Sarah's UC Plushie Project 

Welcome

Welcome to Sarah's UC Plushie Project page. I'm Sarah and I've made this page to keep my progress towards my dream of owning an UC Plushie Kougra. In the future, it may also double as an application for one of those beauties if one ever comes UFA.

I was in no way forced to make this page or any other petpage.

Trading

I began my goal of reaching an UC plushie (although I had not settled on a species yet) years ago. I was lucky enough to have a FFQ on my account already and a good amount of NP for a custom. This started off the following chain:

FFQ customD/BN UC Sponge BlumVWN UC Dari JubjubMalady (RW) ► BN UC Faerie Lenny

Now, it's worth pointing out that this was not a particularly logical chain. I traded for the UC Darigan Jubjub because I wanted one to customise for a while . I was feeling that trading for an UC plushie was unrealistic so I settled on a lesser goal. In the end I didn't grow attached to the Jubjub, and I believed (rightly or wrongly) Malady was too good an offer to miss because of the character potential of the word. Eventually that plus training did pay off, but I miss him lots.

The Goal

My goal is an UC Plushie Kougra. I'm absolutely in love with them, their pose, and their colour scheme. (In case you haven't noticed perusing my account I kind of like purple). I've considered a converted version, but ultimately I don't gel with them in the same way. Their faces are very different, and I love the look and pose of the UC version because it reminds me of my own cats when they were kittens.

I've had pet cats since I was very little, and it's safe to say I'm slightly obsessed. Despite that I've never been particularly fond of Kougras, mostly because they are more anthropomorphised since the conversion. I'm especially interested in cats in literature. Some of my favourite examples include:

  • Edward the Conqueror by Roald Dahl
  • Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by TS Eliot
  • Carbonel: The King of the Cats by Barbara Sleigh
  • Crookshanks from the Harry Potter books

The character of my future plushie will be partly inspired by fictional cats such as Crookshanks and partly my two cats, especially my ginger Birman, Garfield. He's ridiculously friendly and outgoing, likes a cuddle, and demands attention on a regular basis. He will come and sit on my laptop when it's on my lap, to stop me doing anything except stroking him! He even purrs at the vet. He only gets grumpy if you try to touch his back paws or tickle his tummy, which he hates.

The smallest feline is a masterpiece - Leonardo Da Vinci

The Character


Name: Hodge
Gender: Male
Age: 328 in human years, over 2100 in cat years
Breed: Norwegian Forest Cat
Birthplace: Ålesund, Norway
Residence: No fixed residence, previously a junk-filled attic in Sweden and a sewing shop in London.
Appearance: As a cat, Hodge is a large, wild and rugged-looking cat with thick fur. Like all Norwegian Forest Cats, he has an almost triangular head, with almond-shaped, expressive eyes and very large ears with tufts of fur coming out of them. He has a very long, bushy tail, a full ruff, a mane, 'mutton chops' and 'britches' on his hind legs. He has shorter hair in the summer, when his colour is mottled grey and black. In the winter he a black smoke colour, with a dark face and limbs, but lighter brown body fur with white roots.

When transformed into a plushie, Hodge is a bluish-purple colour with a galaxy pattern. He has small silver stars embroidered down his back and furry ears, with silver jewels stuck in a triangle on his forehead. After his transformation back into cat, Hodge kept these jewels and marks, and a purple tinge to his fur.

Likes

  • Oysters and other seafood
  • The fjords and other bodies of water
  • Travelling long distances
  • The aurora borealis
  • Chasing yarn, butterflies, dust particles...

Disikes

  • Being in confined spaces
  • Cat food of any description
  • Authority figures
  • Being picked up
  • Lilies, as they're poisonous to cats

Hodge tends to do the opposite of what people expect him to do. He is a little on the dim side and a little overconfident when it comes to his abilities to catch things, but he's a good judge of character (he will hiss at anyone who isn't trustworthy). Hodge is an extrovert, but isn't needy. He rarely wants to cuddle when a human would like to pet him, but he tends to pop up when you don't want him around to settle on your lap and purr until you give up what you were trying to get done and let him cuddle up for a while. He's been known to don a bow tie on occasion through choice, but try and force any accessories onto him and you're likely to lose a hand.

Although he has the power of human speech, he tends to avoid it unless absolutely necessary, because he considers human intelligence lower than his own. Keileila is the exception, and he recognises in her a magical intelligence similar to his original owners. He is a vocal cat, and will let you know when there's something he doesn't like, which is often. He will beg to have food, but if you give him salmon, he'll suddenly prefer tuna. If you give him tuna, he'll probably turn his nose up and eat the salmon he previously rejected. He's an adventurer, extremely confident in the wild, adept at fishing, hunting and climbing trees. He will even climb down head-first. He also doesn't mind cold weather, due to his extremely thick waterproof coat.

Story

The following is adapted from a Chinese folk tale.

Long, long ago, when the world was new, the gods sought an animal who would rule over it, keeping order and peace. They saw that cats were exceedingly clever animals, and so they gave cats the power of speech in order that they could communicate with the gods and the other animals.

The cats, however, were easily distracted. They watched the sunlight dancing on the grass, and chased butterflies, forgetting to pay attention to how the world worked. The gods saw this, and reminded the cats of how important their job was, and the cats promised to try harder.

The second time the gods returned to check on the cats, they had been feasting on mice and were curled up asleep and purring. The gods asked them once more to try harder to pay attention to their job, and the cats again promised to try harder.

Unfortunately, the cherry blossoms had begun to bloom on the trees, and the cats were captivated by the swirling petals dancing towards the ground in the breeze. The gods returned for a third time to find them playing. The cats told the gods that they weren't interested in running the world, that they prefered to run and play and sleep.

The gods agreed that cats weren't suited to the job, so they gave control of the world over to humans. They took the power of speech from the cats and gave it to humans instead, and from then on no cat ever spoke again. But the gods left certain roles to the cats.

When a cat purrs, you can hear the sound of the wheels of the world turning. If all cats ceased to purr, the world would stop. Day and night, the turning of the seasons, all sense of time would stop too. And you can still tell the time of day by looking into the eyes of a cat, and noticing whether they have round pupils or thin slits.

Many, many years after the first cats lost the power of speech, some began to share company with humans. Naturally, cats domesticated themselves (or rather, they domesticated humans), and humans had little say in it. They gravitated towards human settlements because of the abundance of prey animals (mice, rats etc) which lived in our grain stores. This helped humans out, so in return they started to feed cats and tolerate them living around them. Cats have not forgotten that they chose to live with us, not the other way around.

The bare bones of the story follow. They will be fleshed out with decent prose soon!

Hodge was born in a fishing village outside Ålesund in Norway. Noticing his prowess for fishing and catching mice, he was offered food by local fishermen to keep their boats free of pests. One day, he was taken aboard a ship sailing for London, to control the rat population on board, with several other cats. Once there, he found that sailors in the local pubs would leave out milk and old fish for him, and unfortunately he became so full that he overslept and missed the boat home. This didn't particularly bother Hodge, but he did miss the snow back home.

One day, Hodge struck up an unlikely friendship with a young witch who ran a sewing shop, mostly because she bought some oysters to feed to him (in those days, oysters were relatively cheap, but this was still extremely generous). He followed her home was entranced by all the colours of the thread she used, the way the silvers danced in the light, and he spent a lot of time chasing beams of light and dust particles around the shop floor. The young witch found this endearing, and told him to come back whenever he wanted. Although Hodge would sleep by the hearth, he was not the type to be confined to a home, so he came and went as he pleased. Hodge would 'help' with their owner's projects from time to time, and indeed he did become quite good at helping to unravel skeins of yarn. In return the doting witch would reward him with malted milk, oysters or sometimes his very favourite - rice pudding.

During this time, rumour started to spread of witches living in Europe, and panic began to spread. People began to associate cats with dark magic, especially black smoke coloured cats like Hodge. Hodge was not worried, until the young witch began to be suspected by her neighbours. Frightened that Hodge would be persecuted or harmed if it was discovered that she had fed him, she transformed him into a plushie toy, though still with the power of movement. As long as he was completely still around dangerous humans, he was safe. But in exchange he lost some of his movement, and he could not fend for himself any more, unable to catch anything.

Many decades, even a century passed. Hodge was passed down through the generations as a child's toy. One day, the sewing shop was abandoned, and the little boy who he belonged to left Hodge behind. All alone, he came to life and played with the building piles of dust particles, his stitches becoming more and more torn and his stuffing starting to show through.

Finally, the shop was bought by a family who wanted to turn it into a bakery. They cleared out the shop and Hodge was taken to a market stand to be sold. He looked dishevelled and no children seemed to want to buy him. Until a young girl from the travelling circus that was performing nearby came along. She saw that Hodge was in need of care, and she bought him. Unbeknown to the girl, she was the great great great grandaughter of the witch who had first turned Hodge into a plushie, and at her touch he transformed back into the cat he had once been, although a little scruffier and with his galaxy colouring and jewels remaining.

Since then, he travels with the circus, helping to fix the costumes of the performers when they get frayed and purring his extremely loud purr. They say you can hear the wheels of the world turning in that extraordinary purr.

Plans


The above customisations are examples of how I would customise my plushie. All were done in DTI, with items from my closet.

Hodge will have a petpet and p3, most likely the ones shown above, although I also like the Plushie Noil. He will have a customised lookup much like my current pets have. I will be entering him in the BC, as I have done with previous pets (most notably my former pea chia Myzeri). He would never be UFT, and would only be UFA if I quit the site.

Generally, my pets don't have story-based petpages at the moment, because they keep my portfolio, my checklists and other things on their pages. However, I'm hoping to join together their stories so that I can have a couple of petpages which feature stories for all of my permanent pets. I save these in a word processor because my pets swap between accounts from time to time.

I don't claim to be a great writer, nor am I a great artist. I've entered the AG and the BC a couple of times with old pets, most of which I have adopted out since then (examples below). I'm working on art for Nayliae, and she has a reference drawing. But I am extremely slow at digital art so I'm moving more towards traditional art forms.

Art by Me


Full disclosure: I am terrible at digital art, so I did the following on paper in watercolour. It was actually so much fun! I am excited to paint more of my pets now!

My Old Art / Other Characters

Art by Others

Coming soon!

About Me

I'm Sarah, I'm a 30 year old teacher from a quiet, leafy part of London. i drink a ridiculous amount of tea, i'm obsessed with all things Scandinavian, and i love curling up in a big cardigan with a good book and (of course) one of our two cats on my lap.

Timezone: NST+7
Accounts: plasticrose (main), treeplant, rosecloud, acupoftea

Likes: Books, tea, french pastries, cats, travel and theatre.
Dislikes: Paperwork, marking, the cold.

Favorite Things

  • Books: Bleak House by Charles Dickens, The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult, The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguru, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, the poetry of Emily Dickinson.
  • Movies: Breakfast at Tiffany's, Catching Fire, Doctor Zhivago, Encounters at the End of the World, Persepolis, Wall-E.
  • TV Series: Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, Black Books, The Great British Bake Off, Forbrydelsen, Broen (The Bridge), Borgen, Gilmore Girls.
  • Bands/Artists: Adele, Alanis Morissette, Bon Iver, Carole King, Florence & the Machine Françoise Hardy, Imogen Heap, London Grammar, Marina & the Diamonds, Rae Morris, Sia.
On Neopets my favorite things to do are collect avatars, try for game trophies and feed kadoaties. I also spend a lot of time trading NC items and customising my pets. I've been on Neopets for over 12 years and my proudest achievements are my pets and my Avatar Collector avatar.

My favourite permanent pets stay on my main account, at the moment that's Nayliae and Keileila, and would include the Kougra. I usually keep one draik on my main, and I hope to make another Transparent Aisha eventually because they are so much fun to customise. I'm in the process of down-sizing my accounts.

Offsite, I live and teach in London, UK. My hobbies include reading, baking bread, cakes and pastries and watching films under a cosy blanket. I love going to the theatre, and I used to act in plays in my school days.

The Family

Since pet images are currently broken, I've just written about my pets here!

Keileila: Keileila is the youngest member of a travelling circus troupe known as noch' tsirka. Her expertise is acrobatics, especially tumbling. She is unusually morbid, due to witnessing the death of her older sister in an accident when she was small. She loves all things macabre and creepy. and those outside the circus usually find her odd and unsettling. But she is at home with her companions in the troupe and with the animal friends she manages to make wherever she goes.. Keileila is one of the original pets on this account, I created her back in 2005, and she was Royal for a long time. One day she was zapped baby by Boochi (back when that was a thing), and tbh she was so cute I decided to keep her like that. Her petpage currently holds my portfolio.

Nayliae: Nayliae was the second pet I ever adopted (the first was my pea chia who I since adopted out), and the first UC pet I ever owned. I applied for her back in 2011, and she came home in November that year. She has not left my account since. Nayliae is a woodland spirit from a bluebell forest in Ireland. She lives in an abandoned library, where she cares for the books and reads every day she can. She is extremely shy, and is rarely seen by other neopians. Nay also has a ghostly quality. Her antennae and markings glow dimly when she is reading to give her light. The better the book, the brighter they glow. She is often visited by fireflies, who are drawn to her light. But she intentionally avoids most other living beings, preferring her own company. Her petpage used to hold my NC lists but I'm hoping to make it a full character page like this over the next few months.

Aretya: Aretya was created as a customisation doll more than anything else, but I've since developed a character for her that I like a lot. She is an upbeat, food-obsessed high school student who dreams of being a pastry chef. She grew up on the outskirts of Tokyo, close to the university where her father works. She has an older step-sister who she looks up to, but who has very little time for her uncool younger sister. Ettie can be hot-headed in the extreme, and lets her emotions get the better of her. She's been known to throw her cakes in the bin if things don't go right. When she's not baking, Ettie is interested in History, and lots of her creations are based on architecture. She often gets distracted daydreaming about food.

Kattily: Kattily was my first ever Draik, and she was hatched on 24.07.05, then painted Desert using a FFQ. Her character is a massive WIP, unfortunately!

Other pets are currently either trading fodder to try to get me closer to my dream, or they're mainly for customisation and I don't have characters for them. Linatha has a petpet and P3, but I don't anticipate her having a major character any time soon.

Thank You

Thank you, dear reader, for getting this far! If you have a plushie up for adoption or trade, I am grateful for your interest! I want to take a moment to thank my friends who helped and supported me with this application and in general on Neopets. You know who you are!

Credit

The CSS for the title is from Anna's CSS
Stock image of mountains from Deviantart, for free use.
The rest is my own, please do not steal. I am happy to help you with coding issues and may be willing to let you use some of mine but please ASK.



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