The Arcane Dragonry

16th June 2017

Introducing Aika

She’s slender and long. Veeery long. She looks like a tiny little thing when she’s curled up or sitting, but when she stretches, she defies the laws of physics. Really. It’s like some sort of extreme version of those human instruments called accordion. I’m talking about Aika, by the way; one of my cats. I’ve had her for a bit over two years now. Today I’m going to tell her story. I will highlight it, so if you’re only interested in the dragon tutorial, feel free to skip the whole cursive text. It’s funny how I got her. She just… happened. One night around 11pm, one of my neighbours knocks on my door telling me to let Hoshi (my cat) in. He wouldn’t believe me when I told him my cat was just chilling with me on the bed, so I walk to the street door to check “my cat”, only to find a tiny clon of Hoshi. She rushed towards me and started rubbing hardcore against my feet, purring like bananas. My neighbour left, so I found myself wondering what to do with her. It was a very cold november night. The streets were all covered in snow and slush, and this kitten was thin as a rake. I decided to keep her inside for the night, and think about what to do the day after.

The night went by peacefully. I didn’t know how Hoshi would react to her, but he was ok enough. I took her to the vet and informed them of the situation. She was filthy, malnourished, full of parasites (inside and outside), and they told me they thought she was a 3 weeks old “discarded” litter runt. They gave her some shots and anti-parasitic meds, and told me to come back in a week for more vaccines. I contacted my local lost and found pet charity. They took all the information and they advised me to do the most bizarre thing. So basically, they told me to get collar with an ID tube thing (one of those that contains a little piece of paper with your address, in case your pet gets lost), and write my phone number there. Then, I was to let her outside again, and wait for her to return to her home, and then her caretakers would ring me. Just… what? Can you believe that? I don’t know what this person was thinking, but I just agreed and hung up. I mean, what kind of logic was that? I just decided to do things the sensible way.

I opened the window, as Hoshi normally goes out for a few hours a day, but she was terrified of the outside. She never even attempted to go out at all, so adding that to the fact that she was so tame, I came to the conclusion that she did belong to a household. So I paid to put an add in the local newspaper for two weeks, I put a few posters up in my street and also I contacted yet another pet charity. Needless to say, I also told my neighbours, friends and co-workers. Time passed, day by day, and nobody would ring asking about their beloved lost kitten. I grew worried, as I really didn’t want another cat. I tried by best not to grow attached to her either, I didn’t even name her anything in those weeks.

I took her to the vet again for her second round of vaccines, and they told me that if by the time the newspaper notice expired nobody got in touch, they would arrange a pick-up van to come and take her to a shelter. Now, that broke my heart right there. I used to volunteer at a shelter and I know how appalling conditions can be at shelters, and how miserable animals live there. So I spent that last week wishing that somebody would call to reclaim her… but it didn’t happen.

I knew aaaall of the cats in the neighbourhood. She looked nothing like any of the ferals, and no other female cats had had any litter recently. I never saw more kittens her age around. She was so tame, even the vet thought she was a house cat… yet, nobody wanted her, or nobody cared enough to look for her. Why? Maybe she was born in a household with non-neutered cats, they had a litter and they wanted no responsibility… so they just dumped them/her outside. Who knows, maybe she was the only survivor. Maybe her baby brothers and sisters died in the snowy streets. Maybe someone purchased her life to present her to their children as a surprise toy-thing, and other household members were not ok with it. And with lives being non-refundable, she ended up in the street. I really don’t know. Despite how passionate I am about humans and their ways, sometimes they do despicable things like this. It’s a very common thing among the human race not to have any respect for other life forms, or have respect only for some… depending on their own judgement and/or upbringing.

The time came for the shelter to pick her up, and she did return to the veterinary… but not to be taken away, but to have her spayed. Even though it was incredibly inconvenient for me to have a second cat, I had to keep her. I couldn’t live with myself knowing that I sent her to a shelter. Who knows what kind of life she would have had. So she was “kitten” no longer… she became “Aika”: a beloved companion that still remains with me to this day, and is friends with Hoshi. They fight sometimes, but they normally play and chill together. Remember I said at the beginning of the post that she was a clon of Hoshi? Well, she’s actually like a mirrored copy of him. Check these pictures out and see for yourself!

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I just realised the massive wall of text I wrote. I apologise, it took a lot longer to tell the story than I had planned! I hope you did enjoy it though. If you’re interested, maybe I can share Hoshi’s story some other time. Anyway! I’ve worked a lot of Evakyl’usk and the only thing missing now is the paintjob. It’s been a lot more work than usual, but boy oh boy, has it been rewarding! So basically, instead of using regular cloth mache to do the face, I made it mostly out of extra-lightweight air-dry clay. Mind you, I also used cloth for the bottom layer (as you might remember seeing from the last post), but it’s only visible around the eyes and the forehead. There’s not much to explain about the process, since it was all just moulding the clay, really. I used very basic tools, nothing fancy. It took me a while because I did bit by bit. I would let it dry and continue on the other side, and so on. The cracking was minimum, but it did happen. I still need to fix some of the deep cracks, but that’s done in a minute.

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Now, this is not all of the progress, but I’m going to end this update here because it’s turning out to be an extra-lengthy one. Expect another update soon!

 

An old steel dragon hailing from another plane. She's been living among humans for a while now, learning about them and using her artistic talent to make recreations of relevant draconic figures from her homeland. Her aim is to teach humans about her kin and learn about them in return.

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