that -- did not come today. Or yesterday. I wonder why.
5th day of Awakening
It is dark, and the Shoyru still has not come. My old fear of the dark creeps up in me again, and the realization comes to me that it is not really fear of the dark. It is fear of being alone. Why has she not come? Has she forgotten about me?
Can it be now that she has fed a kadoatie for the 75th time, that she does not want to anymore? That she just wanted to meet that goal, and that was the only reason why she spent time with me?
I attempt to push away the fears. No. There's something else. Some other reason.
I curl up into a ball in my cold, metal cell, waiting for sleep to take me. Anxiety keeps me up late into the chilly, dark night.
7th day of Awakening
I see the Shoyru today. She is walking with her friend, the pink Wocky, over to a group of friends hanging around by the Wishing Well. She doesn't once stop to talk to me. Or even look over at the Kadoatery.
I watch them for a while. They are giggling and talking quickly like conspirators, writing a list of names down. Then they stand, stretching, to walk back by the path to the Neopia Central. I hear a blue JubJub cheerfully say, "...We'll have to play a lot of games..." before they pass out of my hearing.
She has moved on. She is playing other games with her friends. The real people she cares about.
I shrink back from the bars of the cage, and press myself into a corner. I don't want to see the outside world. I don't want to hear the cheerful laughter.
"Mewww..." someone above me sobs quietly, and I silently agree.
10th day of Awakening
The Shoyru comes over to the Kadoatery today. She pokes her paw through the bars of my cage, and I shrink against the wall. Her face falls and she pulls her paw back again.
"Sorry I haven't been over here a lot," she says to me. "My friends and I have been saving up --" She cuts herself off hastily, amending, "Been busy." She sighs softly. "And I don't have a reason to feed; don't really see the point in being an overfeeder."
So it's true. She's met her mark, and now she doesn't want to feed anymore.
I don't respond. Don't look up. Just keep my body pressed against the back of the cage until she finally, slowly, walks off.
11th day of Awakening
She's come back, and she's brought her friends. They all chatter and giggle amongst themselves, and I wonder what is going on.
"I can't believe you guys are helping me out like this," I hear her comment brightly to the group.
"Aww, you deserve it," a purple Mynci says, slapping her on the back. "Besides, the little thing is cute." He glances up at me.
I am officially confused.
The pink Wocky runs up, puffing loudly, carrying a large bag of Neopoints. "Sorry I'm late. Just wanted to play some last minute Cheat..." She hands the money to the Shoyru, who thanks her profusely.
They all wait expectantly, until a green Lenny shows up, carrying a large ring of keys. He is nervous, glancing from side to side. "You k-know, I'm really not s-supposed t-to do this," he stutters, dropping the keys twice before he finds the right one, pulling it off the ring and handing it to the Shoyru. He then quickly gathers up all the sloppily tied sacks of money in his arms and hurries away.
I leap up as the blue Shoyru slowly fumbles the key into the keyhole on my cage door. What? What is going on?
She opens the door. I stand there, stunned. Has the door ever been opened before? I feel the air hit me, like a slap in the face, and I see the green and blue of the outside Neopia. Yet I cannot move, cannot jerk my bones to scream and jump and laugh. I just stand there.
The Shoyru reaches in, takes me in her arms, looking down at me lovingly as she whispered, "You're mine now. My friends helped me buy you. You're going to be my petpet!"
The reality strikes me, more brutally exhilarating than the wind could ever be. The truth of the last few days. The fantasy that I would never had thought would be real.
I. Am going to be. Her petpet.
And now I feel no inclination to jump or laugh. I feel only... What is it?
I don't know.
But I want to remain in her arms forever.
Note: It is impossible to use bribery to buy a Kadoatie from the Kadoatery.