Three years ago I tamed the Teal Kitty. I wanted the teal kitty ever since I set eyes on it, since teal is and always has been my favorite color. There were two, Shy’Rotam, summonable via a quest (back then, only available for Horde only)… and Rak’Shiri.

I tamed Rak’Shiri in a leper gnome costume at 4:30am. I wasn’t even level 60 yet. Immediately I loved him to pieces. I named him Locke, a bit of an in-joke since, like Hobbes, Locke was originally a 17th century philosopher. And so Locke was my fangirly tribute to BRK.

Locke and I did everything together. We learned how to do instances. (Pretty sure he wiped Dire Maul once when I forgot to dismiss him and jumped down a ledge.) We learned how to do heroics. He was my Karazhan pet. He became very well-known (and well-liked) in my guild. We had dozens of in-jokes with him. Doing one Heroic Mech run we joked that he didn’t like me anymore and was running off to replace Pathaleon the Calculator and become the new final boss. We joked about him being the Sacrifice Bot on those land mines in Heroic Blood Furnace. Guildies drew pictures of him with a top hat and monocle. Blog readers have sent me fan-art of him.

Once Wrath of the Lich King hit, Locke accompanied me to level 80 and came with me to early heroics and Naxx runs. It was about this time that I decided to re-tame Wash, a pet I’d loved and lost from early on (pre-Locke), and Wash became my new full-time companion. But I never forgot Locke. How could I? He’s just as much a part of Tawyn as Wash is. He still sits faithfully in my stable and I take him out to romp around sometimes.

He likes to dance.

Well, you see, today I found out that everything is changing in Cataclsym, and Rak’Shiri is turning into a white tiger. The change is retro-active, so all tamed Rak’Shiris will be turning into the white tiger. (The other teal tiger, Shy’Rotam, is safe.)

I… guys…

I know this is silly and weepy and utterly irrational of me, since really it’s a big block of pixels. But I like my Locke the way he is. And I don’t want him to change.

To those who say “Just go tame Shy’Rotam”: It won’t be the same kitty. Not the “new last boss of Heroic Mech”. Not the kitty that went with me to Karazhan week after week.

To those who say “The white kitty is still a pretty cool skin because they’re getting a sabre’toothed model now”: Yes, but it’s not my favorite color. It’s not the reason why I wanted Rak’Shiri.

My Teal Kitty and I have been through thick and thin for three years. Will I still love him when he changes color? Yeah. I’m sure I can wrangle up some sort of weird RP reason for it. Maybe.

But I’m still sad. =(

32 Responses to “RIP, Big Teal Kitty”
  1. Spyri says:

    ..I… I didn’t mean to drop the potion on Locke, honest!!!! =( I just thought it’d be a neat Halloween costume for kitty…

  2. Pike says:

    @ Spyri – <3 <3 that will totally be my RP reason.

  3. Awlbiste says:

    That is super super lame. :( It’s totally not irrational, and while it is a bunch of pixels, when you spend time playing with them for so long they have sentimental value.

    Is there any RP explanation you could come up with for having Locke become the new Shy-Rotam? I am not an RPer at all but, I dunno, Locke’s kitty-soul transferred itself to a new teal kitty?

  4. Pike says:

    @ Awlbiste – I kind of really want to rename the Gondria I just tamed to “Locke” now. Granted, it’s on a different character, but… I could totally work with that.

    It’s all kind of silly because I never RP but I sort of think of my characters as being alive in a way so I put a lot of thought into this sort of thing, haha.

  5. Darkbrew says:

    Yeah it’s a funny thing about pets. Rak’Shiri was also my pet throughout TBC. My wife picked out the name and Mosby and I were a fine team.

    I actually abandoned him in Wrath and went so far as to travel to Winterspring and release him there. Later during the expansion I went an tamed Shy-Rotam and named him Mosby, but like you alluded to, it just wasn’t the same, and I ended up releasing him.

    I was actually looking forward to going and taming Rak’Shiri in Cataclysm, but alas, I think Mosby and I have parted ways for good.

    I know how you feel on this one.

  6. Zolos says:

    My first character back in vanilla was a NE hunter, and one of my biggest projects back in the day was to get a high enough level to tame Rak’Shiri. I spent hours trying to find him. One day my wife called, totally excited that she had found him and managed to tame him for me. I was completely overjoyed, and when I got home I named him Bane. He’s been my hunter’s constant companion, even after I managed to tame a spirit wolf (what a chore THAT was!) and he has followed my hunter through the Dark Portal and across the icy sea to Northrend. While I could tame the other tiger, it absolutely will not be the same. I’m severely disappointed that Blizz won’t leave the color alone. I never imagined that the Shattering would have such a personal impact.

  7. girl_vs_mmo says:

    It’s not irrational. When the patch hit and my warlock pets had their names changed I couldn’t even touch my lock until they fixed it. To some it might be a bunch of pixels but we know its not the same thing. I don’t know what I’d do if her demons never got their names back. I’m so sorry you are losing Locke. :(

  8. Dan-O says:

    He’s just getting a little bit older. He’s not changing – he’s ‘well-seasoned’!

  9. Kelesaria says:

    On one hand, I’m glad now that Tadrith’s teal kitty is Shy-Rotam, and therefor is safe. On the other hand… Poor Locke :( /hug

    I have to admit though, seeing the article about all the new colors of my FAVORITE cat skin is making me a little giddy.

  10. yunk says:

    Seriously? It took me a week to get him, and they’re taking him away? wtf? He’s the pet I always use. The only pet I will miss more was my original ghost sabre Cheveyo, who I lost when I changed UIs and screw up some things.

    The only pet that was harder to get was the white gorilla, and that only because people kept killing him while I was taming him. And I don’t even like him that much.

  11. Ardprest says:

    I can quite understand how attached you get to your pets. I can clearly remember getting quite angry the first a boss killed my pet. I mean I knew I could resurrect him but really – how DARE he!! I still have the first pet I ever tamed, just a plain ol’ Barrens raptor but he’s been with me through thick and thin from level 10-80 and I’ve delayed taming other creatures just to keep a space clear for him.

  12. Jaedia says:

    Awww, that’s so sad :<

    The teal kitty is my favourite too, I thought I'd lost good old NomNom in 4.0.1, but thank GOD it was just a stable bug. He's safe <33

    When you said the teal kitty would be changing to a white kitty, I actually panicked a little bit. I was pretty damn lucky though, went over to tame the teal kitty and there was Shy'Rotam wandering around and THANK GOD, because NomNom wouldn't be NomNom if he wasn't the teal kitty I set out to tame.

    You could tame a new teal kitty and give it a new name now that you have more space? Of course it wouldn't be Locke, but you'd at least have that awesome model even if you decided never to use it.

  13. Tom says:

    I’ve always liked that model, and Hobbes’, but…well, let’s put it this way: if Bliz ever takes my beautiful black (Carnifex) and white (Eburnus) lions away from me, there will be blood. I jest of course, but I feel the way about them that you do about Locke, and imagining such an eventuality, I empathize. No, it is not irrational at all. In the comments of what may have been your greatest post ever, http://www.aspectofthehare.net/2008/01/why-i-play-a-bm-hunter.html, BRK said it best: “It’s deep and it’s emotional because it’s True.” And this is coming from a poor ol’ SV hunter. =)

  14. isyris says:

    *hugs all ’round*

    I don’t have a teal kitty, but I feel for those of you that do–my red hyena is turning into a dog come Cata, and I have no idea what I’m going to do. Taming a different pet with the same look just isn’t the same.

  15. Watermist says:

    While none of my pets are changing (though to be honest, only one matters to me: my wolf, Howler, who I tamed at level 10), I do totally understand. It’s not irrational at all – heck, I have had kept Howler at my side over those last five years!

    I liked the suggestion of that gnome dropping a potion on Locke, though. That’s a great RP reason. XD

  16. Lilandre says:

    Rak an old kitty hes bound to get some grey hairs here and there, its just a natural part of aging. Im sure he can still rule Heroic Mechanar with a few grey fuzzies.

  17. Melkorka says:

    My first pet was The Rake, the rare lvl10 lion with the mane in Mulgore. At lvl11 I made the trek (being a NE hunter) on a pvp realm from Ironforge to Mulgore. What an epic trip. And then I found him and tamed him. This was back in vanilla when The Rake had the highest attack speed of all pets until the late 40′s.

    I named him Goldenmane and he’s been my main pet ever since (tho I have had fun with gorilladins and wolves). Goldenmane will be my lvling pet for Cata. But I know how you can get attached to your pixles. This does make me sad for you Pike. I know how I would feel if they made my cat different :S

  18. Bamos says:

    While I am sad for your cat, I must say I am also a bit relived. Relieved to know that I’m not the only one who’s so terminally sentimental as to get this attached to their WoW pets.

    I don’t think I’ve ever released a pet on any of my hunters, (except one time I grabbed a turtle to run into WC to grab a blue wind serpent there). I have four hunters…and their pets help define who they are as characters. If you get into character at all on WoW, with RP or not, you have a sort of an empathy with the character you’ve created. There’s a lot of sentimental value there, and there’s nothing irrational about being sad that you lost it.

    I really don’t know what you can do…maybe he got cursed! Petrified, or changed into lead! By those worthless demons in the Darkwhisper Gorge! And in the process of getting him back, his form changed into a white tiger.

    OR…

    he got sick, with a rare tiger disease (or something), and the long term effects include a washed-out pelt. (Just as a human can get certain skin diseases that will leave long-term color changes on the skin.)

    Or, Spyri’s clumsy white paint explanation works too, lol

    The point is, if you had someone you cared for, and they got an a car accident or something, and their face was ruined for life, would you still care for them?

    Of course you would, because its still them, even if their face is messed up. It’s still your tiger, even if its skin is messed up.

    If that made any sense…

  19. Adeanna says:

    maybe you could say Locke thawed out a little with the climate getting hotter?

    but yes, this is sad news. just like resto druids losing the ability to be in tree form whenever they wanted to for as long as they wanted to. or like how the spirit beast special attacked changed from moonfire to some healy thing. hopefully you’ll still love Locke after the change.

  20. Vellaen says:

    I, for one, will never forgive Deathwing for depositing bleach in water supplies across the world during his flybys.

    If you or a loved one has suffered from this little-known facet of the Elemental Invasion, let Deathwing know YOU mean business. Please contact Skrimp, Srave, and Skive, Goblin Attorneys Esq., today.

  21. Bamos says:

    @ Veallen – lolz

    @ Pike, just fyi – you are not alone:

    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=27607286643&sid=1

    there’s a whole thread of people asking to keep the blue skin in the Suggestion forums.

  22. Qzz says:

    I totally understand. My main was a hunter and is still my secondary toon. His main pet is the Ghost Saber. When I heard this, my heart jumped and I started franti9cally searching the forums to see if he was safe. PHEW! looks like he is. Really feel for your loss.

  23. gorman ghaste says:

    Whenever I decide to release my pets back into the wild (oh how I wish it wasn’t labeled ‘abandon’), I don’t think of it as an end to our relationship, just some time apart. I have ‘retamed’ more than one of my favorite pets. Maybe you and Hobbes could part ways temporarily now, and then meet up again after all the craziness of the cataclysm has happened?

  24. gorman ghaste says:

    wtb edit: I meant Locke, of course. Hobbes stuck in my head from your article because we have a Calvin hunter on our server with an orange tiger :)

    I did go through this myself when one of the all-white kitty skins from Winterspring changed to white with black stripes, without any sort of heads up beforehand. I did decide to retame an all-white kitty.

  25. Francisco says:

    And this is what hunters are really all about.

    I would feel the same.

  26. Omogon of Lethon says:

    Scutters is a plain old boar from Loch Modan and my first pet. He is my constant companion for dailies, and BGs. He rarely gets to raid because everybody wants the agility buff from my cat or the “heroism” from my corehound…..but when I’m not raiding Scutters is with me. He is the bane of Horde rogues and casters and has saved the day more than once when the tank has DC’d or was a Twit in heroics. I we got nerfed to a single pet I would keep Scutters.

    I fully understand how you feel Pike.

  27. RickH says:

    No, see, your old faithful Locke is just trying to play a clever trick on you. He got some other strange cat to sub in for him just to mess with your head, and then since he and Shy’Rotam look so similar, he temporarily took over Shy’s place to try and hide in plain sight. But you know better, he can’t hide from you; just go tame him again, ignoring the obviously bogus Shy’Rotam name tag he’s trying to fake you out with, and he’ll be back with you again, and Shy will have to come back from her vacation to refill her official spot.

    Or just take a deep breath and announce to your self “Out Of Character game bug adjustment; Blizzard messed up Locke’s photo and I need to replace the photo by pretending to tame this other cat. It’s still really Locke, just fixing game settings. OK, fixed, back in character now.”

  28. Qzz says:

    This reminds me of another of my favorite pets. Broken Tooth. He was great in PVP with the 1.0 attack speed! They just jiggled while trying to cast. When they normalized all the pets, it felt like he had been lobotamized.

  29. Cialbi says:

    Aww, sorry to hear that!
    *moseys on over to Mania’s Arcania to get the full story
    Hmm, Ghamoo-ra gets a new (and imo better) skin in Cata. Wait, I tamed Ghamoo-ra, which means… SWEET!

    …Wait, this was meant to be a sympathy post >.<

  30. Pike says:

    @ RickH – Okay, your idea is probably the cutest one so far… *likes it a lot*

  31. Dobmeister says:

    I’m with ya on this.

    I tamed a Rak’shiri on a whim at 59 when playing classic in autumn 05 one evening. He got named Ragnaros by my 16 yr old self and I’ve never looked back. I’d often shout “sic ‘em Raggy!” when watching him dash to attack some random Hordie or mob, and he came with great exclusivity, that I didn’t feel was too diminished at all by the opening up of Sian/Shy-Rotam.

    I’m all cool with Blizzard locking out skins due to borkdom, e.g. this is an ooze/hydra, no a crocolisk. I’m cool with changes to model files of mobs in the game world to advance the storyline, but to replace the texture of a pet I’ve had tamed and have cherished for over five years, and have sitting in hundreds of screenshots of my hunter’s progress, is just bleeding intolerable.

    So yeah, I’ll make that trip to Winterspring, retame crystal blue frostsaber, call him Ragnaros and try to move on. But it just won’t be the same…

  32. Jinza says:

    I share your disappointment. I’ve had the jade-eyed cat for nearly 6 years. You can imagine my disagreement to this change. Not even my first-sighting, first-ever taming of Loque’Nahak the night before the Shattering quells the loss.

    That cat and I survived many setbacks to our class, but alas he couldn’t survive Blizzard’s perilous sense of development.

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