Tabby's New Pet
written by Tabby

First, Clever Clover had brought his Rattata into the clinic. Then he'd gotten her to start watching the show. Tabby threw up her hooves in despair. Yep, she had to admit it-- she was hooked on Pokčmon.

At that moment, Tabby was sitting in her living room watching the "Island of the Giant Pokčmon" episode. Team Rocket and Meowth were her favorite characters; she could really sympathize with them.

Currently in the show, the other Pokčmon had tied Meowth up to a tree while they feasted. Yeah, that sounded like something Mimic'd do to her.

That does it! Tabby thought to herself. I've simply got to get one of my own!

In that instant, she snatched up the receiver to her phone, which was conveniently located next to her couch. She was going to put in a call to Clever Clover, one of the ponies who knew the most about Pokčmon in Ponyland. If he couldn't help her, then she'd call Merry Treat.

"Cleve Clove!" she hissed after dialing his number. "You've got to get me a Meowth!"

"Meowth?" Clever Clover questioned. "Going into Pokčmon training, huh?"

"Possibly," Tabby put in quickly. "But for now, I just want one for a pet. I'll pay you one thousand jangles if you'll get me one."

"That's a third of your monthly salary," Clever Clover figured. "How about half?"

Tabby narrowed her eyes in annoyance. "You mean one thousand five hundred? Isn't that a rather greedy amount to be asking of a close friend?"

"Meowth Pokčmon are hard to come by," Clever Clover explained. "In all my searching around for Pokčmon, I've never seen one before."

"Plus the fact that you're off work for the winter and you have no source of income," Tabby figured. Clever Clover was an archeologist, and during the winter there were no dig sites to work at. "Hmm... oh, fine. If you can find a Meowth, I'll pay you one thousand five hundred for catching it."

"Right," Clever Clover said agreeably. "Of course, it might be awhile before I'll find one."

"Just make sure he doesn't talk in Japanese," was all Tabby said as she hung up.

* * *

On her way to work at the vet clinic, Tabby skipped along merrily as she daydreamed about owning her own cream-colored cat with long, pointy whiskers sticking out of his head. She pushed through the doors and made her appearance in front of Sugarberry.

"You look excited about something," Sugarberry commented.

"Cleve Clove is going to get me a Meowth," Tabby declared breathlessly as she clutched her two front hooves together dramatically.

"A Meowth?" Sugarberry questioned. "That's one of those Pokč-mans you and Clever Clover are always talking about, right?"

"Exactly," Tabby said dreamily. "He is just so cool-- Meowth, that is. I can't wait until I have my very own."

"I'm sure Clever Clover will find you one soon," Sugarberry assured her. "He's very reliable."

Tabby just hummed happily as she walked into her office and swung the door shut.

* * *

Two days passed. Tabby was getting impatient. She had gotten no word from Clever Clover, and that annoyed her. That evening after she got back from the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe, she put in another call to him. "Well?!?!?!" she said immediately after he had picked up.

Clever Clover acted as if he had been expecting the call. "I told you they were hard to find... I haven't seen a single Meowth, yet alone caught one."

"Hmph! I'm beginning to give up on you, ol' Cleve Clove."

"Hey, you callin' me ‘old'?"

Tabby waved her hoof through the air in dismissal, even if Clever Clover couldn't see it. "Just keep searching... meanwhile, I'll look for some more sources."

Next Tabby called another of her friends, Merry Treat. "Merry Treat, I need a Meowth," she complained. "I'm paying Cleve Clove to catch me one, but he can't even find one!"

"Just go catch it yourself; it's loads of fun," Merry Treat advised.

Tabby sighed. "Catch one myself? However would I do that?"

Merry Treat went on. "All you have to do is get it too tired to resist, then throw a PokčBall at it. Poof! It's all yours! That's my strategy."

Tabby was skeptical. "How do you go about getting it tired? How do you even go about finding one?"

"Ah, there is one attack that works every time," Merry Treat said wisely, but ignoring the second question. "Confusion. Not psychic confusion--"

"I'm confused already," Tabby interjected.

"--all you have to do is yell, ‘Pokčmon, confusion, run now!' " Merry Treat continued. "It will run in circles until it gets too tired to resist."

"Err... well, thanks. Talk to you later!"

* * *

The next morning on the way to work, Tabby pondered her dilemma. It wasn't that catching one herself wasn't a good idea, it's just that she didn't know where to find a Meowth. Plus, there was the fact that she didn't feel like doing it, anyway.

"Advertising!" Tabby exclaimed aloud. "Someone in Ponyland has to have a Meowth for sale!"

And so, after work, she rushed down to the newspaper office; the paper was sent to inhabitants of both Dream Valley and Friendship Gardens. Quickly, she submitted the ad declaring that she was looking for a Meowth and would pay one thousand, five hundred jangles for one.

Then Tabby walked along to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe, mumbling to herself. "La de da. Hum de dum. Prepare for trouble, and, err... anyway... la de da."

She joined Sugarberry and Tiffany at their table, wearing a smug expression on her face.

Sugarberry looked up at her. "What have you done this time, Tabby?"

"I'm just sure to get a Meowth now!" Tabby exclaimed.

"What's a Meowth..." Tiffany murmured distractedly as she batted her eyelashes at a good-looking stallion that had just walked in.

Tabby shook her head in dismay. "You don't even know about Pokčmon, Tiff?"

Tiffany didn't answer. "Look at that cute guy that just came in. I've simply got to go talk to him!" With that, she flounced off to another table.

Tabby rolled her eyes. "Typical, huh, Sug? Sug? Are you still there?"

Sugarberry was sitting with a glazed-over expression in her eyes. Suddenly, she was jolted back into the real world. "Oh! Sorry, I was just coming up with an idea for my new mystery. How are you sure to get a Meowth now?"

"Advertising," Tabby declared. "In the paper. My ad will be in tomorrow's issue! Someone will have to call!"

"I hope it works out," was all Sugarberry said.

* * *

The next day at the clinic, Tabby asked every customer if they had a Meowth for sale. "Your pet looks fine... say, do you happen to be selling a Meowth?"

The answers varied:

"A Meowth? What in the world is that?"

"Cute name for a cat. I hear the pet store just got in a new litter of kittens."

"I have one, but I wouldn't sell him for a million jangles!"

"My sister has a cat that she named Meowth. She's had her for ten years."

"Is that one of those weird Poke-things?"

"I've seen pictures of that creature! I don't want any mutant cats running around Ponyland!"

Tabby sighed in dejection as her work day drew to a close. Most everyone had no idea what a Meowth was, and the rare ponies that happened to own one wouldn't sell him. Well, maybe someone'd call this evening.

Sugarberry raised her eyebrows when Tabby walked out of the check-up room. "I hear you've been plaguing all the customers with Meowth questions, Tabby!"

"So?" Tabby said defiantly.

"You're making a nuisance of yourself," Sugarberry explained. "It's giving the clinic a bad name."

"Hmmm..." Tabby responded, nodding her head. It wasn't like she was listening in the first place. "Look at the clock, Sugarberry! It's nearly four, isn't it? Oooh, it's another of those stupid hand clocks!"

Sugarberry sighed, knowing Tabby hadn't been paying attention to her lecture. "It's three fifty-five," she figured out for her friend.

"Yes!" Tabby cried out jubilantly. "That's close enough to four for me. I'm outta here!"

Sugarberry shook her head. "You're five minutes late every day. Don't you think you could stay until four, at least once?"

Tabby answered with her usual excuse. "Sorry, can't stay!" And with that, she flounced out of the clinic.

* * *

Tabby hung out at home all that evening, not even going out to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe. If someone called concerning her ad, she just had to be there!

The night grew late. Finally, around nine o' clock, the phone rang. Tabby was so excited, she could hardly control herself enough to pick it up. "Hello! Have you got a Meowth?"

"Whatever are you talking about, Tabby?" Tiffany's voice said.

Tabby sighed. She knew she wouldn't get a Meowth out of Tiffany. "Never mind, Tiff... it's nothing you'd know about."

"Why weren't you at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe tonight?" Tiffany prodded.

"I'm waiting for a phone call," Tabby explained. "I had an ad in the paper."

"Hmm... interesting," Tiffany murmured. "Well, I have got to go. I'll see you tomorrow night, I suppose?"

Tabby hated to leave the phone the next evening, but she had to admit she was dying for a strawberry sundae. "Yes, I'll be there. Now, bye!"

* * *

The next evening, Tabby rushed home after a usual evening of gossiping with Sugarberry and Tiffany at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe. Tabby gasped in delight when she looked at her phone-- there was a message recorded on it! She pressed down on the button and listened intently to the message:

"If you want a Meowth, come to the cave at the edge of the Dark Forest tonight at ten o' clock. Be sure to bring your jangles."

And that was how the message ended; it had been recited in a deep, gruff, forbidding voice. However, Tabby was not scared off by the eeriness of the message. She trotted right out the door towards the Dark Forest. She knew where the cave was; Clever Clover had pointed it out to her a few times before.

Upon arriving there, she stood boldly at the entrance of the rocky formation. "Okay, so, like, where's my Meowth?" she called out.

There was no answer. Tabby peered around, and frowned. Where was the guy who had called? She wanted her Meowth, and she wanted him soon!

She trotted forward into the dark cave. "All right, is anyone here?" she demanded, very annoyed.

Tabby went back outside and looked around on both sides of the cave. "What's going on here?" her voice shrieked out into the night.

"This is cheap," Tabby grumbled as she turned around to go back home. At that moment, she heard a noise in the clump of bushes next to the cave. Her face turned red-- she'd recognize that sound anywhere. It was the mocking laughter of baby ponies.

In a fit of fury, she pushed the bushes apart, exposing Baby Ribbs and Baby Whirly Twirl, helplessly rolling on the ground laughing hysterically.

"Ha... ha... we got you!" Baby Ribbs gasped out between fits of laughter that had possessed the two friends.

"You... you... you... nasty baby ponies!" Tabby shrieked in outrage. The giggling just increased.

"I disguised my voice good in the message, didn't I, huh?" Baby Whirly Twirl said eagerly.

"Just go back home," Tabby said frostily. The two baby ponies ran off, still gasping for breath.

"Those baby ponies!" Tabby complained to the forest. "The things they do! Why doesn't anyone believe me when I tell them?"

And then, a large, dark shadow appeared on the path. Tabby gasped slightly, not realizing immediately who it was.

"Who out so late?" a familiar voice asked.

Tabby broke out grinning. It was Tiny, her bigfoot friend! "Oh, Tiny! It's me, Tabby!"

"Tabby," the bigfoot acknowledged. "Last time me saw you, you was looking for treasure."

Tabby winced slightly, recalling that event. "Oh, yeah, the treasure. That really didn't work out."

"What you doing this time?"

"Some baby ponies played a trick on me," Tabby complained. "They said they had a Meowth they'd sell me, but it was just a joke."

"Ooh, Meowth!" Tiny's face brightened, which Tabby could recognize even in the dark night. "Me want to catch one, too."

"You catch Pokčmon?" Tabby exclaimed. "Cool!"

Tiny nodded his head. "Yes. Me hunt for them in the forest."

"Who have you caught so far?" Tabby prodded, striking up a conversation.

Tiny ticked off his fingers. "Me have Nidoran, Squirtle, Growlithe, an' Weedle. Four so far."

"Do you have any ideas on where to find a Meowth?"

Cocking his head, Tiny answered slowly. "Me said before me couldn't find one around here, but you might try the witches. They catch some Pokčmon."

"Okay, thank you, Tiny!" Tabby exclaimed. "I'll go visit them tomorrow. Do you know them well?"

"Not really," Tiny answered. "Only ran across them a few times; they not very nice."

"Well, I'll be seeing you!" Tabby waved to Tiny as she headed back home.

* * *

The next day was Sunday. Tabby hadn't gotten any other calls, and she'd given up on the idea that anyone would come through. So, around nine in the morning, she decided to visit the three witches in the Volcano of Gloom. She didn't personally have anything against those three; they'd never done anything to her before.

Since she hadn't done much with her friends the past few days, on her way out, Tabby stopped at Sugarberry's house. "Say, want to come with me to the Volcano of Gloom?"

Sugarberry looked shocked. "The Volcano of Gloom? You don't want to go there, Tabby! Those witches-- they're bad news!"

"But I heard from someone they might have a Meowth," Tabby explained. "I have to check it out."

Sugarberry shook her head. "Just don't stay long!"

* * *

Tabby trotted up the stone stairs that led to the top of the Volcano of Gloom. On her way there, she'd also stopped by Merry Treat's house and the Royal Paradise, but both Merry Treat and Tiffany were out. So, she was there alone. She knocked on the volcano's door. "Hey, is anyone there?!"

The door opened a crack and a pair of eyes stared out at Tabby; the door was quickly shut again. "Mother! It's one of those Little Ponies!" Tabby heard.

"That's Hydia to you, Draggle!" a voice screamed, and a few moments later, the door opened. Hydia stood there, sizing up the pony before her.

"Hi! My name's Tabby!" Tabby said cheerfully.

"Tabby, eh?" Hydia replied after a pause. "What're you doing here?"

"I was told you might have a Meowth for sale," Tabby said. "I'm in dire need of one."

"You'd better talk to Reeka or Draggle about that," Hydia mumbled, grudgingly admitting Tabby inside the shabby dwelling. "They're the ones that're into Pokčmon."

Tabby walked inside without thinking twice, and heard Hydia mutter, "This pony, she wouldn't be any fun to put a spell on. She's not scared of us!" She hobbled off, calling to her two daughters, "Listen to the pony, girls. Don't do anything rash without my permission!"

Now alone in the main room with Reeka and Draggle, Tabby looked them over. Both were seated on the couch with an open book on the table before them. The book appeared to contain detailed information about Pokčmon.

"So," Tabby addressed the two sisters, "do you happen to have a Meowth for sale?"

Reeka nudged her sister as she said, "We only sell our Pokčmon if you can beat us in a match, or if you agree to be our slave for the rest of your life."

"Mother said not to do anything rash," Draggle commented. "Does making a pony our slave count as ‘rash'?"

Reeka continued, ignoring Draggle. "So, which will it be?"

Tabby considered the two possibilities in her head. She didn't have any Pokčmon to battle against the sisters, so that put that option out-- unless Clever Clover'd let her borrow one of his. Most likely, though, he wouldn't trust her with either his Rattata or Farfetch'd.

That only left her with being their slave for the rest of her life. That didn't really appeal to her; she'd be out of her job at the vet clinic and she wouldn't get her three thousand jangle salary each month. She sighed. What was she going to do?

"And, Reeka," Draggle interrupted Tabby's thoughts, "we don't have a Meowth to sell her, even if she did opt for either of those choices."

"Shut up!" Reeka ordered Draggle. "This pony doesn't need to know that yet--"

"You haven't even got a Meowth?" Tabby asked in dismay.

"Draggle!" Reeka shouted. "Don't you dare do that again!"

"You didn't tell me not to," Draggle whined.

"What about that nudge? That meant you were supposed to go along with whatever I said!"

"How was I supposed to know that's what it meant?"

"You're a witch, that's how!"

"Witches don't know everything!"

"Well, you wouldn't know, because you don't pay attention to all the lessons Mother gives us!"

"What about you? You're as bad as I am!"

During the argument, Tabby slipped out of the dwelling place and fled down the volcano.

* * *

Tabby was somewhat subdued that night at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe. Tiffany and Sugarberry, however, were still talking.

"Pristina came in last night with the most awful scratches on her face," Tiffany complained.

"Scratches? What kind?" Sugarberry questioned.

"There were three long lines, right across her face. It looked terribly painful."

"How odd-- Clever Clover brought a squirrel into the clinic this morning with those same kinds of scratches."

"Oh, Clever Clover was so brave to risk his life to save that of a squirrel. It must have been deadly vicious."

"He didn't seem to have a problem handling it-- Clever Clover has a way with rodents."

After talking for awhile, Tiffany commented, "Tabby hasn't been herself lately."

"She's depressed because she hasn't found herself a Meowth yet," Sugarberry explained.

Tabby stared down into her strawberry sundae and said nothing.

"I still don't know what this Meowth thing is I keep hearing so much about," Tiffany complained.

"Well, these Pokčmon are all different sorts of critters, and Meowth is a cat-like one," Sugarberry gave a brief definition.

"She already has Callie; why would she need another cat?" Tiffany pondered.

"Meowth is cool; that's why!" Tabby suddenly snapped.

Sugarberry shrugged. "At least we got her to say something."

"And Meowth talks," Tabby went on. "That's more than I can say about Callie."

"Personally, I wouldn't like it if my cat, Theodora, started talking," Tiffany said. "It's like she'd be rubbing in that she's more intelligent than I am. Just look into those eyes! They're so intelligent."

"Meowth is cool," Tabby repeated, as if in a trance.

Sugarberry exchanged a look with Tiffany. "Tabby, you've got to get your mind off Meowth for a little while. Someday, you'll come across one. For tonight, let's just..."

"Go to the bowling alley!" Tiffany blurted out.

"Not the bowling alley," Tabby said crisply. "I hate bowling. It's boring."

"She can't stand playing two games in a row," Sugarberry said.

"Well, then, how about..." Tiffany wracked her brains. "Let's go over to the Royal Paradise and watch My Little People cartoons."

"Hey, that'd be fun!" Tabby said, brightening a bit.

"Let's do it!" Sugarberry said energetically.

* * *

Tabby trudged home late that night without any company; Sugarberry had left for home about an hour before Tabby. Tabby couldn't go without seeing all the My Little People episodes when they were so close to finishing them, so it was nearly eleven thirty when she left.

She walked down the main street. While she had been watching the episodes, she had been able to get her mind off of Meowth, but now it all came back to her. Oh, she wanted one so badly!

Forlornly, Tabby noticed a gold glitter on the ground in front of her. "A jangle!" she cried out loud, forgetting Meowth again for the moment as she stooped down to pick up the small coin.

But just as her hoof touched it, her face was filled with a burning sting. She jumped back, holding her hooves against her badly-scratched face. "Ooooh!! That hurts!!!"

"You didn't get that jangle away from me!" a voice rang out into the night.

Tabby gasped as she recognized the voice. She pulled her hooves away from her face. "Meowth!" she cried out joyfully. "Oh, Meowth! I've finally found one!"

Indeed, there in front of her stood a Meowth Pokčmon, holding up the jangle he had just gotten away from Tabby. "Yes, that's the fifth one I've found tonight!" he exclaimed. "Hey, what do you mean about finally finding me!"

"I've been searching far and wide for a Meowth," Tabby explained, looking as pitiful as she could. "Oh, you'll come home with me and stay, won't you? Pretty please?"

Meowth eyed her suspiciously. "Come home with you, eh? What luxuries would I be entitled to? Food? Bedding? Allowance?"

Tabby thought this over. "Can you live on cherry pie filling and raw cookie dough? Plus chicken and potatoes, of course."

Meowth considered this. "That sounds pretty good. What else?"

"You could use the spare bedroom," Tabby went on. "And I get three thousand jangles a month; I suppose I could give you a hundred of those if you agreed to stay with me."

"Hmm." Meowth paused in thought. "I'll try it out on a trial basis, and let you know if I decide to stay. How's that?"

"Wonderful, Meowth. Perfectly wonderful," Tabby said, once again clutching her two front hooves together. "Now, follow me, and I'll take you to my house..."

* * *

By now, it was about midnight. Meowth was seated at Tabby's kitchen table, gorging himself on a can of cherry pie filling, while Tabby put some ointment on her cuts. She was so excited over finally finding a Meowth, though, that the pain didn't bother her much.

"Ah, cherry pie filling," Meowth said contentedly. "Can't get better than that."

"Okay, now I'll show you your room," Tabby instructed. She led him down the hallway, and opened a door.

"Wow!" Meowth exclaimed. "A room all to myself..." A dreamy look clouded over his eyes. "This would be a ton better than living out in the streets, picking up change at night."

"Let's see, you get a dresser, desk, chair, and bed in this room," Tabby said, eyeing the room over critically. "Is there anything else you'll need?"

Meowth jumped up on the chair and ran his paw over the smooth finish on the desk. "This'll be just fine... for now."

"Oh, please say you'll stay for good!" Tabby pleaded. "I have been dying to have a Meowth for ages."

Meowth propped himself up on the pillow on the bed, with his two front paws behind his head. "Hmm... yes, I suppose so. This is more luxury than I've ever had before in my life."

"You're mine now!" Tabby cried out jubilantly. "Officially, one hundred percent mine! And you'll be my constant companion for life! And you'll fight other Pokčmon so I can get more!"

"Pokčmon battling... certainly..." murmured Meowth as he drifted off to sleep.

Tabby sighed happily. This was gonna be great! She couldn't wait to show him off to all her friends. And then, like she'd said, he'd have to battle against other Pokčmon she found wandering around. She had to get more, even if Meowth was her favorite.

She wandered into her room, mumbling out plans to herself. "First we'll find Jigglypuff, and after that Catterpie, and then Psyduck..."

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