This is all Arachne's fault.
I had things all worked out for MoP. She would transfer from Kirix to a minipet green tarantula so I could keep both her and Orpheus, while still having room for all my incoming family.
However, things generally do not go as planned when I plan ahead.
While doing Therazane dailies in the Crumbling Depths, I suddenly realized that Amthea reminded me vaguely of Arachne in Smite. Intrigued by the parallel and having nothing to lose, I brought Arachne out there to change forms.
Our identification was instant. Arachne's movements reminded me of her Smite counterpart's. She was suddenly more alive than she'd ever been as Jadefang. That solved the bonding issue.
We ran around Tol Barad with her in cunning spec. With the changes to beast mastery and her new spec, we tore up plenty of Horde. Suddenly, I couldn't imagine how I had ever felt nothing for shale spiders and could have thought I could live without one.
Then the horrifying reality set in: I had no stable space for her. Someone was going to have to go. Shockingly, I didn't have too much trouble settling on Pygmalion, even though he'd just changed into a basilisk. Despite the new form, I still wasn't really feeling him as a true companion. He'd lost his personal connection with me once it was clear that Gumbo is my only crocolisk who matters on any character, period. Plus, from a practical perspective, I'm unlikely to need petrifying gaze with my current setup.
That should have been all, but it wasn't. It hardly ever is just one change with me. Now that I had a shale spider again, I was only going to be missing one buff from a complete set - a sunder, since Psyche (my pink raptor from the Barrens) was also going to turn into a minipet in MoP. I was torn again; I like Psyche, but have never really felt her personality in a raptor. A serpent would have been out of the question for her too, but the buffs had changed in 5.0.4 - and a tallstrider felt like a real possibility for her, specifically the purple one. I had tried one once before, but Penelope didn't click, partly because I was resentful of how she came as a package deal with Odysseus the monkey (who I felt nothing for).
So it was off to Terokkar, unsure whether this plan would work, but again having nothing to lose. I specifically did not want to tame the same tallstrider that Penelope had been, so I ran around the island on foot in camouflage, with Psyche the raptor in tow. I figured she'd let me know when we found the right bird. She was quiet, though, so I kept running around, pausing only when a tallstrider parading around its own raised section of the island caught my eye. Mere seconds later, Psyche lifted her head and roared. I knew that was my signal, so I tamed her on the spot. Almost immediately afterward, Psyche preened her wing feathers. Messages of contentment don't get much clearer than that!
Of course, this once again left me with the seemingly impossible choice of who to let free. Once again, I was surprised - Tantalus practically volunteered. He's terribly energetic, but doesn't get out of the stable often. He never complains, but I know he needs more attention than he gets. If runed blue demon dogs ever became minipets, he'd fit right in as one. The best part about Tantalus's easygoing nature is that he can wander in and out of my stable whenever he likes with no problem.
So when the time comes, I know who will be taking off for a while. Thankfully, that won't be for another few weeks. I really wasn't expecting this.