The terrifying true story of how I lost my innocence
It was the summer of 2000. I was a plucky nine year old with no friends or hobbies outside of neopets.com. Over the course of a few months I had amassed several thousand neopoints by exploiting my dial-up internet and slow computer to play Meerca Chase on the hardest difficulty with ease.
I lived happily with my yellow Kacheek, Katoatoo. I fed him daily and helped him battle in the arena. We were the best of pals, Katoatoo and I.
Then one day, I decided to make a new account with a fake birthday so that I could talk in the forums. I brought Katoatoo to the adoption center and left him there with the promise that I would return.
Quickly, I logged out and logged in to my new account and sped to the adoption center. I typed in his name, but yielded no results. Something was wrong. I had only been gone a minute!
I typed his name into the neosearch and found him in the arms of another user. My internet was so slow that someone else was able to snatch him up right under my nose! I sent them a message pleading with them to return my beloved Kacheek.
He replied a few minutes later:
“If you ever want to see your neopet again, deliver 1 million neopoints to me by Saturday morning.”
I started crying hysterically and my mom ran into the room and asked me what was wrong. I tried to explain it to her but she didn’t understand. Nobody would ever understand.
I started a game of Meerca Chase and went for the highest scores possible, my vision blurred by the tears streaming from my swollen eyes. I did everything I could to earn neopoints, including getting stock tips from my cousin and begging strangers in the forums.
At last, Saturday morning approached and I had nowhere near one million. I messaged the man again and asked if my meager amount would suffice. He said no and I fell into a deep, deep depression.
I tried to cope with my grief by creating another neopet in memory of my old one.
But it wasn’t the same. It would never be the same.
A week later I searched for Katoatoo but he was gone. The man’s account had been suspended and with him went the best Kacheek I had ever known.