A mysterious and silent creature followed him in quick pursuit, dodging between bush and boulder to keep pace with Vesyon’s steady gait through the dense forest terrain. Short tufts of black and brown fur camouflaged the creature’s every move, allowing him to accomplish his task of the silent companion with pristine perfection. After so many years together, Vesyon couldn’t help but think of his small feline friend, Neeko, as one of his closest confidantes.Praetorian Rising, Chapter 1 – Lost Memories
Neeko is a cat first and foremost, but he is not an everday cat. Neeko is a Felix Metimorphi that can shape shift into a much larger animal during times of battle and danger. Neeko, a simple black house cat can shift into the form of a sleek yet powerful jaguar. Not only is this a helpful little trick within the Rogue Rebellion, it enables him to protect Camille in darker times.
I feel as though an animal is a bit necessary in fantasy, and not for reasons of marketing but for reasons of connection. I find myself connecting to the characters of a story but also the companions of them. My love of owls stems from my love of Harry Potter. I remember asking my mother if I could have a snowy owl for my thirteen birthday, and as much as she wanted to say yes, she told me how not possible that would be. Looking back, I am thankful she didn’t give into the flights and fancy of a thirteen year old desperately wanting to be at Hogwarts with her snowy white owl!
Neeko to me is the shadow conscious of Vesyon, always there and in the best interests of Camille as well as the Rogue Rebellion. The only person he truly struggles with is Theo.
Once she was a little more presentable, she turned her attention back toward Theo, who had occupied himself by attempting to pet Neeko. The black cat wasn’t having it and kept moving out of Theo’s reach further along the windowsill.
“Fine. Stay there like a grouchy porcupine.”
Neeko hissed in response to Theo’s verbal barbs.
“Watch it! I have no qualms roasting you for dinner one night.” Neeko didn’t seem bothered by the threat and turned to begin grooming his hindquarters as Camille went to a side table where a bowl of water sat.Praetorian Rising, Chapter 9 – Romeo Village
Despite the dangerous vibe Neeko tends to give off, he is always the most cuddly and sweet when it comes to Camille. He was told to protect her at all costs, and that is what he will do until his final day.
A lot of readers have told me they think of Neeko like the ‘familiar’ of Vesyon, and in a way that is close to the truth. I am excited to give more history on Neeko and his origin, but you will need to read more of the series to get the full story on where he came from how how he came to be! I can’t to share more with you all.