This story goes way back, back to when I first started playing WoW. I tried to roll a hunter named Atalanta, but the name was of course taken. I ended up Kalliope and Atalanta was born as my first pet after Ursa. She was supposed to be a snow leopard, but I was convinced to get a ghost saber instead. As the years went by, Atalanta settled into the form and she couldn't....wouldn't...change. We scouted frost sabers in Zul'Drak on the PTR once, she and I - she turned her nose up at them.
After Leo (still nicknamed Floof) joined us, something changed in Atalanta. I couldn't tell you what it was, just that she suddenly made up her mind that she wasn't corporeal enough. Perhaps it's because of the connection to the Atalanta/Hippomenes myth, even though there was never a chance that Hippomenes would be morphing into a lion.
Cats are so unpredictable. All I can say.
So today, Gondria was up on Nesingwary, near Zim'Torga. That was where the prospective frost sabers we'd looked at were. I took this as the sign we'd been looking for. I relogged to Dethecus and headed out to Zim'Torga, stopping at Brunnhildar to get Atalanta on the way. If Gondria was up, she wasn't at that spawn point. I wasn't surprised. It was just a ruse to get us out there, and I knew it. Atalanta seemed to know it too; her vibe was very calm, with an air of preparedness. I was momentarily overwhelmed by all of the frost leopards prowling around, but one very quickly separated herself from the pack by pouncing a nearby bunny.
This was the moment of truth. It had arrived without warning.
I looked Atalanta in the eye. I had never seen her so determined. She wanted this. Despite going through all the motions of scouting, I didn't really expect her to really want to do this, let alone be looking forward to it.
So it was done....and Atalanta became stronger. She felt more like her namesake, a true warrior. In her less corporeal form, she was quieter, more tentative. It was a transformation unlike any other.
Welcome back, Atalanta.