|The Transformation Story Archive||Horses and Doggies and Cats, Oh my...|
Notebook entry, 14 Jan
I can't believe it's ended up this way. Whatever anyone may think, I had no intention of letting it turn out this way... it is so horribly cliche, so 'the mad scientist conducting horrible experiments in his victims'... and yet there is not a thing I can do about it. Short of killing him. Her. What gave me the right? I can remember back to when I began this work, marvelling at the naivete I displayed... I knew more than any living person about genetic engineering... but, it seems, nothing about people, nothing about ethics, not any of that. The snow whips against the window with an unearthly howl, and now I think of nothing but people, and ethics, and the main reason I remain alive is the debt I owe to this creature I have created... and, perhaps, when I have found a way for her to live out the rest of her existence as comfortably as possible... perhaps then my life will be mine again... to leave.
The previous summer, he had been making cautious inquiries, putting out veiled classified advertisements, searching very hard for a suitable person for his purposes. He was wary, because he had the uneasy certainty that what he was trying to do was beyond the pale, knew that it was the stuff of tabloid magazines and screaming banner headlines, and wanted at all costs not to be interfered with, not to have the important work he was doing rendered useless or, perhaps, illegal.
It was touchy going. He couldn't afford the risk of a betrayal, of somebody selling the story to the tabloids, and he had far too much money tied up in equipment, tissue samples, all of which would be willingly disposed of in the course of research- but it would not be acceptable to simply throw it away. He tentatively interviewed various potential subjects, wary for the signs of independent thinking, trying to sense the chances of his subject going to the papers, or, perhaps, the police.
In order to publish through the proper channels, certain precautions had to be taken. Many possible subjects left his office without being told the entire truth. He pretended that he was experimenting with cross-species skin grafts, perhaps to be extended to parts of the skeletal structure. It was quite safe- these things were not as startling as the truth.
When he saw the look in the young man's eyes, suddenly the world seemed to stop, and he could not tear his gaze away. There was a naked hunger there, a desperation of some sort. He didn't understand it, except for one thing... this was the one. There was no doubt that this was the one.
"You're.. you're doing this, Doctor Bateman?"
He nodded warily, still cautious. "That's right, Michael. I would appreciate it if you don't run out and tell the press, that would interfere with..."
Michael broke in urgently. "No, no. Into what?"
The doctor smiled, basking in a wash of self-assurance. "Name it."
Michael's eyes went very wide, and the hungry look redoubled itself. He was unable to speak for several seconds, and then his eyes dropped, and he muttered, "Tigress."
The doctor blinked. "Tigress? Do you mean tiger, Michael?"
When Michael's eyes rose to meet his, they burned with a strange combination of unsureness and need. "No. A tigress. I want to look like a tigress. A female tigress."
The doctor laughed nervously. "Most tigresses are female, Michael. I've never heard of one that was.."
"Can you do it?" pressed Michael. "Is that too hard? It has to be that."
The doctor studied the young man carefully. "Michael, it is not difficult. It's far more difficult to transform a human body into the form of a animal while keeping the brain unaltered. What you are speaking of, while it is slightly more complicated, is rather trivial compared with the basic problem."
"You can do it," said Michael, and his eyes gleamed. "How much?"
"I beg your pardon?" asked the doctor, startled.
"Name your price. Don't ask me where I'm going to get the money. I'll get it..."
Doctor Bateman stared incredulously at the young man for a moment, then burst out laughing. "Michael! I don't think you understand. It will cost you nothing. It will be costing me roughly half a million dollars. Do you have a half a million dollars?"
Michael looked horrified, then grim. "You wait, I'll get it."
"Michael, Michael, you don't understand. I already have it. Look around this office. Do I look poor to you? And this experiment is the most important thing I will ever do, Michael. I would spend everything I have to do this. All you need do is sign a piece of paper..."
"What are you going to be?"
"I beg your pardon?" said the doctor.
"If you can turn into an animal form, what are you going to pick?"
"I'm not going to," said the doctor. "I'm a human being. I'm perfectly happy being one."
"Oh, come on... then why are you doing all this?"
"I'm learning, Michael. That's very important." Seeing that the young man seemed dismayed by this, he thought for a moment. "I have a lovely Golden Retriever at home, Michael, perhaps I would choose something like that. They are beautiful animals."
Michael looked relieved. "That's cool. A dog. You know that is sort of reassuring in a weird way... but I guess you need hands to be a doctor, don't you?"
The doctor gaped at Michael in astonishment. "Oh, I'd have hands, Michael, and so will you... that's actually a very tricky part, there are subtleties, but..."
"No. No hands. Proper paws."
The moment of shock passed, and the doctor gazed levelly at Michael for a very long time. Michael held his gaze, challengingly. Finally the doctor said, "I should refuse. I would be crippling you. I can't allow that, even with your consent."
"No you wouldn't be. I've learned how to use paws. I made some, they're kind of like mittens..."
The doctor stared. "You're serious."
Michael just nodded.
"This idea must not be new to you, then," said the doctor, wonderingly. "Would you mind telling me why you've... Michael, I can't believe this. It's very interesting. Very useful, but I'm not sure... Well, in any case, why is it?"
Doctor Bateman broke off, then, feeling he wasn't making sense. He studied the young man intently, to still the confusion of thoughts unanswered.
Michael met his eyes defiantly. "I don't expect you to understand, but it's okay because you don't have to. I thought maybe you might understand, but it doesn't matter. I am a tigress. Somewhere inside me, in my soul, spirit, or whatever it is, I am a tigress and that part of me is trapped... it can't get out... Do you know what that is like? Feeling your body going through the motions of being a human, like some kind of puppet? Talking to people and shaking their hands and the total meaninglessness of it all... I try to make paws for myself and it doesn't work, I act like I'm wearing mittens, feel like a child. I try to move like a tigress and I can't... I feel like a human, or a monkey. It's all wrong. I try... anyway, it doesn't work..."
Michael's eyes dropped. "Please help me. I just know I'm not meant to be like this. It hurts."
Bateman couldn't respond for a moment. He hadn't considered any situation like this. The young man's urgency was faintly alarming. It spoke to him of quiet warnings, of a strange seduction he'd not planned on. Doctor Bateman had not been expecting anybody to need him in this way. For that moment, he struggled with self-doubt and a clear sense that he was offering more than he could deliver, was playing into the young man's expectations. For a moment. Not a very long moment.
"Michael. Sign this. Everything is going to be all right."
After all, the boy would probably be delighted even if he only ended up with a tail and extensive lanugo.
Notebook entry, 7 Oct
Coming along well. Michael has settled his affairs and moved into my spare room, and preliminary work is underway. I have made arrangements to get a new set of samples and measurements from a tigress instead of the tiger samples I had. Amusingly, Michael was greatly upset for a morning, as he believed I would have to kill a tigress in order to put his brain into it. This was the second time I laughed at him, and the third in several years. He was much relieved and oddly gratified when I informed him that my work would be making his own body alter into the form of a tigress. For some reason this pleases him inordinately.
Upon my visit to the zoo to get the samples I watched the tigers for a good half hour. I can understand, to some extent, his desires. They are beautiful creatures. Conveniently, the type of beast he chose is available at our local zoo, who are on good terms with me. They ought to be- I have donated heavily.
Michael was very amusing, even endearing, as he chose his future form. He picks between tiger breeds as if he was a child on Christmas morning. I also saw fit to remind him of the other big cats, which seemed to please him. It is, however, fortunate that he chose the Indian tiger, as some of the variants such as the Siberian tiger would be difficult to procure.
Tigress. He gets offended if I say tiger. He certainly knows what he wants, I'll say that for him.
"But when will I know?"
Doctor Bateman looked levelly across the desk at Michael. "How do you mean? It could be as long as five months before I'm satisfied with the results."
Michael nodded. "That's not what I meant. I mean, when will I know something's happening? And what changes first?"
"It's happening across the board, Michael. Even though you don't detect it right now, the process has already begun. I would guess in a few days you'll begin feeling the changes taking place. I'm ready to sedate you if it is too painful. In fact, I have a very well equipped emergency room ready..."
"No, you don't understand. I'd welcome the pain. Better that than this nothing. Please don't do that."
"I beg your pardon?" said the doctor, shocked.
"It's just that... my biggest fear is that nothing's going to happen, at all. I couldn't stand that. I lost my mate over this, just ran away. I can't stand losing this as well."
"Your mate?" blinked the doctor. "Michael, you should have told me about this before."
"It wasn't your business," muttered Michael.
"It becomes my business, Michael. The release you signed assumed you weren't going to have somebody calling the police about you, it was never meant for..."
"It was a bad break-up," muttered Michael. "No problems."
"What was her name?" asked the doctor foolishly, then froze as Michael directed a very tigerish glare at him.
Doctor Bateman just sat there, feeling very stupid, until Michael broke the silence once more.
"This'd better work."
Notebook entry, 21 Oct
I have persuaded Michael to send in the paperwork forwarding his mail from his post office box to one I can access. This is to stay ahead of any actions to track him down, taken by James or other interested parties.
Michael is well into his change by now, and it is a far cry from my expectations. As I predicted, his existing hair follicles began to hypertrophy, and he now has quite a respectable lanugo over his entire body, the color of which is beginning to alter. This pleases him greatly, which, is, I suppose, some comfort. He continues to reject all suggestions about painkillers, and now can barely walk, which hopefully is in part the result of his leg bones beginning to reshape themselves. The stock of painkillers lie unused- he seems to glory in the pain of this change. I am sorely tempted to medicate him as he sleeps, because all this is totally uncalled-for in my opinion. However, he barely sleeps, either.
He is unnerving to be around. I question my judgement in choosing him as he is such a awkward patient. I have caught him trying to snarl and roar, which he cannot do with any real convincingness.
I bought a dart gun of the sort zoos use, but I am at a loss as to what sort of tranquilizer would be appropriate.
"Michael, listen. We will have to do some surgery."
"Michael! Please. You know what's happening. Er... your gender is not changing properly. To be specific, there are complications. Do you understand? We have to do some surgery."
Michael stared up from the chair, his crutches dumped unceremoniously on the floor.
"So do it." he grumbled.
"Can't you take better care of those crutches?" complained the doctor helplessly.
"Don't want to. Stupid things."
"Well, I got them because you could only crawl, Michael."
"Want to crawl."
"You can't do that. It's injuring your hands, Michael."
"Don't want hands."
The doctor winced. "So you keep saying. Shall I snip them off too?"
Michael ignored him, staring right through him, until the doctor said, "I'm sorry."
"Do the surgery." said Michael, his voice distorted by alterations in his vocal chords.
"I should fix your voice," added the doctor. "That's not supposed to be changing."
Michael snarled softly, and the doctor blinked. It was a very, very convincing snarl.
"No." said Michael.
Notebook entry, 2 Nov
Exploratory surgery revealed that Michael is, in fact, developing a uterus, and furthermore that it is the two-horned feline variety. It was not difficult to straighten the ungodly hermaphroditic mess out and give him normal female sexual organs- there is plenty of literature on the subject though the previous practitioners certainly did not have to cope with attaching their alterations to a vestigial uterus, much less a tiger uterus.
His legs are not developing properly, and tail growth is severely stunted. I could have opted for corrective bone work, but considering that there is some development as hoped for I have decided to increase the dosage of metaactive agents. Though it has become difficult to communicate with Michael, I checked this with him and he seems strongly in favor of this. In fact, he purred. Startled the hell out of me.
Thankfully, he is developing paws, because he refuses to walk now, even with crutches. I hope the increased dosage is effective, as his hind legs are too long and his torso too short, and he is very awkward, which seems to annoy him.
Doctor Bateman came in from his errand, looking warily about, but this time there was no playful attack. Good thing, too, thought the doctor- Michael broke his wrist that way once, and was very cranky for the scant week it took to knit.
"Ah, there you are!"
"Rrrrrm?" queried Michael, peeking around the door. It was amazing how far he'd come- he was almost indistinguishable from a tigress, and the pain seemed to be diminishing daily. He padded over, rubbing against the doctor's leg affectionately.
"Now, now," stammered the doctor. "None of that. I need you to stop playing for a while and listen to me. You got a letter, and you'll have to answer it somehow. I can type it for you, we'll figure something out."
Michael looked inquiringly up at the doctor, and sat back on his haunches.
The doctor opened the letter, blinked, swallowed nervously, and began reading.
"Michael, darling, I don't know where you are but please come home. I miss you horribly and I am sorry for whatever it is I said that drove you away. You should know me by now, darling, know the way we hurt each other- we lash out with verbal claws and I can only pray it wasn't once too often. I do want to see you again, to hold your loving body next to mine and drink in the beauty of you, never quite mine, never quite tame, but by my side of your own free will. Please come home."
The doctor gulped, "It's signed James, Michael." and met Michael's eyes.
It took him a minute to identify what he saw there. It was blank incomprehension.
"Michael?" asked the doctor, with a feeling of unreality drifting in.
Michael looked innocently back, head cocked curiously to the side, greatly confused as the human sank slowly to the floor, his head in his hands.
She nuzzled his face reassuringly. It didn't help.
Notebook entry, 27 Dec
I am about at the end of my tether.
Michael is a healthy female tiger. I am unable to do anything serious in the way of brain scans, for I am about out of money. It is all going towards the sorts of things one gets when one has a healthy female tiger as a house pet. He has destroyed much of my equipment and delights in breaking down doors. I have had to put bars on the windows and heavily reinforce the front door, for if he escapes he will surely be killed as a wild beast.
I do not know if any of the original Michael remains within the female tiger. I had fooled myself, pretending that he must have retained some human intelligence, because of the affection he showed me, because he did not fit my image of a wild animal. I've done some research, however, and found that a pet tiger is not an unheard of thing- a fellow in India raised a tigress in his house once, and I have read his story. Michael is much like Tara, it would appear. But for Michael there can be no returning to the wild. I cannot believe he has acquired the instincts he would need for this...
"Who's there?" gasped the doctor, staring into the darkness. He reached out towards his bedside lamp, but before he could touch it the bed shook with the weight of a fullgrown tiger springing gracefully onto it.
"Christ! Michael, you'll stop my heart! Again?"
Michael purred deeply and stretched out against the doctor in perfect satisfaction.
"You're mad. Or I'm mad. This time, if I go and sleep on the cot, will you stay here?"
The tiger stretched again and then relaxed, with a ridiculous little croon of pleasure that was absurd to hear from such a huge cat.
The doctor sighed. "We're both mad," he yawned, "and you are a very large and very foolish kittycat, and it's a pity you insist on doing this. But one broken-down door is enough..."
Notebook entry, 4 Jan
I have been researching imprinting in mammals, but there is nothing in the literature to compare with my preposterous living situation.
Michael insists on snuggling up to me to sleep. This is such perplexing behavior that I have been hunting for possible explanations in tiger literature. I believe it has little to do with tigers in general, and much to do with Michael's transformation, during which I took on inordinate importance to him. As he became a tiger, somehow he retained a tremendous attachment to me. I am very sorry for any burglar who threatens me these days. But then, anyone visiting would assume the place had been burgled, vandalized and practically burned to the ground, simply looking at the impressive destruction Michael has wrought here in his playful way.
Odd how I still think of him as Michael, even as a tigress.
Perhaps I am going mad. My work is destroyed. But I have a tiger for a teddybear, and though I don't sleep much (Michael is prone to wake me up every few hours) nobody ever had such a beautiful, elegant animal living in their house.
"Michael!" cajoled the doctor. "Won't you eat? Hmmm?"
Michael whined and glowered at him, pacing around restlessly.
"You'd better eat, Michael. If you try to wake me up at three in the morning again I'll be a wreck. What's with you?"
Michael glowered again, still pacing.
The doctor sighed. "You'll be the death of me, Michael. Anybody would think I'm a madman. It's ridiculous. I admit you've been very good and I still haven't got a scratch. But Michael, this is entirely too much."
Michael whined again, raggedly, pacing, and then whirled about, pressing low to the floor, tail held to the side.
"Good god. No."
Notebook entry, 17 Jan
I have had no choice.
The zoo was delighted with my donation of a tigress, Michelle.
I had thought the tranquilizer was enough. Certainly it was enough for the transportation, but I wish to God it had been more, because as I was getting ready to leave she stirred and began to wake. I tried to be quick, but as I was walking out the door, trying to be nonchalant, she saw me leaving.
The miserable, despairing yowl that followed me out will haunt me the rest of my days.
I had no right.
It was late fall, and nobody noticed the man who approached the tiger enclosure. He moved quietly, eyes cast down, thinking quietly to himself how effective certain sedatives were when used on certain zoo guards.
Nobody saw him as he awkwardly climbed the barrier that separated the tigers from the humans. It was an off day at the zoo, and he'd waited patiently for his chance for months.
The zoo staff had written off his interest as curiosity, perhaps a feeling of responsibility, and knowing his concern had taken good care of Michelle, and had seen her through her difficult first pregnancy with flying colors.
Some of them noted that there was something odd about him, some strange need in his eyes, but though he no longer practiced the medical profession or asked for scientific specimens, though he seemed to have lost his wealth and status and was ragged compared to his previous respectability, he was still quiet and well behaved.
There seemed no need to keep an eye on him.
Doctor Bateman awkwardly slid down the concrete barrier, looking around nervously to see if anybody'd spotted him. There were no signs of any observers.
He would not scream, for if he did scream, somebody might save him.
Michelle was there with her cubs, and the other tigers were napping. That was good- it was her right, though he did not deserve the honor of dying at her teeth and claws. Still, it was her right, and so he had come at last, for her justice.
As Michelle looked up, blinked, and began prowling in his direction and snarling, the doctor sank to his knees and simply waited. Hearing her snarl, another tiger, farther off, began stalking him as well. The doctor watched calmly.
They drew closer, and suddenly Michelle whirled on the other tiger, driving him off. She understood, thought the doctor, and he closed his eyes, waiting. He felt her hot breath on his face, his nerves somehow both screaming and perfectly relaxed, and his mind went blank, preparing for death, waiting. Yet nothing happened.
When he opened his eyes, he was looking into Michelle's from only a few inches. He could not look away, but she did not become alarmed, or waver in her calm appraisal.
After a long moment, she dropped her gaze, leaned forward, and nuzzled his face gently, and he realized he was weeping.
Michelle purred softly, and began to nudge the doctor back towards the wall, keeping an eye on the other tigers, patiently trying to push him back up to where the people belonged. After a while, he was able to stand, and to climb back up it, vanishing from sight, staggering, half-blinded by tears, home.
Michelle turned, dismissing it from her mind, heading back toward her cubs.
Passages copyright 1996 by Jinx_tigr.
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