Also by shoobydala
First pets are special pets. I don't know why, but they are. It doesn't matter if they've got terrible names or a boring color. Owners all over Neopia have kept their first pets for reasons they might not even know. They're something really awesome. If you don't believe me, just look at me. I'm 7_McCloud_7, silver Eyrie, first pet. That's right. I know all of this first-hand.
First pets are a strange phenomenon. They only happen once in your life, and once that First pet has been made, there aren't really any more after that. There can be more than one "favorite pet" and more than one "trophy pet" but there is only ever one First pet. Some people count different kinds of firsts, like maybe first-ever or first-after-hiatus or first-adopted, but there is really only one First: the first pet you ever made.
I had a great experience as a First pet, I'm sure, even though I don't remember a lot of it. It was a long time ago. I remember eating from the Soup Kitchen a lot, but the Soup Faerie is really nice, even if she's not the greatest cook. My owner would let me play games for as long as I wanted, because we needed the Neopoints. Any book we got, I got to read. We spent long hours at the rainbow pool dreaming of what expensive color Almedha would get for me, until she decided to just paint me silver. But we still like to dream at the rainbow pool.
I went out to investigate about first pets and met some neat people and pets on the way. It seemed like most of the pets I met had pretty bad names like me, but some had great names! Lots of them were cheap colors like I am, but still lots were more expensive colors like pirate and faerie!
One particular first pet that I met is Nooboo_Nooboo, a Blumaroo of shoobydala. He kindly agreed to let me interview him about his experience as a first pet.
McCloud: So. Your name is Nooboo_Nooboo. My name is 7_McCloud_7, but I just go by McCloud. Do you have a nickname like that?
Nooboo: I do, in fact! I just go by Nooboo. Underscores are kinda hard to pronounce.
McCloud: I agree entirely! Having two, or even one, underscores in one's name is pretty laborious to say... Sometimes I wonder what Almedha was thinking when she named me. Do you ever wonder that?
Nooboo: Absolutely! Rachel created me when she was way younger and isn't entirely sure herself. But I guess my name was good enough to keep me around this long, huh?
McCloud: That's true, very true. Almedha sometimes says that she's glad she is going to keep me forever because I would never survive in the pound, probably never get out due to my cheap color and my name. Speaking of color, I also see that you are yellow, a so-called basic color. Do you like being that color or do you think there's some other reason you're yellow?
Nooboo: I like being yellow quite a bit! It's Rachel's favorite color, and I've been it since day one. I agree that I would be in the pound forever if I was put there, but I don't think I'll be there anytime soon. Rachel says I'm like her mascot for neopets.
McCloud: That's most excellent, to be a color that you like and that your owner likes, too. Do you remember any of your first day?
Nooboo: I don't remember all that much, to be honest. Everything was so new then. There wasn't any customization or anything at that point. I do remember playing a lot of Meerca Chase to get started though!
McCloud: We played lots of Meerca Chase, too! I don't remember a whole lot of it, either, to be honest. I just remember we spend lots of time together. She mostly liked to draw pictures of me. That didn't even change so much when she got her next pet. What happened when your owner got her next pet?
Nooboo: Not too much changed with the next pet, either. It was kind of nice to have a friend on the account. Rachel loved looking at us and coming up with adventures for us to go on. Both me and the other pet (Sushi_Shishi, a green aisha at the time) were in the same badly-named cheaply-painted boat, so it was all good.
McCloud: Almedha's next pet was a Jelly Blumaroo, an arguably more expensive color than my silver. But I think I was still special just because I was first. What do you think about being a first pet? Is it special to your owner?
Nooboo: I think being a first pet is very special. There's just some sort of....sentimental attachment, I suppose? I mean, I was sort of the pet that started it all. So no matter how expensive or fancy her other pets are, I've been in Rachel's mind the longest and there's definitely something to be said for that. I think everyone remembers their first pet but it's really special to still have them.
McCloud: Yes. While I was doing research for this, most people remembered their first pets, even if they still didn't have them. My final question is, do you ever worry your owner will get tired of you? After all, she has had you the longest...
Nooboo: I have worried that, especially as my owner is running out of room on her side accounts. But she's never, to this day, had the heart to pound a pet. By now I'm a piece of her history here and I'm pretty confident I'll be stuck on this account forever. Not that I'd want to leave, but I'm pretty super-glued here.
McCloud: That's good to hear! It's the same way for me. I've never been off this account in my life. I don't think I will ever be. Thanks, Nooboo!
Nooboo: My pleasure!
I guess, in the end, first pets are no different than any other pet except that we have been with our owners from the beginning. Something about getting by on the soup kitchen and playing games to buy toys and books every day will bring people closer together, maybe? We know our owners like no one else, for better or worse. And for the lucky few, the first, that's what it's all about.
So, for all you first-created, badly-named, cheaply-painted pets out there, just remember that even though your owner may have a nice collection of fancy pets now, there's something super-special about you that not even a paint brush can change... You know what your owner was like when they were a newbie.