So Jason was apparently sending me a message when he kept "flashing" me with his white skin vs. his natural yellow. But I didn't understand that until I summoned Atalanta for the first time since taming Jason.
I don't write about Atalanta often, even though she goes back with me almost as far as Ursa does. She's a very quiet cat. It's funny; she doesn't seem to be bothered that she doesn't run with me in raids very often anymore, despite her being my first go-to dps pet. It's like we got old together; neither of us is interested in hardcore raiding anymore, though we like the occasional workout. She doesn't mind Leo's bossiness and understands that he has to go with me sometimes because of his official Lucky Lion status. She was the one who volunteered to leave my stable the night before our stables expanded just so Hippomenes could come home without causing me grief in terms of competition from other hunters.
Atalanta's quite an enigma. I'm figuring a lot of this out even as I write it here now. But what I figured out a couple of days ago was that Atalanta wanted to be a ghost saber again. I'm not sure now if she insisted on trying a regular snow leopard skin or if I pushed her (in hindsight, I'm thinking it was the latter, which I regret). I just hadn't felt things were right with her after I retamed her after the patch. It only took six statues and she was the first cat to spawn. That had never happened before. I thought she was just eager to come home...and she was. But things were just...off. It was like Beignet - unless Beignet was stalking the hell out of Kallimon, it wasn't really her. If Atalanta wasn't being elusive and hiding from me, then something was wrong. I....I can't explain how they had both come home with me, but weren't themselves....it doesn't seem like both things are possible. But that's how it goes with pets. Just like it makes no sense that solid snow leopards in pictures can still be her....but they are. She just knows how to make herself easier to "photograph."
All of this because Atalanta the snow leopard's butt was too glowy in comparison to Jason's white version. Well, that and Jason and I took an impromptu land walk from Uldum to Darkshore for no apparent reason the night before....another big indicator that I needed to be there.
Atalanta and I set off for the ruins and found absolutely nothing for the first dozen statues or so. So I let her loose to go find her own statue. Sort of a hunter's version of hide and seek. The very next statue I found was near where I'd released her. I was shocked it had been so easy! But then the cat inside was level 20. It wasn't her. But the timing....what if it was? Then the night elf guards stepped in and took the decision out of my hands, killing the poor innocent cat. I realized that Atalanta wasn't so foolish as to spawn near dangerous NPCs, not at any level. I kept looking.
Two more level 20 cats spawned, both fairly soon after the first. Neither of those was killed, as I feigned them off. I'd never run into three 20s before finding her before, nor had I had to pick up more than 19 statues before. I was getting anxious, especially as I was having a lot of trouble locating statues from time to time.
Then I saw it. Statue 23. It was facing a bush. And somehow, I knew. I knew that this was her. And yet, I still didn't screen capture that statue as a precaution. No matter; I digress. I clicked the statue and there indeed stood my beautiful Atalanta in her level 19 glory. She didn't attack me, something which had never happened before with any of the cats - ever. I tamed her and she was back. Really and truly back.
Welcome home, Atalanta.