Aurum, still a werekitten weremouse hybrid has not yet figured out how to change back from mouse sized when in tiger cub form. So, he decides to enlist the help of faeries and seeks out Calex and Zeelo for aid in finding some.
Aurum was in his home staring up at his computer screen. He had been doing research, something that was no small feat given his current stature. The silver and gold tiger cub was only six and a half years old, and only two inches tall. Using the computer was a long and arduous process. Ever since Aurum had become some hybridization of a weremouse and a werekitten he had been stuck this small and this young. And while he didn’t mind too much, and even enjoyed the fact he didn’t have to wear clothes. Being tiny did make it difficult to get things done. Supposedly, he should be able to change between tiger cub-sized and mouse-sized at will, but he hadn’t quite figured that out yet. So, he had gone to a place that was always full of correct information and definitely never misleads people.
Apparently, there were a number of magical creatures capable of changing their own sizes, as well as those of others. Demons and faeries seemed to be the ones that popped up the most. And of the two, the faeries sounded far less dangerous to deal with to Aurum. Plus, a faerie seemed like the kind of creature the person responsible for his current form was more likely to know personally. That meant it was time to pay him a visit. Which meant getting across town. Luckily, even before his size change became permanent, Aurum had been shrunk so many times he was used to getting around while tiny.
Aurum jumped down from his computer chair then climbed up to the mail slot of his front door and slid through it out onto the front porch. There, just outside his door waiting for him, was a skateboard with a sail attached to it made out of some ripped up fabric that once belonged to a shirt Aurum would likely never be big or old enough to wear again. It was propped up on the skateboard with popsicle sticks while there was also a handheld fan, which was taller than Aurum, mounted on the skateboard facing the sail. It was the type that could rotate left and right, and this was important for getting the skateboard to turn. The entire thing was held together by lots and lots of duct tape. Thankfully, Aurum had built it while he was still an adult and tall as a precaution on account of all the times he had been shrunk.
The tiny cub climbed up onto the skateboard, turned on the fan, and then he was on his way.
Aurum was trying to figure out how he was going to ring the doorbell once arriving. But thankfully that problem solved itself. As his skateboard rolled down the sidewalk he saw that Calex was out in the front yard, along with another brown kitten who, like Calex, wore no clothing at all. The two were wrestling and biting at each other, so Aurum guessed this other kitten was likely also a werekitten and wondered if it was someone Calex had converted or a natural born one. Both of them froze as he got closer. It didn’t take a lot of effort to get their attention. Aurum might have been tiny but the sail-powered skateboard was pretty conspicuous.
“Oh… Hey… It’s Aurum.” Calex slid from beneath the pin Zeelo had him in and ran up to the skateboard. “Still tiny.” He nodded. “I approve.”
“Whose Aurum?” Zeelo made a mild display of acting annoyed at Calex escaping but was more interested in the tiny tiger so came over to investigate.
“Former babysitter. Now some kind of werekitten weremouse hybrid.” Calex explained. “You wouldn’t believe how long it took him to realize how much of a detriment clothing was.”
“I haven’t even said anything and you’re jumping straight into that?” Aurum sighed, but then looked to Zeelo and noticed him nodding along in agreement with Calex. Great, there were two of them.
“Anyway, Aurum, Zeelo. Zeelo, Aurum. You’re both fellow werekittens. Technically.” Calex rubbed the back of his head. “Aurum is sort of a hybrid, kind of surprised myself. Didn’t know it would turn out like that.”
“Yeah…” Aurum muttered. “And… Maybe I’m… Okay with being a tiger cub, and being small can be fun… But it also makes it really hard to get around and I can’t figure out how to change size on my own yet. You said I could do it.”
“I believe you should, just not sure how.” Calex watched Aurum with curious eyes.
“Well, no luck figuring it out on my own so I looked up what other creatures might be able to help. The two most promising leads were demons and faeries.”
“So we’re summoning a demon?” Calex tilted his head. “Seems a bit extreme. But alright, let me grab a grimoire and some chalk to draw a magic circle.”
“What? No! Why would we go with the demon?” Aurum gave Calex a strange look. “I was thinking we should try to find some faeries.”
“Oh… I assumed you wanted to play it safe.” Calex shrugged. “Faeries though… Met more than a few… But not like I know any that can come on demand. You need their name for that and they’re pretty good about not giving those out.” The kitten tapped his paw.
“I know a faerie!” Zeelo volunteered. “I don’t know her real name, she has me call her Butterfly. But she lives in the woods back beyond my backyard. I can find the way to her tree easily.”
“You do?” Calex seemed surprised. “And you never told me?” He paused. “Wait, was that why you went missing for a month?”
“He was missing for a month?” Aurum sounded nervous. “And you weren’t concerned.”
“Not really.” Calex gave a shrug. “I can sort of feel when my friends are in trouble or need help. So, I knew wherever he was he was fine and we’d meet up again eventually. I don’t know how to really explain it properly. Just this feeling I get.”
“Okay…” Aurum turned to look at Zeelo. “But you know a faerie and can find her? Then can we go see her?”
“Sure!” Zeelo scooped Aurum up off the skateboard and placed the small tiger atop his head. “Plus, I bet she’d love to make some new friends to play with.”
“Well, I guess let’s go meet her.” Calex had an amused smile as he considered what Zeelo must have been doing in the woods with a faerie for a whole month. “This Butterfly is your friend, so you’re gonna have to lead the way and introduce us.”
“Right!” Zeelo dropped to all fours and took off running full speed. Aurum had to desperately grab two handfuls of fur to avoid being tossed off. Traveling by kitten was a lot faster than by his skateboard.
It turned out Zeelo and Calex didn’t live that far apart. Though, Aurum had questions on who actually owned the house Zeelo claimed was his home since he didn’t see anyone else around. Either way, they didn’t go inside so it’s possible he just didn’t see the owner, or maybe they were at work. Instead, Zeelo led them straight to the backyard and into the woods. Then they traveled for about fifteen minutes before he stopped.
“And we’re here. Her tree should appear any second.” Zeelo turned around and beamed. Then he paused. “Oh whatever you did, don’t use your claws to climb it. She doesn’t like it getting scratched up. Well, you’re probably fine Aurum, cause of your size. But Calex, claws retracted.”
“Huh, she must be tied to the tree in some way.” Calex put a paw to his chin as he stood up.
They didn’t have to wait long. Without moving at all, it was suddenly as if they were in a different area of the forest, and there was a large pine tree towering over them.
“Oh my! What’s this!” A young voice called. Then a tiny figure, no bigger than Aurum flew out of a hole in the tree. The figure appeared mostly human, other than the fact she had purple hair, pointed ears, and slightly translucent. It was the faerie Zeelo had met on a previous adventure. Her name was a mystery, but she went by Butterfly as a private joke between her and Zeelo based on how they had first met. “I see not one but three kittens before me… And one already my size. Did you bring them here to play?”
“Not exactly.” Zeelo rubbed the back of his head. “But I wouldn’t rule out a game or two while we’re here.”
“Oh, wonderful.” Butterfly giggled. “Let’s get up in the branches where it’s more comfortable.” She glanced between Calex and Zeelo. “But not like you are now, I can’t have your claws hurting my poor tree.”
“So the usual solution?” Zeelo asked.
“Yup!” The faerie grinned and flew by both Zeelo and Calex giving each of them a boop on the nose.
Immediately the two werekittens began to shrink in size. Zeelo didn’t act with even the mildest hint of surprise, having been the one to suggest this. Calex gave a slight reaction, mostly in looking over his body as the process started, but realizing what was happening just went with it. It was hardly his first time. Aurum wound up tumbling off of Zeelo’s head as soon the two kittens were as small as him.
“I’ll be waiting up again.” Butterfly spoke and flew up higher into the branches.
“How are we supposed to get that high?” Aurum asked staring up.
“We climb of course.” Zeelo smiled. “Relax, it’s easy and takes no time at all, plenty of handholds and you’re a cat.” Following Zeelo’s instructions, they climbed up the tree trunk until they met the branch Butterfly was waiting on.
“Always happy to see my favorite pet.” Butterfly giggled and waved a hand as they approached. Suddenly, Zeelo fell down onto all fours, shifting into the form of a normal kitten, and shrunk further. He stayed on the same scale as everyone else, but his tail got shorter and body rounder. He had been reduced to a mere baby kitten.
“Mew!” Zeelo seemed unbothered by his sudden feralization and regression. Instead, he ran straight forward to Butterfly and leaped into her arms as she cradled him and began to pet him gently.
“Ahhhh, so that’s why he was gone a whole month,” Calex spoke with realization. “He must really like you.”
“He is my favorite pet.” Butterfly nodded as she continued to pet the now purring Zeelo. “And he always comes back to visit me each week.”
“Huh.” Aurum watched the baby kitten and the faerie. “Is it weird I feel a little jealous of that?”
“There’s no need to be jealous!” Butterfly gave a mischievous grin. She shifted Zeelo to be holding him with one arm as she used her other to gesture at Aurum and suddenly he found himself growing younger and falling onto all fours until he was just a baby tiger cub.
“Mrowl?” Aurum had not expected this.
“There we go…” Butterfly walked across the branch and picked up Aurum with her spare arm. She held both him and Zeelo tight. “There, nothing to be jealous of now, I’m happy to have another pet.” She paused then looked to Calex. “Should I give you the same treatment?”
“Sure.” Calex grinned. “I don’t mind. Honestly, I’d feel a little left out if you didn’t.”
“My, I see Zeelo’s friends are just as much fun as he is.” She placed Zeelo and Aurum down on the tree branch and gestured at Calex, and soon just like the others he was a baby kitten. Butterfly sat on the branch and let the kittens all cuddle up next to her as she took turns petting each of them and giving them affection.
“Mroooow!” Aurum after a bit remembered the reason they were here. But being a baby tiger club he couldn’t actually voice it anymore.
“Oh? Something wrong?” Butterfly asked. “Hmmm, perhaps you’re bored. We should play a game. Three of us this time… And tag wouldn’t be fair the way you are… I know, hide and go seek!”
“Mroooowl!” Zeelo voiced his approval and rubbed his head against Butterfly.
“Okay… You three hide. Going to count to thirty.” Butterfly turned around and knelt down and covered her eyes with her hands and began to count.
“Meow!” Calex didn’t need to be told twice. He was into the game immediately and bound along the tree branch, looking for a place to hide. He climbed out onto a narrower limb and hid among leaves.
“Mew!” Zeelo meanwhile ran back to the trunk and climbed down below the tree, got directly beneath the branch, and clung to the trunk there.
“Mow?” Aurum was the last to react as he watched the other two run off. Well… He supposed there was no harm in having a little bit of fun before he got some help on his size problem. He looked around for a place to hide, found a small indent in the branch, grabbed a leaf with his mouth, and quickly curled up in the indent pulling the leaf over him.
“Ready or not, here I come.” Butterfly flapped her wings and took to the skies as she observed the tree wondering where the three kittens might have hidden. “Hmmmmm.” She flew in a circle around the tree, and in the process saw Zeelo. “AHA!” She dove for the brown kitten and poked him. He suddenly shrunk much smaller than he already was until he fit in the palm of her hand. He sat there in her hand and looked at her.
“Meooooow.” Zeelo complained, he didn’t like he was found out so fast and first.
“It wasn’t a bad hiding spot. Would have been great if one of the others were seeking. But I think you forgot I can fly so could get under the branch easily.” She teased Zeelo and carefully sat the brown kitten on the shoulder. “Now for the others.”
Calex was watching from his hiding place and saw the moment Zeelo was shrunk. He couldn’t help but let out a small giggle as he saw how fast the other kitten had been captured. This proved to be his undoing as Butterfly looked straight in the direction he was. Calex quickly put both paws over his muzzle and tried to remain as quiet as possible. But she was suspicious of this general area now. She began to fly through the various smaller branches and leaves and then spotted the baby orange kitten.
“And that makes two!” She reached out her hand, and just like Zeelo, Calex shrunk to be small enough to fit into her palm.
“Meow!” Calex stuck his tongue out. Mostly, he felt foolish for giving himself away. If he had just stayed quiet he might have won the game. As she placed him on her other shoulder Calex could see Zeelo looking across at him and now the brown werekitten was giggling. “Meow!” Calex stuck his tongue out at Zeelo next.
“Glad to see everyone is having fun.” Butterfly smiled mischievously as she began to fly around looking for Aurum.
Aurum, hidden beneath the leaf could not see the game as it went on. He could hear comments and knew Calex and Zeelo had been caught but didn’t know that she had shrunk them upon catching the three and so didn’t know the fate that awaited him. His hiding spot might have been the best among the three were it not for one thing.
Butterfly landed next to the leaf hiding Aurum’s spot and grinned down at it. She stood there for a few seconds, then finally grabbed the leaf and pulled it off exposing Aurum.
“Sorry, but if you didn’t know this is my tree.” Butterfly grinned wickedly. “I know every branch, leaf, and piece of bark. Using a leaf as cover was a good idea, but it’s impossible to move a leaf around without me feeling for it.” Then she bent down to scoop up Aurum as the tiger cub suddenly found himself shrunk small enough to fit in her palm. “And that makes three. Looks like I win.”
“Mrooowwwwwl!?” Aurum gave a shout in surprise. He had come here to get bigger, not smaller! Suddenly the faerie was massive, and the forest around him even more massive. He hardly knew what to make of the thing. Sure, he had been this small before. And smaller. After all, he had spent at least one weekend hanging out on an atom. But he was still caught off guard. Especially since again, it was the exact opposite of what he had come here to do.
“Alright then…” Butterfly sat down on the tree branch and plucked Calex and Zeelo from each of her shoulders and sat them in her other palm with Aurum. She looked down at the three very tiny kittens. Every now and then she would use her free hand to gently pet one of them with a single finger. “That game was over… But what to do now? I got so excited about having new friends I completely forgot to set the stakes for the game.”
The stakes for a previous game she played with Zeelo had been why he had disappeared for a month, and how he knew her. Though their game had technically ended in a tie, and so she got to keep him as a pet for a while, and still treated him as her pet even if she let him roam free, he had in exchange gotten his own pair of faerie wings to fly around with for a while. Sadly, the magic that maintained them had faded when he went back to his normal size and age, but it had been fun to fly around while it lasted.
“I guess I’ll just go with the same victory prize as last time.” She pet Zeelo as she said this, getting surprisingly loud purrs from such a tiny kitten. “Not really fair for me to set terms and demand a new prize for our game after the fact. I’ll have to remember to do that next time. I’ve got some ideas of other things that might be fun.”
Butterfly lifted off the tree branch into the air, being careful not to shake the three kittens she was holding in her hand. She cupped her other hand over them just to make sure none of them would fall off while she flew through the air. She flew straight into the hole she had come out of earlier.
The inside of the hole was, for lack of a better term, Butterfly’s house. There was a bed, sized perfectly for her to sleep on. There was also a desk with a chair, a small dresser (which Aurum was very curious about its contents since the faerie didn’t wear clothes), what looked like a kitchen counter though there was no stove or fridge or any sign of anything used to cook or store food. Then again, her tree probably provided her whatever she needed fresh. There was also an area near the back of the tree that had a series of large leaves blocking the view from there. That must have been the bathroom. A thought that again made Aurum curious. Did she have plumbing, did water droplets slide in from outside the tree for her showers or did she just use magic to make water rain down on her. Aurum might have gotten an answer to that whenever she decided it was time to give her pets a bath were it not for one small problem.
It was the night of a full moon.
Butterfly set her pets down on the desk and told them to be good while she fetched food. She then flew out of the hole on her own again leaving the three felines by themselves. Zeelo and Calex seemed not even mildly worried about their situation, and immediately resumed their earlier wrestling match that Aurum had interrupted. Aurum meanwhile paced back and forth along the desk’s edge. With everything in here sized for a faerie, Aurum almost felt like he was his normal mouse size again. But there were the giant leaves and pieces of the tree sticking out to remind him just how small he really was.
And then it occurred to him he now thought of mouse-sized as his normal size. Everything, even his own mentality was going the opposite direction of what he had set out to do! After a while he realized at this point, the situation was out of his control. Butterfly and Zeelo were friends, and Zeelo had clearly been returned to normal age and size after his last visit, so Aurum realized this was just temporary. Rather than worry about it, he joined the other two kittens in their wrestling match.
Butterfly returned at sundown, carrying a berry so large it required both of her hands. She sat it on the counter then pointed a finger at it. There was the quick sound of wind whooshing by and three very tiny slivers of the berry fell off. She carefully slid them to the hand then dropped the berry slices off on the desk for the kittens.
“Dinner time.” Butterfly called.
No one wasted any time. They were all hungry. But, as they ate and the sun finished setting, the moon came out. And with that, Aurum began to change.
He was shrinking again, the fur disappeared from his paws and tail. His ears became more round, as did his entire body. He was turning into a mouse! But why was he shrinking even smaller!? Shouldn’t he have stayed at the current size? He hadn’t unshrunk since the last full moon so why get smaller now.
It was at this point Aurum remembered Calex’s warning about why they didn’t just use the Transformation Ray to fix the problem. Stacking different types of transformations from different types of sources could cause them to interact weirdly. Butterfly’s faerie magic was now clearly interacting weirdly with Calex’s curse, and soon Aurum was a tiny mouse, who was mouse-sized in comparison to the two kittens.
“Oh wow…” Butterfly stared astonished. “He’s so tiny…”
“Squeeeak!” Aurum didn’t know what to do being this small.
“Hmmmmm.” She looked to Calex and Zeelo. “I’m not saying I don’t trust you… But you are two cats next to a much smaller mouse. I think it’s better safe than sorry. Plus, this way you can play together without hurting him.” She poked each kitten gently, and both Calex and Zeelo rapidly shrunk down till they were just as tiny as Aurum.
Butterfly picked them up gently. They were so tiny that the three of them could all fit on the tip of just one finger. She studied them for a moment as if unsure what to do.
“Even I could lose track of you at these sizes.” She muttered. Then she brightened. “Ah! I know! Humans have a thing they keep really small creatures in… It’s a… What is it… A terrarium!” She moved to the dresser, careful not to lose any of the three minuscule kittens, and put her spare hand on the handle of it. “Terrarium.” She spoke out loud and pulled open the drawer. Once the drawer was open, there was a single terrarium sitting inside of it and nothing else. It was small enough for Butterfly to pick up with one hand.
She picked up the terrarium and put it on her desk. Then she lowered her finger into the terrarium and let the three kittens slide off of it into there.
“I’ve never even thought about having pets this small before.” Butterfly squinted to be able to see the tiny kittens inside the terrarium. “But don’t worry, I’ll keep you safe and well-fed. Finding toys might be a challenge… But I’m sure we’ll manage.”
“Squeeeak.” Aurum sounded in annoyance. It wasn’t possible to go any further in the opposite direction of his goal.
For Calex and Zeelo, this was just another adventure. The two were immediately checking out their new temporary home. After a while, Aurum would join them before the three would wind up cuddling up together to sleep for the night.
Come sunrise, Aurum had returned to his tiger form. But he had not gotten any bigger. The only one more surprised than him by this was Butterfly. He and the other two kittens were basically just tiny specks at this point if even that.
“Well… I thought you’d get bigger when you changed back.” Butterfly sounded amazed. “I guess that means I better keep the other two tiny so you can play together. Heh, taking care of something this small might be a challenge, but I’m up to it.”
And so Aurum’s plan to get a faerie to return him to normal size ended in complete failure. Instead, he was nothing more than a silver-colored speck. But, at least he had two specks to keep him company so he wouldn’t be lonely. And Butterfly did seem to be trying her best to take care of them. Hopefully, she knew a way to change him back to his normal size. But then again… She seemed concerned about having pets this small. If she could do that she might already have done so. It was possible that she, like Calex, knew stacking different types of transformations from different sources was a bad idea, and that any attempt to reverse it might only make things worse. He would have asked her, but he was still a baby and a feral and unable to talk.
So… For now, it looked like he better get used to living in a faerie’s terrarium. And he accepted that he was a very, very, very, very tiny pet. Well, it wasn’t that bad. He did enjoy being a pet, even if he was never willing to admit it previously. He maybe might have been willing to admit it now.
But he couldn’t talk, so no one could make him say it!