A day shy of a week ago Robotech Master was out on his e-bike when an SUV struck him and drove off. According to the most recent news available, he passed away from his injuries at around 2:00 this morning. I have kept some news up on his user page and, at this point, ask that anyone wishing to leave messages or tributes do so on either his talk page or another page that can be used for such things. His account here and all of the stories he has gifted the Shifti community with will be preserved in memoriam, as we also did for Morgan.

User:Robotech Master/Like Cats and Dogs

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Like Cats and Dogs

Author: Chris Meadows

Author's Comments

I began this story several years ago, and let it sit around without finishing it for a long time. I was reminded of it by User:Kenani's story The Girl of His Dreams and decided to go ahead and finish it up.

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Jenny. She was quite attractive, and also very popular. She flirted with every boy at her school, but never very seriously. But she was so nice that none of the boys minded.

Many boys had crushes on her, but the one who harbored the greatest of these did so in secret. His name was Timothy. He was slight of build, not very popular, and very shy. He knew that with all the more popular, more handsome boys, he had no chance, and he would never have dreamed of saying anything about it to her. But he watched and daydreamed and wished and fantasized.

And then one day, Timothy's dreaming attracted someone's attention. A gorgeous woman appeared before his very eyes. She was tall, blue-eyed, and had thick blonde hair that fell all the way to the floor around her. She smiled at him. "Hello, Timothy. My name is Leah. I'm what you might call a goddess, and I've been listening to you for a while."

"Listening?" Timothy asked uncertainly.

"Of course. All your wishings and longings could be said to qualify as prayer…and I'm a goddess. I'd like to help you with your problem. Were you serious when you wished, just now, that you could be Jenny's pet just as long as you could be near her?"

Timothy swallowed. "I…well…yes. If she…liked me that way…it would be enough. It'd be more than anybody else has."

Leah nodded. "Well enough. I'll see what I can arrange." She vanished as quickly as she had come.

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A few days later, Jenny received a visit from Leah herself, in much the same fashion. "Who—who are you?" Jenny asked.

"My name is Leah," she said, "and I am a goddess. And I like you—which could be a good or a bad thing, depending."

Jenny frowned. "I don't believe in that sort of thing."

"Then how shall I prove it to you?" Leah mused. "I could…yes. I know what I'll do." She smiled impishly.

"I'm not sure I need—" Jenny began, but then everything went hazy.

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Leah paid another visit to Timothy soon afterward. "I think I can help you out…but there's a price. Are you willing to prove your devotion?"

Timothy stammered, "I…uh…sure! What do I have to do?"

Leah reached behind her and brought out a grey and white Siamese cat. "Take care of this cat for me."

Timothy blinked. "Huh?"

"This cat. She's very…special to me. Call it…a test. How well you treat her, and how happy you make her, will reflect on how worthy you are for Jenny."

Timothy gulped. "Then…I'll do my very best."

Leah smiled. "I know you will." She handed the cat across to him."

Timothy took the cat carefully from her. "What's her name?"

Leah said, "Oh, you can call her Aphrodite."

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Jenny opened her eyes and yawned. Why did she feel so strange? She was lying in what should have seemed an unnatural position…but was perfectly comfortable. She was warm, sleepy…and everything looked so much bigger than it should have. The colors were all wrong, too. As she looked around, and down at herself, she suddenly realized the reason—she was a cat.

She knew she should have been horrified, even panicked, yet somehow, she could not manage to work up the reaction. Perhaps her feline brain was too small. Whatever the cause, she wasn't worried. A bit uncomfortable, perhaps; a bit hungry, certainly. But not scared.

Suddenly she was lifted off the ground by two strong arms, and placed on someone's lap. It was a boy…how big and strange he looked from this perspective! It would have been easy to be scared of him, and yet he was gentle enough that she wasn't. Then he began to pet her, and she was immediately distracted.

She'd never known being simply petted would feel so good. She arched her back as his hand moved along it, feeling a purr welling up deep down in her throat. Her last vestiges of concern over humanity or lack thereof faded, and she gave herself over to enjoying the experience.

And enjoy it she did. For the next week or so, she was treated very very well. She came to enjoy her new life, and to respect the boy who was taking care of her for his care and kindness.

And then one morning Jenny woke up in her own bed, human again, with the experiences of the last week fading away like a half-remembered dream. And Leah was sitting by her bed. "Good morning."

Jenny sat up slowly, clutching her blanket to her chest. "What…happened to me? Was that…did you do that?"

Leah smiled. "Will you believe in me now?"

"I…guess I have no choice," Jenny mused. "What do…you want of me? Worship?"

"That would be nice, but no, what I have to ask of you is a relatively small thing, actually." Leah smiled. "I have a pet for you to keep and care for. A very special pet."

"A pet?"

Leah nodded. "A pet. One who will love you very much, and is very well-trained." She reached behind her and brought out a small Scottish Terrier, wearing a red nylon collar. "His name is Timothy."

"Oh…he's so cute!" Jenny reached out to take him from her arms. "And…he's mine?"

"For as long as you want him," Leah said. "I know you'll take very good care of him."

"Oh, I will, I will…" Jenny cuddled the little dog in her arms, petting him. "Timothy, you say?"

"You can name him something else, if you want."

"No, I think Timothy will work fine." Jenny smiled. "I've always wanted a dog."

Leah smiled. "He's yours now…have fun." And she was gone.

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Timothy was a very happy dog. It was all so exciting, and so different from how he'd thought it would be! He couldn't see too well, but oh the smells! He'd never thought the world could smell this way. And his mistress—she smelled the best of all.

She was so very kind to him…spending a lot of time with him, playing with him, throwing a stick so he could fetch it, giving him baths. He didn't even mind the baths, since he was taking them with her. He realized he didin't think of her now as a romantic interest, as he had as a human, but that was all right, it was still a lot of fun.

Timothy was happy about his new life, and hoped it would never end.

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And then one day Leah showed up in Jenny's house again, as she was watching television with her little dog on her lap. "Hello again," Leah said, brushing a wave of her hair out of her face. "And how have the two of you been doing?"

Jenny looked up. "Very well, Goddess. He's very well-behaved, and so sweet…"

Leah smiled. "Yes, he is, isn't he? The fact of the matter is, I need to talk to you about him."

"You're not here to take him away, are you?"

"No, no, rest assured I wouldn't think of doing that. But there is something I need to tell you."

Jenny blinked. "What's that?"

"A not-so long time ago, there was a boy who really had a crush on a girl. A boy who would do anything to be close to her. Even…happily become her pet."

Jenny's eyes widened. "You mean he's—"

Leah nodded. "He is. And he'd be happy to go right on being your pet dog for the rest of his life—but I don't think that's quite fair to either of you."

"Oh." Jenny thought about that for a moment. "Then what are you going to do?"

"Oh, it's not what I'm going to do," Leah said with a mischievous grin. "It's what you are."

"What…I am?"

Leah nodded. "The spell on him is keyed to two words. If you whisper in his ear, 'Boy,' the spell will be broken…and then, if you whisper 'Dog,' it will be reinstated. So you can decide what you want of him, and which way you want him."

Jenny's eyes widened. "You mean…it's my choice?"

"Yes, it is. He put his fate in my hands, and now I pass that on to you." Leah looked at her. "But you must be kind to him. If you are not, I will know."

"I…will," Jenny said. "I can at least promise that, Goddess."

Leah smiled. "Good. Then I will see you again." And she was gone.

Jenny walked into her bedroom, frowning, followed by Timothy. Her faithful pet…had once been a boy? Did she even know anyone named Timothy? She didn't think so. And yet he had a crush on her? Well, that was not surprising. Most of the boys at school did—but she didn't care for the ones who did not try to do anything about it, and most of the ones who did were so boorish that they completely failed to interest her. Why should this one be any different?

Though she was a bit nonplussed to learn of it, she had to admire the sort of devotion it took to have oneself turned into a dog simply to be near her. She at least owed him a chance to explain. She sat down on the bed and called Timothy to her. She picked him up, placed him on the bed next to her, then leaned down to whisper in his ear, "Boy."

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Timothy was confused. It had been an ordinary day with his mistress, until she had visited. His memory was hazy, but he seemed to remember her from sometime long before, and had a vague premonition that something wasn't right. It was only when he found himself sitting on Jenny's bed as a human again that it fully came back to him. He blinked, shook his head…and then noticed Jenny sitting next to him. "…oh," he said, quietly.

For her part, Jenny was looking at him in surprise, almost staring at him—for she recognized him. How could she help it? This had been the boy who had taken such good care of her when Leah had turned her into a cat. The boy whom she had come to regard—still did regard—as a master. In the space of a few moments, attitudes warred, wavered, shifted. She had to please him. He deserved it—for taking care of her, and for his selflessness in wishing to be her dog.

Timothy was extremely surprised when Jenny leaned in to kiss him—but not so surprised he did not kiss back. Not only was she his crush, she was also his mistress…so anything she wanted to do would be fine with him. All the same, he could barely believe what was happening as they lay down together on the bed. Was he dreaming? This was what he had wanted for such a long, long time.

A while later, as they lay there together, Jenny looked over at Timothy and smiled. "Was that your first time?"

"I…er…" Timothy found he was having trouble coming up with words—even now, after having been with her. She was still so lovely…and deep inside of him he still felt as though he belonged to her.

"You were very good," she said quietly. She looked up at the ceiling, and sighed. "If only I had time for a steady boyfriend…"

"Oh." Timothy looked away, uncertain how to reply. She had rejected him. It was over—

Jenny reached out to turn his face back toward hers, smiling coyly. "But I do have time for a faithful little dog, who will always be there waiting for me when I come home, who I can love and take care of from day to day, and who would not mind, every so often, a little…heavy petting."

It took a moment for that to sink in, then Timothy blinked. "You mean you'd be willing…to keep me?"

Jenny nodded. "Of course—if you're willing. It's the least I can do for you."

"Oh. I am willing—I want that more than anything else in the world. Just to be close to you, however I can."

Jenny leaned close, and whispered, "Dog," in his ear, and Timothy shrank back down into the little terrier. Jenny took him into her arms and cuddled him. "And I just want to please you…so it looks like we have a deal."

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The next few weeks were a time of fun and discovery. Every day when Jenny came home, there was Timothy waiting for her. She petted and groomed him, and then whispered in his ear and took him to bed with her. At first they never set aside much time for talk, but as time went on, they began to chat more before Timothy went back to four legs. To their surprise, they began to find they had a lot of things in common—more than they had thought.

"That was you? Aphrodite? The cat?" Timothy said.

Jenny nodded. "It was. When I didn't believe…she changed me, and made me…your pet."

"Oh." Timothy thought about that. "Were you scared? I mean…I asked for it. You…more sort of didn't."

She shook her head. "A little, at first, but…you were so kind to me, I couldn't help feeling safe. It was really kind of nice."

"Oh." Timothy hugged her. "Would you want to, maybe…be it again some?"

Jenny glanced curiously at him. "Why, what are you thinking?"

"I just wanted to try something." He leaned in and whispered in her ear, "Cat."

Jenny had just enough time to look startled before shrinking down into a grey and white Siamese cat again. She mewed plaintively, but Timothy picked her up and cuddled her and petted her until she purred. "Would you like to come back home with me, pretty kitty?"

"Mew," said Jenny.

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So Timothy returned home with Jenny/Aphrodite, and got used to living as a human with a pet cat again—or at least, a pet cat who was also his mistress. It was strange how she could be both of those things at once. He felt as if he belonged to her, existed only to serve her…but at the same time, she was his pet and was there to make him happy too.

The two seemed to cancel each other out when he returned her to human form by whispering "girl" in her ear. They belonged to each other, they wanted to please each other—though Jenny was still submissive enough, at least for now, not to insist on taking up her human life again. She let herself be changed back into a cat, content to be Timothy's playful kitten as he had been her faithful dog.

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And then one day, as Timothy and Jenny lay curled up in each other's arms in bed, Leah appeared silently in their bedroom. "Hello, dears."

Timothy blinked and looked up. "Leah?"

Jenny opened her eyes. "Goddess?"

Leah smiled. "I'm glad to find you enjoying each other. I'm afraid I have to bring up something you might find unpleasant."

Timothy blinked. "What's that?"

"I'm afraid my favors to you both came at a slight cost. Just a small one, nothing you'll really miss…"

"What…cost?" Jenny asked.

"Yourselves." Leah's smile broadened. "You see, goddesses want pets just as much as people do. And since you are both used to being them to each other, now it's time for you to both be pets to me."

"We…don't have any choice, do we?" Timothy asked.

Leah smiled and shook her head. "I'm afraid you don't. I am a goddess, after all. Mortals lives are mine to play with…or to take care of. And I promise I will take very good care of you."

Jenny glanced at Timothy. "Will you…let us be human some, too?"

"I'll give you one day as your human selves a week. Out of the goodness of my heart, I'll even make sure it's the same day for both of you, and you can spend it together."

Timothy and Jenny looked at each other. "Like you said, I guess we don't have any choice," Jenny whispered.

"And she said she'll take good care of us," Timothy said.

"I guess it's the best we can hope for." As they looked at her, the feeling gradually stole over them that they had never had a choice, for Leah simply was their natural owner. Owner…mistress…goddess—they belonged to her, down to their very souls.

"Good, I'm glad that's settled." Leah winked. "Now why don't you give each other one last kiss, 'cuz you're not gonna be human again for another six days, 'kay?"

And Timothy and Jenny looked at Leah, then looked at each other, and fell into each other's arms for one final time. Leah gave them a couple of minutes to kiss, then leaned in close and whispered into their ears. Then she picked up the cat and dog, cradled them gently in her arms, and disappeared.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Author's Comments

Yes, I'm aware I shoved a few things under the narrative carpet (like the matter of parents, or the frequent absences at school caused by being a pet at the time). It's a fantasy. :)