Bonus character designs for an AU version of But I'm A Cat Person
. The Tiger (or, in this case, Panther) is one of our main team of heroes, as owned by Bianca. Meanwhile, Ann Walker hasn't gotten as far as she might have, because she's the Master of the enthusiastic but none-too-subtle Dog.
Note that each Being is shown here in both animal and human forms. They wouldn't be seen at the same time IRL; it's just done to show off both designs.
For the Turning Tables contest
. Doubles as an entry in the latest Participate-in-Contests Contest
A quick explanation, including background for those who don't know the canon:
The world of But I'm A Cat Person is mostly like ours, with the addition of a group of magical shapeshifting battle monsters known as Beings. Each one is bound to a human Master, whose orders and desires they obey in every way -- even their appearance and personality will conform to their current Master's needs.
So how could a heroic Being turn into a villain, and an antagonistic Being end up in the role of the good guy? Simple: they'd just have to end up in the hands of different Masters.
In canon, the Dog kicks off the story by following one of our heroines home, seeking refuge after the Contract with his Master was apparently broken (though that's not supposed to be possible without the Master dying).
He forms a new contract with our other heroine, Bianca, and hijinks ensue -- along with the tension of trying to keep his former Master from finding out where he's gone. For Bianca, the Dog takes on some adorable forms:
Meanwhile, the Tiger has spent the past fifty years under the Mastery of Ann Walker, a ruthless businesswoman who's used him to help build up her corporate empire.
He'll take on whatever form is best to manipulate the person they're meeting with, be that a polished older man in a suit or an adorable little girl in ribbons -- and, when they're alone, a handsome young stud with too many muscles:
And now, the AU versions!
In order to avoid attracting attention in the city, the runaway Tiger (whose animal form is more variable than most) took the shape of a tiny melanistic leopard, hoping to pass as a black house cat. Sparrow, as a cat person, was charmed, and took him home herself. Here, it's Bianca who thought there was something off.
The Tiger is more subtle than the Dog, so he doesn't get caught until he chooses to. But since he's rudderless without a Master, and kind of emotionally frail after what he's just been through, he chooses it pretty quickly. He still gets the name Patrick, and his human form ends up being very similar.
As Bianca's Being, the Tiger may be recovering from trauma, but he's still clever and proactive. When there's a mysterious other Being keeping tabs on her, he lets her know right away. And he's smart enough to work his magic on ATMs without leaving a trail, bringing home wads of cash as trophies the way a normal cat might bring home dead mice.
Walker, meanwhile, would be very frustrated if she knew what she was missing out on. Sure, she basically has a seeing-eye dog with a bunch of magical perks, but in this universe she's way behind the curve with her taking-over-the-world plans.
The Dog will follow orders to the letter and with great enthusiasm. He just isn't great at improvising, or being crafty, and she can't make plans that rely on him going along with anything too complicated. He has a talent for mindless adoration, which Walker finds flattering...to a point, after which it just gets tiresome. She mostly uses him for his ability to do limitless enthusiastic physical work
As Walker's Being, the Dog is much happier and less traumatized. He gets lots of clear orders, follows them very well, and gets praised for it -- and has been doing so for half a century. If she wants to ruthlessly crush all opposition beneath her heel, well, he thinks that's just dandy, and is eager to be at her side so he can help.