An Empty Cage
You know what I hate most about the Pound? I mean, I live here - I should know. Oh, sorry. Maybe I should introduce myself. My name is _Lol_Llama_54063, but I prefer David. I'm a green Ogrin, I'm 97 days old and I have lived in the pound for 90 days. Yes, I was one of those avatar pets that you all feel super sorry for - but do nothing about. I mean - I don't mind, I'm one of the tougher ones. My owner didn't care about me, made it pretty clear from the start that I was just there until he could get rid of me again. But not all of us have such thick skin, you know? Did you ever think about that?
So, I was saying? Oh yes, the Pound. It's not as bad as you think. Okay, it's cramped, dirty, damp and there's a lot of diseases all over the place - but seriously? I think I'd rather be in here than on some account where my owner doesn't care about me. At least in here we look out for each other, and though the food isn't all that regular or great - we get fed. For the first seven days of my life, I had an owner. And seriously - I think it's really over-rated. A lot of us in here agree.
Okay - what's so great about it? Most of the time, my owner was too busy to spend any time with me. He was either restocking, or bashing a kass, or collecting avatars. And where did I come into that? Oh yeah - I didn't! I sat around, a young naive neopet yearning to explore and learn about my world, watching my owner earn neopoints. If it was up to me - they wouldn't even exist! That's another thing a lot of us in here agree about; if it wasn't for neopoints, there wouldn't be fancy painted pets, and then maybe we would all have a fair chance in here.
Oh, okay. Maybe not all of us agree that our old homes were awful. Actually, I think more of us agree on the idea that having an owner is wonderful. I guess I'm pretty biased because my owner didn't want me to begin with. But a lot of my friends came from loving homes, who were excited when they created their new pets. They fed them, played with them, heck - I bet they even tucked them in at night. But eventually they wanted ''well named'' fancy painted pets, and needed more room. So, they ended up here. The new ones are the ones who cry at night, not just because of the cold and the hunger - but because they genuinely long for their owner. It breaks my heart to see my fellow neopets like that.
But then, I think to myself, ''If their owner was so great - why did they just leave them in here?!'' and it makes me angry. Not only at the ex-owner, but the new addition to the Pound. Don't they understand that their owner just ABANDONED them in here? They left them in a small, cramped cage, and never looked back?! But they talk about how much they miss their owner for a while; some watch the door constantly with hopes of their owner running back to them and scooping them up in their arms - with promises of never leaving them again. But soon, they give up. We all do.
Alright, I'm rambling. Back to the point. The thing I hate the most about the Pound is the fact that day in and day out, Neopians come in and just look at us. We sit in our cages, having Neopians peer at us in the dim light and shake their heads. They either complain that we're not some fancy colour, or that we look too miserable! Miserable?! Of course we're miserable! Okay, how about you sit in my cage, and have nosy Neopians looking at you at all hours! You try having no privacy whatsoever; it's not that fun! We might be PETS, but we have feelings too, you know.
You Neopians come into the Pound, with your fancy painted pets and your sacks of neopoints, and you wait. You look at us, for brief moments, but you don't even consider us because we're not as strong, or ''well-named'' or as pretty at the rare appearances of those ''catches'' you all seem to love so much. You stand around, browsing the cages, but you don't really look at us. You look at our coat of paint, our stats and our names. It's frustrating!
But, perhaps, there is one thing I hate more than that in the Pound. We Pound-Pets eventually become friends with each other, we become a family. And soon, someone comes and adopts one of us. Soon, our family becomes smaller and smaller. They are frightened to even visit, because once a pet is adopted, they never want to come back. Our best friends leave with their new family, and they never look back. They eventually forget about those of us left behind. We are the ones who were there for our friend when they first arrived here, and we were the ones who had the painful goodbye. You NEW owners got the easy part. You got the excitement, the laughter and the joy of a new pet. We got the pain, sorrow and tears for an abandoned friend.
You think you're doing a huge favour to us neopets when you take one of us out of the pound, whether it be to the pet you take or the pet you leave behind. I mean, it gives us a little more space - but it also leaves behind an empty cage. Take it from me; I speak from experience. I've lost a lot of my best friends to adoptions. Some come back. Some never do. And when they come back--if they ever do--they're different. They change.
But I guess I'm happy for my friends, and sometimes if I'm lucky enough I will catch a glance of them passing by the Pound. I see how happy they are with their new lives, presents, clothes and friends. They smile like I'd never seen them smile before. They are no longer the thin, sickly, hungry pets that I once knew - they are happy and enjoying Neopia, like all pets should. The pets I used to sit with in our cages, discussing the dreams and adventures we would pursue together once we got out of the Pound together - they're out doing those adventures, but without me.
But please, I urge you, instead of making a brand new pet to paint, train up, or just to dress up, - there is plenty of us in the pound looking for a new home, an owner that loves us. It's loneliest around the holidays, when we gaze out of our cell windows to see pets and owners laughing and having fun together in the care-free atmosphere of holidays. Please, a pet is for life, not just for the avatar.
You walk into the pound, and gaze around at the pets. A plain green Ogrin looks at you through the bars of his cage hopefully. You start to walk towards him, but a faerie Shoyru catches your eye...
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