The Perfect Pet
Wow! You have such adorable pets. Can you tell me anything about them?
There. I’ve done it. I’ve just asked one of the most difficult questions in Neopia. Nine out of ten times when you ask someone about their pets, they’ll say, "Oh, I got Tom in the pound." "I created Annie as my first pet a year ago." "I painted Sam invisible just yesterday! Sam...? Sam, where are you?" I get their levels, their color, where the owner got the pet. But not anything really ABOUT the pet. That’s why I have taken it upon myself to write this article: how to make your pets really your pets. How to make them live like no pixels ever have before! To help you get an idea of what to do, we are going to pretend that you adopted a blue Uni named Jenny, and you’d like to give her a personality. Hopefully by working through this on your own with your real pets, you’ll be able to do the same thing. Shall we begin?
One of the easiest things to do to get your creative juices flowing is run up and down Terror Mountain until you.... oh, wait, that’s training for the Neomail Delivery Service. *throws manual out the window* What I was saying was that you should ask questions that make you wonder about Jenny. Where does she come from? What does she want more than anything else? What is special enough about Jenny that makes us care about her? These sort of questions will help you get moving.
Let’s start with the question, where does Jenny come from? Let’s say you adopted her from the pound. That means that she had another owner, possibly siblings, neighbors, a petpet, a whole different lifestyle. So, let’s give her owner a brief personality. Her owner, whose name is Daisy, created Jenny as a first pet. Daisy was a girl and into Unicorns, so she thought Jenny would be perfect. Unfortunately, she got caught in the paint craze and adopted a faerie Kougra. All the attention she ever paid Jenny was given to the Kougra, who we’ll call Kyle. After a while, the owner got tired of Jenny and dumped her into the pound. From this, we can guess some characteristics about Jenny. How did she feel about that? Is she the Cinderella type who stays sweet and loves them anyway, or is she more like the rest of us and horribly jealous of Kyle? Let’s pretend that she meets Kyle and her former owner on the side of the road. Would she call them names, turn the other way, or greet them warmly? Let’s say that she understood, but she cried a lot about it when Daisy didn’t know. She felt somewhat relieved when she got to the pound, even though she missed Daisy and Kyle terribly. See how much more we know about Jenny already? Of course, when you're doing your own pets, you can get as creative or far out as you want. Don't limit yourself to the examples I give!
Moving on. The next thing I do is take the stereotypes of the pet species. Unis are generally assumed to be proud and beautiful, right? Well, there’s GOT to be more to Jenny than that, right? How vain is Jenny? Say she’s pretty humble, except when it comes to her... what does she like to do best? How about cooking? Even with Daisy and Kyle, she prepared meals, inventing her own recipes and improving the ones already out there. Just the other day, she made omelette soup for you and it was the best soup you’ve ever eaten in your whole life. She reads cook books for fun and wants to work at Kelp when she’s older. She’d love to be painted Maraquan more than anything so she could breathe when she was under all that water. Anyway, she can be pretty cocky about the dishes she's made up, but of course she's such a genius that you don't blame her, right?
Because of all this cooking, little Jenny’s turned into a perfectionist. She believes that if you boil an egg for a half second longer than it should be, breakfast is ruined. This carries into real life, too. If you don’t iron the tablecloth just right, she gets irritated, and if there’s a smudge on her homework assignment, she insists on doing the whole thing again. You don't mind too much because it means that her room is cleaner than all the others! What I did here was take her hobby and examined what personality traits might have come out of that. Making sense so far?
Let’s give Jenny some nicknames. What do her friends call her, you call her, her grandparents call her, her teachers call her, and so on? Okay, so Jennifer is her real name. Most people, though, call her Jenny. Her little brother calls her Jen-Jen, her friends call her Jen, and that annoying Kyrii down the street calls her Sassy. Uh... why does he call her that, then? What if when she gets impatient or upset, she has quite the fiery temper. So what does she call other people? Does she call you Mom, Mama, Ma, by your name, Mother, or a cute nickname? What she calls others and what others call her can reveal a lot.
I think we’ll stop there, because by now you should get the picture. It’s time for the ultimate tips. First, did you notice that Jenny wasn’t perfect? Sure, she’s ambitious and smart, but she’s also a perfectionist and has a temper. Don’t make your pet absolutely perfect or it will annoy people - and possibly even you eventually. Give them a few faults and life gets a lot more interesting. On the other hand, don’t make them completely horrible, either! Even Sloth has his good qualities... okay, so maybe not Sloth, but everybody else does. My second tip is to make sure you put it to use. Make them a petpage describing your pets, talk about them to your neofriends, roleplay them, write a story or draw a comic strip about them. If you make the effort not only to create their personality but to bring them to life, Neopets will become a lot more fun for you.
For those of you who could use some help, I’ll give you a few questions to start off with. From there, you can be as detailed or as wild as you want. Detail adds more spark, so don’t be afraid of answering more questions that might spring up from these, and don’t be afraid to think of your own! I just thought of some random ones that might be fun to respond to!
- How is your pet different from other pets of their species?
- What is your pet afraid of more than anything else?
- What is the worst thing about your pet?
- What would be your pet’s favorite vacation?
- What does your pet collect, or what would they collect if they could?
- What fascinates your pet?
- How does your pet react when something really bad happens?
- If your pet had a million neopoints, what would they spend it on?
All right, then! I hope you had as much fun putting this into practice as I did. I wish you and your pets the best, and let me know if you paint Jenny Maraquan, okay? I’ll send her a present. I hope that you’ll have a great time with your pets and their new sparkling personalities. Thanks for reading.
Author’s Note: Dedicated to my darling pets! I couldn't do this without them.