Patreon rewarad for Zeelo, in which his character finally gets to meet Calex.
Tiny Kittens At Play
“That’s all it takes?” Zeelo stared down at the small orange kitten uncertainly as he considered what had just been offered to him.
“Yup that’s all! Just one bite!” Calex had a massive grin on his face that left one of his fangs exposed. The orange kitten stood on his hind legs like a human, and most civilized animals… But he was only about as tall as Zeelo’s knees. His body was proportioned more like an animal’s than a human’s… And to go along with that he wasn’t wearing any clothes. “Then we’re free to play all day.”
“I don’t know…” Zeelo was reluctant. The thing was… He was very much interested in going down this path… But he was supposed to be babysitting the kitten. He had promised the wolf he would be responsible and not get talked into doing anything crazy. “I’m supposed to keep an eye on you… And make sure you stay inside.”
“I mean, that seems like it’d be easier to do if we went through with it. I mean, not like you can squeeze under furniture or climb things as easily as me right now. You do want to do a good job, right?” The kitten’s smile somehow grew wider.
“You know, I’m pretty sure this is the exact opposite of what I should be doing…” Zeelo did his best not to smile. “But I can’t fault your logic… So… how does it work?”
“Like this!” Without warning the kitten leaped upward and bit Zeelo’s hand.
“OW! Why did you-” Zeelo let out a yelp and pulled his hand back. There were tiny little bite marks where the kitten’s fangs had broken his skin. At least… He saw them for a moment. The marks faded away after a few seconds, his skin miraculously healing as if he had never been bitten. “Wait… What just happened!?”
“It’s working!” Calex jumped up and down swishing his tail. “You’re a werekitten now!”
“Just… Like that?” Zeelo kept staring at his hand where the marks had been.
“Yup!” Calex nodded eagerly. “And a side effect of being a shapeshifter is you heal real good! Now… Come next full moon you’ll turn into a kitten too!”
“… The next full moon?” Zeelo tilted his head. “I thought you were trying to change me now.”
“Oh, you can still change now, but that’s on you!” Calex crossed his arms and grinned. “Alright… I’ll give you the short version of how it works. The full moon will make you turn into a kitten, but you can trigger the change yourself anytime you want!”
“Wait so that means I’m always going to change on a full moon!?” Zeelo looked flabbergasted. “You didn’t explain that!”
“I’m literally a werekitten…” Calex looked annoyed at the objection. “Come on, everyone knows how werecritters work! You can’t possibly be surprised by the full moon thing!”
“That um…” Zeelo looked down away from the kitten. He had a point. He quickly tried to change the subject. “Okay so… Then how do I change on purpose?”
“Just think kitten thoughts!” Calex replied.
“Kitten thoughts?” Zeelo shrugged. He supposed that made about as much sense as anything else. Truth is… Up until just now he wasn’t actually sure if the kitten was telling the truth about being able to change him into one too… But after seeing the bite mark heal before his eyes it was hard to believe it wouldn’t actually happen. So… then what were kitten thoughts? Chasing bits of string… Napping in warm spots… Oh! Playing with a cardboard box!
Zeelo felt a warming sensation spread over his entire body. He looked down at himself just in time to see brown fur growing in over his entire body. Then the floor seemed to suddenly rise to meet him as he shrunk down in size. His pants and boxers fell down to his knees while his shirt now fit him like a tent. His new feline shaped paws slipped right out of his now gigantic shoes. Meanwhile, his body had become more round in shape, as his ears moved to the top of his head. His nose and mouth formed into a short cone shape as they became a muzzle, whiskers sprouting from either side of his nose. Then came his tail, slinking out from his spine, covered in the same brown fur as the rest of his body.
“Holy carp!” Zeelo gave a shout as the changes finished. “I’m… I’m really a kitten!” He was now tangled up in his giant shirt. He looked around marveling at how big the world was now.
“Yup! Now come on! Let’s go play!” Calex bounded in circles around Zeelo on all fours.
“R-right!” Zeelo was excited. This was a dream come true! And he could just change anytime he wanted now! He started after Calex then paused as he looked down at himself. He let out a nervous laugh as he grabbed the neckline of his shirt and held it up over his waistline.
“Eh, what’s wrong?” Calex came to a stop and tilted his head.
“Just… I’m um… naked…” Zeelo muttered.
“… Yes and?” Calex didn’t seem to understand. Then again, Calex was also naked. The wolf that had hired Zeelo had worn clothes… But the werekitten didn’t for some reason.
“Just… Um…” Zeelo’s ears folded down in embarrassment. “Do you have like… any pants that would fit me?”
“Why… Why would I own pants?” Calex seemed confused by the question. “That’d be ridiculous.”
“So, what? You just run around naked all the time?” Zeelo was certain he had to have something. “I mean… If you’re a werekitten! That means you have a human form too right, so you’ve gotta own some clothing!”
“Well…” Calex thought for a moment. “I do have a scarf I wear in the winter sometimes! Oh! And a hat for really sunny days!” He grinned.
“That’s it… So… You just run around starkers, even as a human?” Zeelo felt himself shrink into his shirt.
“Well yeah… I mean… Why wouldn’t I?” Calex shrugged.
“But…. It’s not-“ Zeelo realized it was pointless. The werekitten clearly didn’t understand human modesty. Well… he supposed he was a kitten too now. He tried not to think about it too much. He let go of the shirt and slowly stepped out of it, now in only his bare fur.
“Tag you’re it!” Calex booped Zeelo on the nose and then took off running out of the living room.
“H-hey!” Zeelo forgot himself at this point. He dropped to all fours by instinct and gave chase after Calex. The two kittens chased each other around the entire house! They ran down the hall and into the bedroom, under the bed and then over the desk. Into the kitchen, across the table, up the fridge, and down the cabinets. Several times during the chase they seemed to forget who was after who, sometimes switching to Calex chasing Zeelo before seeming to remember it was the other way around. Finally it came to an end, when the two returned to the living room and crashed into each other before landing atop the couch in a pile.
“I win! I caught you!” Calex purred smugly.
“I was chasing you though!” Zeelo objected.
“Well, I still win.” Calex’s purrs grew louder.
“No, you don’t! You clearly lost! I caught you and-“ Zeelo didn’t get to finish.
“We should play something else now…” Calex slipped out from underneath Zeelo and leaped onto the coffee table. “Oh! Oh! I know! We can play one of Odin’s favorite games!”
“And what would that be?” Zeelo sat up on his haunches as he listened.
“SCIENCE!” Calex shouted. As he did a stroke of lightning appeared in the window followed by loud clap of thunder. This was rather strange since it was a clear sunny day.
“… You… play a game called science?” Zeelo wasn’t sure he knew where this was going.
“Yeah pretty much!” Calex nodded. “Odin knows the rules better than I do! He talks a lot about things like compounds and formulas and code! But… I mean the main gist of it is you bang things together and see what happens!”
“… What?” Zeelo just stared at the kitten.
“Yeah! You just kind of… Combine random things! And then you have science! It’s great! I’m not as good at the game as Odin! But I’m sure we can have some fun.” The kitten leaped from the coffee table then began to push it aside.
“I feel like… You maybe have a really poor understanding of the actual situation and…” Zeelo just stared at the other kitten. “And why are you moving the coffee table.”
“Cause if we’re going to play SCIENCE we have to go to… THE FORBIDDEN LABORATORY!” After the table was moved it became apparent there was a patch of carpet missing in the middle of the living room. In its place was a metal hatch. Calex quickly pulled it open revealing a ladder leading down into a basement. The orange kitten wasted no time in jumping down.
Zeelo was left flabbergasted for a few seconds. When his brain had finally processed the information and caught up with him he remembered he was supposed to keep an eye on Calex and quickly went down into the basement after him. At the bottom of the ladder was a dimly lit room with a large heavy door. There was a large sign posted on the door with bold writing.
‘No kittens allowed without supervision.’
“I… Don’t think you’re supposed to go in there.” Zeelo looked at the sign.
“Whaaaaaaaat?” Calex was standing on two legs before the door and looked at Zeelo over his shoulder. “Nah! It’ll be fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine!”
“But… that sign says…”
“Hey, you’re supervising me so it’s fine!” Calex pushed on the door, forcing it open. It made a grinding noise as if the kitten had somehow broken a heavy lock in the process. “And I can supervise you so you’re good too!”
“Again… I feel this is the exact opposite of what I should be doing… But your logic isn’t wrong.” Zeelo shrugged and followed Calex inside.
The room was huge and full of various machines covered in blinking lights. Calex ran past most of them and jumped up on top of a lab bench that was covered in glass beakers containing various colorful and bubbling liquids.
“Here we are! Science juice!” Calex beamed happily. “Now we can unleash the magical powers of… SCIENCE!”
“Wait…” Zeelo jumped up onto the table after Calex slightly more clumsily. “Is it magic or science, those are the exact opposite!”
“No they’re not! They’re basically the same!” Calex huffed as he picked up a vial of blue liquid and a vial of red liquid.
“Oh, do you mean in one of those sufficiently advanced technology kind of ways?” Zeelo felt he was catching on.
“Nah I just mean they’re literally the same!” Calex shrugged. “Science is the study of the world, and if magic exist in the world then studying magic is science!” He puffed out his chest proudly.
“Wait… I don’t think that’s how-“ Zeelo started to object.
“SCIENCE MAGIC!” Calex shouted before pouring the red liquid into the blue one. The bubbling within the liquid intensified and then exploded releasing a cloud of purple smoke that covered both kittens.
“What… the heck was that!?” Zeelo coughed as the smoke covered him. It made it impossible to see further than his own whiskers! He quickly waved his paws around trying to blow it away. After a few seconds he could finally see again… But the table and all the glass vials on it were now much larger. In fact… the vials Calex had been holding, which couldn’t have been longer than three inches in length… Were now easily twice his body length! The only thing that had stayed the same size in the room was Calex.
“Surprise! It’s Science!” Calex beamed happily seeing how big the room was.
“What just happened!?” Zeelo panicked.
“I mixed an unstable shrinking potion with a really unstable regression potion.” The orange kitten nodded. “And as you saw… The results were explosive! I think we can call this science a success!”
“But…. But….” Zeelo looked around, the room was growing even larger… That meant… He and Calex were shrinking!? And wait, the kitten had said regression? Zeelo looked down at his paws, noticing they felt bigger and clumsier on him now… And his limbs shorter.
“Heh heh, we might get really tiny from this one.” Calex giggled.
“Wait how small! And how long is it going to last!?” Zeelo objected.
“Well I’d love to try to answer that for you.” Calex stood on two legs and shrugged before suddenly falling over onto all fours. “But I think we’re both about to be far too young to be capable of speech.”
“But that- I mean! Meooooow!” Zeelo objected further, but the orange werekitten had been right. He fell over onto all fours, no longer able to stand as he went backwards in age. He went from kid to toddler, and then kept getting younger till just left as an infant. “MEOOOOW!” He did his best to shoot Calex a glare.
“Mew!” Calex swished his tail, looking quite pleased with himself! Well… Zeelo wasn’t about to let that kitten feel so smug!
Crawling forward on all fours… Zeelo pounced upon Calex! And began to bite at the other kitten’s ears! The two began to roll around atop the table, wrestling each other and playfully biting at each other. They became so absorbed in the fight neither one cared as they continued to shrink smaller and smaller.
Zeelo managed to pin Calex down atop the back of an amoeba… But Calex managed to wriggle out from him, and eventually use an atom for cover to pounce and take Zeelo by surprise! This led to Zeelo chasing Calex all over the surface of an electron… Before both of them wound up rolling around in one big ball of fur inside of a single quark.
Eventually… Both kittens wore themselves out… And took notice of their surroundings. The world was a strange place… There were no longer colorful light up particles… Or really any discernable scenery…. Instead… There were just giant bits of string! Each one as long as one of the kittens.
“M-mew!?” Zeelo seemed nervous as he realized he was far smaller than he could even comprehend…
“Meow!” Calex seemed less concerned… And instead pounced upon one of the strange string things, getting himself wrapped up in it. Zeelo watched uncertainly for a bit… But seeing the other kitten have fun couldn’t resist jumping in as well…
And so the two kittens, each barely more than a newborn, and barely a Planck length in size continued to play. After all, there was nothing else to do. At least once the wolf that hired Zeelo returned home, it’d be easy to find where the two had disappeared and get them back to normal size things to the remains from the explosion. But… A new babysitter was probably going to need to be hired now… This time for two kittens.