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[Fiction] Long - Regarding Long

Sakurako Hino

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((Author's note: This story is what I would call pseudo canon. Pseudo because it may not totally be in character for Long himself with this text "article". Although I found the concept highly interesting of writing an article on how life would be for an anthropomorphic tiger. Have fun!))

*This article was submitted to Nova Era Magazine in Japan, but the magazine as of yet is to publish it in hard copy form. They have instead made this available for online viewing.*

Forgive if my text seems more like a rant than an actual telling of being me, but, you guys gave me the bully pulpit.

You see, life as a Tiger is sort of, a double-edged sword.

Let's start off with the fur.

You see, Fur has several distinct advantages. For starters, Fur is warm. Nice and toasty. When I'm flying at high altitudes, it's pretty much all I need for the cold air. Although I still feel the movement of the air through my fur, I seem to have enough to keep from freezing my tail off, literally. On the flip side, however, I get just opressively hot under it. Being in the sun on a 90 degree plus day is enormously miserable. Even when I shed "winter fur", I still have a very uncomfortable time.

Now for another plus of fur. It's good looking. It has that wild animal magnetisim that really can help if someone is trolling for a date. It's even more striking having Tiger-pattern fur. It must be the stripes, they are known to be slimming. Now the disadvantage to all this... chewing gum. I hate the stuff. The minute I get downtown and some kid thinks he's cute spitting it to a dumpster and misses, landing it on my coat, well, you can imagine the irritation.

Okay, picture this. Pull a hair on your arm or wherever you got it. Just one. Now magnify that by a few hundred times.

You can see my point?

Not to mention my fur tends to get dirty quite often, and I need to almost constantly have a wash. Now usually, it's not that much of an issue, but you ever see a wet anthromorphic tiger? Not exactly glamorous. It's even worse, since it takes a god-awful long time to dry out.

Now that we got the Fur out of the way, let's now go on to the tail.

Now, don't get me wrong, my tail is cool. VERY cool. I mean, seeing ordinary Novas walking around with their eufiber suits and their odd hair and skin strutting and preening for the cameras, but I'm a frickin' tiger! My tail alone screams unique! It's also a good way for expressing my mood. People seem to read me better, which helps when I'm ticked off. One good twitch, and people leave the big walking carpet alone.

But having a tail is a bitch as well. For one thing, it's impossible to find a comfortable seat. I could tuck my tail around to the front, but remember kids, my tail comes off of my tailbone. I'd probably break or sprain it doing some trick like that. So, I hope I find an older chair with a hole in just the right strategic spot.

Stools are alright. It uses more of the butt than a normal chair, and a recumbent chair, like a beach chair is great, since I'm laying down instead of sitting.

But sitting alone isn't enough of a problem. Ever shop for clothing? And yes, I do wear some clothing. Mostly loose-fitting, light stuff. Silk, you know, stuff like that. Well, clothing is built for tail-less folk. And with a tail, a tailor has to carefully engineer a way to keep my tail free. It's not like simply adding a tail-hole either. The whole back of my pants needs to be re-engineered to accomidate it.

But, that's enough of that.

Let's move on to relaxing shall we.

I've picked up the annoying habit of sunning myself. Yep, just like a cat. I lay down in a nice spot, spread out, stretch, and soak in some sun. Well, that's all good and idyllic, but try relaxing when all of a sudden you got, oh, 30 cameras taking FLASH PICTURES of me! I've learned to wear sunglasses just because of that.

Learned, because of my facial structure. Now, having a tiger head is flat-out awesome. Not only can I talk normally, but I got a kick-ass growl that gets people's attention. But try finding sunglasses that don't make you look odd. I do have some custom ones, but who wants to pay a few thousand dollars US or god knows how many thousands in Yen for a pair? Not me, says I.

Well, that's me in a nice little package.

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