Rukis – Why So Unpopular?
An Interview with Katorlo, born and raised a Ruki.
Rukis appeared in Neopia almost six years ago, yet are one of the least popular species that can easily be adopted as a pet. In this article, Zohh and I sought to explore this unanswered mystery. In our quest we decided to call upon a long-time friend and Ruki, Katorlo, to ask her directly why she thinks her species is so unpopular and the effects that this has on them. We could think of no better ambassador for the species than one who had been born and always lived as a Ruki, and had furthermore travelled significantly in her life, meeting many other Rukis across Neopia.
Zohh – We’re here in the studio with the lovely Katorlo, winner of the ‘Best Dressed’ award and long time friend of many pets in Neopia, including myself! Welcome, Katorlo.
Katorlo – [laughing lightly] Thank you! And good morning, Zohh!
Z – So, Katorlo, today we’re trying to explore Rukis’ lack of popularity as a species. As a member of the fifth least popular species that isn’t limited edition or restricted, do you ever feel lonely or unwanted?
K – Honestly, not really. We’re a pretty self-reliant and hardy bunch! Just look at all the books written about us! Ruki Survival Tips, Ruki the Explorer, Ruki Legends, Ruki-Style Travelling Guide, The Lone Ruki and probably my favourite, Ruki Adventures!
I admit that sometimes I can go a while before coming across another Ruki, but that’s because we like to travel so much! I might not live next door to someone of my species, but I am always sure to find another Ruki in even the most distant places I visit! There are over two million of us after all, and we’ve left our mark!
Z – So, you think that your species isn’t often adopted because your hard skin enabled you to need owners less?
K – Yes and no. We are able to act autonomously, yes, but we also love companionship and we’re incredibly loyal to our owners. I don’t think that I’ve ever met a single Ruki that didn’t want and love the idea of a home to go back to after their travels. Even Reklak – the ‘Lone Ruki’ that the book is based on – has expressed a fondness for human owners at times.
I think that the reason that we’re less popular is more literally our ‘hard skin’. We’re not fluffy and soft like Kacheeks, and I haven’t heard us described as ‘cute’ very often. Instead, I think that our armoured exoskeleton can be a little intimidating, and the fact that we’re almost twice as tall as most Kacheeks can’t help that impression! I admit, it is saddening, since most of us do enjoy a nice hot fireplace to curl up next to after we’ve come home from travelling. We do enjoy the heat, you know!
Z – Indeed! Your species was first discovered in the Lost Desert, but since you’ve travelled so much, do you still consider that a home or is there another nation that you identify with more? Are there places you don’t feel at home – perhaps where it’s colder?
K – I know a lot of Rukis that have stayed in the Lost Desert. Famously, Dirty [Navers; the retired right defender for the Lost Desert Yooyuball Team] is still residing there! I’ve never really considered it ‘home’, though. Personally, my favorite place is probably Shenkuu, where I was born. It’s still quite warm, but also exotic enough to keep me from feeling restless and needing to go out and travel immediately.
Z – So you do feel an aversion to the cold?
K – [pauses reflectively] When we first made contact with the outside world, I think we avoided colder lands like Terror Mountain a bit, but we quickly adapted to that too and just learned to put on warmer clothes. I know a lot of Rukis, including myself, are especially interested in space exploration. There’s so much more to discover! And these days Jurin [T. – the current goalkeeper for Kreludor’s Yooyuball team] lives on Kreludor permanently.
Z – You’ve now mentioned two famous Ruki Yooyuball stars; who’s your favourite famous Ruki?
K – Actually, neither of the ones I’ve mentioned so far! I’ve never met Jurin, and Dirty is more of an acquaintance at best. But I worked as a shop assistant for Anshu for a short time when I was younger. He taught me a lot about life and is one of the most remarkable characters I’ve ever met.
Z – What kind of things did he teach you?
K – What didn’t he teach me? Of course I picked up some knowledge of medicine from him, as you might expect, but honestly it just didn’t come naturally to me at all! Rather, I learned about Neopian history – he’s seen so much! – and learned what kind of Ruki I wanted to be, from observing him.
Some pets would call him stubborn, but he’s really not. He has a lot of dignity and a lot of wisdom, which means that most of his opinions are made through long thought and careful observation. He isn’t quick to change his mind about something, but when presented with a rational, logical fact – he’ll never insist fallacy! He’s proud and justifiably so. I like that and I certainly respect it.
Z – What would you say is the best thing about Rukis?
K – Hmm. We’re very versatile. I guess it comes from all the travelling? You can’t travel so much without learning to adapt, as I’ve mentioned! By now, we can be painted in 37 different colours, we’re fierce in the Battledome, and from the clothes that’s specific to our species, you can easily see that we range from comedians in jester outfits to flower vendors to scientists!
Z – That certainly is a useful quality! With so many options, what’s your favourite thing to do in Neopia?
K – Without a doubt, customization! People don’t realize just how good most clothes look on us, but there’s a reason why it says ‘Best Dressed’ on my profile! The only problem that I’ve ever come across is that sometimes it can be tricky finding something long enough!
Z – You certainly makes it sound like Rukis are the ideal pets! Lets hope that Neopians everywhere realize this soon. Thank you for joining us, Katorlo.
And there you have it. Rukis may be able to take care of themselves, but perhaps that makes them even better pets and companions. Versatile, good in the Battledome and even good for customizations!
This is Zohh, signing out.