Cosplay in the Time of Eve

•February 14, 2010 • 6 Comments

Second Life, cosplay, or anime? Sammy the female android with Rikuo her human in the anime Time of Eve ©2009/2010 Yasuhiro YOSHIURA / DIRECTIONS, Inc.

Pardon my cosplay, but an intriguing anime called Time of Eve has arrested my imagination and prompted me to explore an interesting parallel: namely, how the prejudices that humans had about androids in the anime often resemble the prejudices that outsiders have about a “virtual” second life (not to mention a Neko life!).

What is the definition of a “real” life or friendship? Do the definitions differ between first and second life? Do you talk about your Second Life with First Life friends?

Continue reading >

A Virtual Neko Letter to Santa

•December 24, 2009 • 1 Comment

Santa’s got a Little Neko secret…

Kawaii Neko vs Grunge Neko

•December 4, 2009 • 3 Comments

Kawaii Neko or Grunge Neko?

If you’re like most humans I’ve met in Second Life, seeing a Neko all dressed up in pink and surrounded by cuteness may seem a bit… odd. After all, we Neko are all about grunge, right? Torn shirts, ratty jeans, skulls, barbed wire and piercings… that’s the epitome of Neko culture, isn’t it?

Think again, my dear little human admirer. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed in all my Neko ramblings and research, it’s this: not all Neko are created grunge. In fact we Neko owe our heritage to Japan, where the standard couture for a Nekomimi is a far cry from the grunge fashion that’s often associated with Neko in Second Life. Instead, it’s all about kawaii.

Curious to learn more? Just click here…

Virtual Neko Store Alert: + grasp +

•November 21, 2009 • 2 Comments

In between Neko fashion and short stories, Bobby thought it might be nice to do an occasional, brief post about a store I’ve recently discovered and/or enjoy. Lo and behold, as I was updating my slurl for the Sweetaholic kimono shop today, I noticed the designer had opened up a separate store earlier this year, featuring more casual fashion.

Even though this isn’t necessarily considered a “neko” store, between the amazing textures, and the range of items that could appeal to all sorts of Neko with different style preferences (from leather jackets and distressed jeans for gals and guys, to lacy shorts and pink winter jackets with fur for the more kawaii set), it seemed like a perfect first “store alert.” Without further ado….

Store: +grasp+
Creator: Asalt Eames
What You’ll Find: Scarves, hats, tops, jeans, jackets, jewelry, belts, bikinis, and shoes
What I Love: Great textures, shadows, details, and casual styles (not to mention the kimono in his other shop next door, “Sweetaholic”) ^_^
Location: Find it on my Where to Shop page


The Legend of The Were-Neko

•October 31, 2009 • 7 Comments

Secondlife Werewolf Neko Halloween

She of the BloodSecondlife Neko Werewolf SL

He who strays in the forest at late,
Becomes like a worm on a hook for bait.
When the moon is full and the sky is black
He will soon discover the courage he lacks.

The prayers you utter will all be in vain,
For no one escapes the Blood and the Pain.
The Devil herself is manifest
In the very core of the werewolf’s breast.

And she comes at night, when you wander dumb
Under the trees, like you’re under her thumb
She senses your fear, she smells your heart
She’ll rip you to shreds, she’ll tear you apart.

The wolf is her family, the human her feast,
She who is born from the blood of the Beast.

– by Drowned Ophelia on

WereNeko Wings

Even a man who’s pure at heart and says his prayers at night
Fears the changing foot prints on the night
When the wolfsbane blooms under the bright beams of a full moon.

– Author unknown

Second Life Neko Werewolf 2The autumn blood flows in my veins
torn out of time
like a raging wind
touched by you.

The Darkness falls,
full moon rising
and the Wolf wanders on
The rain stroking my fur
like a gentle touch
and soon
I will be human, again.

– by Thomas A Launy

Were-Neko Outfit:

| Hair | AdiCat: Part of the “Were-Neko” outfit sold on SL’s Marketplace. NOTE: this outfit comes with two different looks… a “relaxed” look (without the fur and raised hair) and a “fight” look (producing the furry components I’m wearing above). This outfit would make an awesome choice for Nekos who love roleplay: the right paw is scripted with a lunge combat script, which will deal damage in DCS and many other combat systems. This lunge script also enables you to jump forward in a cat-like lunge animation, allows you to move faster than most flight speeds, and with practice, you can jump through the air in no fly zones and catch opponents who try to run away.
| Ears | AdiCat: Part of the “Were-Neko” outfit sold on SL’s Marketplace
| Tail | Subtle Submission: Roses and Thorns (attached to L Pec), sold on SL’s Marketplace only
| Skin | StarFuker: Ocelot V2 Black
| Eyes | PC / Poetic Colors: Hell Fire Neko Eyes
| Furry Arms, Paws and Legs | AdiCat: “Were-Neko” outfit
| Shortie Top | PixelDolls: Love Lace ❤ The Year of the Corset, Chemise in black
| Leather Jacket | Aoharu: BR Roll Up Riders in black
| Ripped Pants | LBD / Little Britain Designs: Jeans from the New Rock Flame Hoodie Set
| “Wings” | Urban Dare: Wood Nymph Wings, Fall season, small (Note: item is not currently available in the store).
| Pose | Kunstkammer: Werewolf (store no longer exists in SL)

SL Red Eyes Neko

Visit Bentham Forest in Second Life:

The Myths and Truths Surrounding Werewolves:

The Legend of Loup Garou:

© Stacia Villota / Virtual Neko in Second Life – 2009


Explorer Neko and the Shadowcrawler

•October 6, 2009 • 5 Comments

Grendels Second Life river

Dr. Livingstone, I presume, stepping out of the jungle gloom, into the midday sun…
What did you happen to find there? Did you stand a while and stare? Did you meet anyone?*

Sometime after midnight, the moon suffocated in the thick, muggy air. A determined mosquito had managed to penetrate the netting around my cot, and its incessant, bloodthirsty whine was making me toss and turn. I could have sworn I heard something else though… a strange whistling sound… soft footfalls? A quiet chirping?  But I was far too preoccupied with my tiny tormenter to give it any more attention.

When I finally emerged from my tent the next morning, hair awry, eyes red and heavy with insomnia, it took me a moment to notice.

There, laying in the moist earth not far from my tent, was a creature like nothing I’d ever seen before.

Neko Secondlife Shadowcrawler 211a

The mists rising from the river gave the scene a dream-like appearance. I approached with caution (surely curiousity doesn’t always kill cats)… was it sleeping? wounded? worse? As I bent down for a closer look, I saw its sides slowly rising and falling… the strange lizard appeared to be merely asleep.

I reached back for my notepad… dammit… still in the tent. Not wanting to risk making any further noise, I began a thorough visual investigation.

Nearly three meters in length, a long thick tail that narrowed to a point, smooth skin covered with boldly contrasting stripes, strange quill-like projections on top of its head and continuing down its back lifted slightly with every breath…

Whatever it was, it was not lacking in defense: two large horns curved back from its forehead, while its hands and feet were well-armed with thick, razor-sharp claws. This was definitely not a creature to be…..

!!!!!!!!!  Neko Secondlife Shadowcrawler 39a

waking up….

in the middle of…

my preoccupied inspection….

and rising..


to stare back at me.

I stood transfixed, watching the quills on its head and back lifting into upright position. Its head tilted, likely assessing how quickly it could catch me and whether or not I’d be tasty prey…

And then it dropped to the ground, scratching and rolling in the dirt at my feet. What the…. ?

And stood back up, bobbing its head, making strange chirruping sounds. I was still too stunned to move.

With a soft whistle, the creature reached out gingerly with one strangely curled hand. Before I knew what I was doing, my own hand lifted in response. Our fingers touched. We both shivered.

Suddenly the creature leapt into the air with a gleeful sound, and came back down on all fours, running in a happy little circle. Play? You want me to play with you? Checking my belt to make sure I was armed (just in case!), I ducked behind the nearest tree root, bent down playfully with my hands on my knees, and whistled back.

Without further ado, a game of tag and a new friendship was immediately underway…

Neko Secondlife Shadowcrawler 481

Grendel’s, Avaria, and the Shadowcrawler Avatar

Located in the heart of the Avaria sims, Grendel’s Children sells more diverse avatar shapes, creatures, and beings than any other place in Second Life (at least as far as this Neko knows). It’s also an excellent place to find domesticated Neko skins for those of you wanting to remain feline but change it up a bit.

Second Life resident Flea Bussy is the mastermind behind the Aviaos Shadowcrawler avatar — a creature he describes as “a nimble species, bio-luminescently signaling and chirping to one another in the caves, cliffsides and ravines they call home.”

These delightful avatars come with a hud that gives you endless gestures, actions, sound effects, and body control (including quill raising and lowering). You can even climb the sides of buildings!

What a Neko Exploring Second Life Might Wear

Neko Second Life explorer 045a| Tail & Ears | Taylor Made (formerly OvaHauled): Oh Explorer Kitty Set – featuring maps, a pocket watch, telescope and knife (tail attached to my Left Pec to keep my pelvis attachment open for my belt). (Store appears to be offline as of April 2011…)

Kittehs, I can’t say enough about OvaHauled. Every time I visit they’ve released another batch of new ears and tails, each one packed with unique, well-designed accessories. A very warm thanks to Taylor for making this tail and ear set especially for this story (and then having the patience to wait for months and months until this lazy kitteh finally got ’em blogged!)

| Hair | Electro Kitty: Neoki
| Eyes | CF / Cats of a Feather: Precious Cat Eyes in Amethyst (I keep returning to buy more colors of this store’s eyes!)
| Bra | Insolence: Louise in chocolate
| Collar | Kosh: The Moth Cellar Choker
| Shirt | Last Call: Headhunter piped jacket (Last Call is closed, but you can substitute Casa del Shai’s “Birdwatcher Safari” suit instead)
| Arm Bands, upper | Moloko: Naruto armwraps small
| Leather Cuffs | Bukka: Color bracelet brown (these come in two sizes, both for the left forearm; I modified the larger one to make it smaller, and attached it to my right forearm to make a set)
| Shorts | Elephant Outfitters: Jordyn in Twig (the right leg cuff attached fine, but I had to create a duplicate copy of the left leg cuff, hand-attach to my Stomach, and edit-move it into place (since my thigh strap was already using the Left Upper Leg attachment point. Read more about how to do it on this page.)
| Socks | Shiny Things: Stripe knit thigh highs in khaki
| Belt | DoD / Designs of Darkness: Rare Species No. 1 Belt – this belt is SO COOL.
| Boots | Civvies: Bad Boy Scout, girl version
| Thigh Strap | Defiant Designs: Seeker

Neko Second Life Explorer Details2
Click image to enlarge. Top row, left to right:  DoD Rare Species belt; OvaHauled’s Explorer Kitty ears; Bukka’s arm cuff. Middle row:  Kosh’s Moth Cellar Choker; Moloko’s Naruto Arm strap; Cats of a Feather’s Neko eyes. Bottom row: OvaHauled’s Explorer Kitty tail; Civvies’ Bad Boy Scout Boots; Defiant Designs’ Seeker Thigh Strap.

| Poses | Vain: Crawl; KiiToS: Poseball 03 (kneeling); RYO: Pose 20 (hands on knees); Ayapose: ground sit

Note about Poses: Ever get annoyed when you find the perfect pose, but you’re floating about 6″ above the ground (or the cute car hood, or the bench, or a hill) when you activate it? I can’t speak highly enough about Marcush Nemeth’s amazing PhotoHUD NT. All you have to do is rez his “master” poseball, wear the HUD, activate any pose you have in your inventory, and the HUD will allow you to make infinite fine adjustments, i.e., raising and lowering your avatar, rotating forward to back or side to side, turning you in tiny increments, etc. It’s a must for any fashion blogger or photographer who shoots models.  🙂

Buy the Shadowcrawler or other avatars at Avaria in Second Life:

Visit the Riverside Jungle of Avaria Sav in Second Life:

*Lyrics from the Moody Blues “Dr. Livingstone”

Photos by my handsome lizard Bobby Yoshikawa <3***

© Stacia Villota / Virtual Neko in Second Life – 2009


100,000 Thanks and a Neko Research Study!

•September 14, 2009 • 8 Comments

Early yesterday morning, a lone, unidentified Neko visited this blog and quietly turned the site meter over to 100,000 visits.

Is there significance in five zeros? I’m not really sure, but it definitely warms my little kitteh heart. So much so that I wanted to pause and say… one hundred thousand thank yous to each and every one of you.  =^..^=

But wait there’s more…!

On the very same day, I received an intriguing IM from a gal named Meja Milosz. In her first life, Meja’s a researcher studying virtual world communities — including (you guessed it) Second Life’s Neko community.

No, we’re not the sole focus of her research project, but she is devoting a couple chapters to us in her PhD dissertation project. Who knew someone could earn a PhD studying us Nekos?

Yep it’s true. Apparently while addressing the topic of “hieararchies and relations in digital games in online 3D worlds such as Second Life,” something about us Nekos made Meja step back a moment and scratch her head. It seems we’re rather unique. (But you already knew that, didn’t you?) In fact we’re so unique that she wants to learn more.

Come be a part of Neko research!

As you can imagine, I’m planning to help. And I’m hoping you will too. (Don’t worry, no Nekos will be caged, experimented on, or harmed in this study, he he). 😛

In the weeks ahead, Meja (who’s a Neko just like us) will be conducting interviews to find out just what makes us Second Life Nekos so special. And that, my fine furreh-tailed friends, will be your chance to tell her.  ^_^ Just give her a shout out (via IM or notecard) in-world!

Read Meja’s initial study proposal here:

Download Meja’s pilot paper on Nekos in Second Life here:


Needles + Neko = Tattoo

•August 30, 2009 • 11 Comments


I had passed her Second Life tattoo store countless times in my wanderings. It was impossible not to look inside.

No matter what the hour, there were always two or three would-be victims (sic) people perched on the edge of her ragged couch, paging through tattoo magazines, distractedly awaiting their turn on the tattoo throne.


What intrigued me the most were their faces. Eyes glassy with the thrill of a dare or a secret passion (or maybe just fear), moods passing over their countenances like clouds — I’d try to memorize their emotions and guess what style of tattoo they might end up with. Did the bold ones always go for skulls, dragons, and knives? Hearts, butterflies and flowers for the timid? Was it a commemorative thing? Or a way to strengthen life aspirations? (or maybe just an addiction to the adrenaline of the needle…)

Best of all were the ones who were there because of the art, offering up their naked flesh as an ever-expanding canvas, proud of their dedication to one of the oldest art forms known to man.


Where to Find a Tattoo in Second Life
(including Bruised, Bloody, Scratched or Dirty Marks, and Bandaids too)

Maddison Mokeev’s tattoo parlor (from the store Cloud 9.1) was more than enough to inspire my story, however being the list maniac that I am, I couldn’t stop with just a story. No, I had to create a resource page containing every major tattoo store I could find in Second Life, alphabetized and complete with slurls. Cuz, you know… keeping up 12 *other* Neko resource pages full of slurls just wasn’t enough. *Cough.*

While I was at it, I decided to include some bruises, blood, mud, and bandaids… but only those that could be worn on your existing skin like a tattoo. Yes there are lots of bloody, bruised and scratched skins available in Second Life, but I gotta draw the “slurl upkeep line” somewhere…

So without further ado (drumroll please), please click here:

Second Life Tattoo Stores (and more)

Second Life Tattoos Details
Stacia’s outfit (click image to enlarge) — Background: Dream Ink Tattoo. Inset photos, clockwise from top left: RQ Kitten parts (ear); League Booty shorts, WWI Boyfriend socks with garters, and side view of Manna’s Montmartre belt; CatNip Sucker Punch bloody arm wrap; rear view of Manna’s Montmartre belt, and the RQ tail; Virus’ Mini Steak Dinner necklace and May Creations’ Cuff with aspirin; Manna’s Mayween L’Aventuriere boots, WWI Boyfriend socks with garters, and Urban Dare’s Needles Thigh Strap.

What Maddison was wearing:

| Tattoo | Garden of Ku: Rock & Beers
| Hair | Defectiva: Gaze in black
| Glasses | Steinwerk: Etienne
| Tank Top | Sassy Kitty Designs: Formal shirt, short sleeves
| Necklaces | Naith Smit: Rock ‘n Rolla
| Bracelet | EDO: 19 chain bracelet
| Skirt | *el*: Disorder punky outfit
| Leggings | *el*: Disorder punky outfit
| Boots | UBU / Urban Bomb Unit: Pirate rain boots

(If you want to add a finishing touch to this outfit, consider CatniP’s Inked Tattoo Belt!)

What Stacia was wearing and why

| Hair | Mirai: Tura in Strawberry – cuz berries were one of the first inks used in ancient tattoo art
| Tattoo | Dream Ink Tattoos: NT-4-4 – cuz I wanted a cool tattoo that covered my arms and belly, from a store few people had heard of
| Ears and Tails | RQ / Red Queen: Kitten parts in Brick – cuz I’m a Neko, duh…
| Tank Top | Neo: Daisy Ripped Tank – cuz I had to get ripped to handle getting tattooed, and I’m not talking clothing, gals…
| Necklace | Virus: Mini Steak Dinner – cuz I kinda felt like a piece of meat
| Wrist Wrap, right wrist | CatniP: Sucker Punch – cuz I thought I might bleed! (I wore hand and right forearm parts; the set also comes with a left forearm piece)
| Arm Straps, left wrist | May Creations: Cuffs with Aspirin and Key – cuz I’ll probably be wanting aspirin after I’m done… if not something stronger…
| Belt | Manna: Montmartre Belt – cuz after all, tattooing *is* an art…
| Shorts | League: Booty Shorts in Light Blue – do I need a cuz on this?
| Thigh Strap | Urban Dare: Leather Leg Strap with Needles – cuz what if her needles broke in the middle of a tattoo?
| Socks | WWI: White Boyfriend Garter socks in grey – cuz wearing something from your boyfriend gives you courage
| Boots | Manna: Mayween L’Aventuriere – cuz getting a tattoo was definitely an adventure!

Visit Cloud 9.1’s tattoo parlor:

More info and photos of Cloud 9.1’s tattoo parlor here:

Second Life Tattoo Stores Resource Page:

Photos by the au naturel beau Bobby Yoshikawa <3***

© Stacia Villota / Virtual Neko in Second Life – 2009


A Vesper for James Bond

•July 13, 2009 • 14 Comments

James Bond Vesper Lynd Neko Second Life

The assignment went as planned, the operatives were captured without incident, even the explosions were timed perfectly. All of it, every detail, went exactly by the book.

Until my beloved Yusef was captured.

His sweet body was no match for their unspeakable torture. With his blood, he spilled every detail — our background, the mission, even the MI6 operations — but most tragically, our love. It was our weakest link, and they knew precisely how to exploit it: his life would be spared only if I became a double agent.

Their only miscalculation was understanding how deeply revenge would take hold of me. My only miscalculation was James Bond.

James Bond gun Neko Secondlife Vesper Lynd

From our first meeting, it was clear Bond considered me to be nothing more than a comely assistant, assigned with the simple task of delivering the money, and ensuring he beat LeChiffre by adding an element of distraction.

Ah, but large egos have always been my plaything. Tortured childhoods? I understand these even better. My assignment had all the earmarks of becoming a rather amusing distraction. Until we were both caught off guard.

Somewhere beneath the chiseled jawline, rebellious nature and uncanny wit hid a similarly desperate heart. I faltered. He caught the misstep and together we continued the dance without any detectable hitch. No one was the wiser. After all, we knew the risks.

I can only assume it was my unsteady emotional state that caused it all to unravel… working for a madman like LeChiffre… never knowing for sure if Yusef was alive or dead… my every move a calculated lie… all grievously contrasted against my growing empathy toward this man called James Bond. Never before had I felt… so… ragged.

When I heard James’ torture begin, something inside of me finally snapped. I would not be the cause of another death. Even if it required my own.

James Bond Neko Secondlife guns Vesper Lynd

“Really Bond, did you ever wonder why you were left alive that night? She bargained for your life in exchange for the money. I’m sure she wished they’d let her go alive, but she must have known that she was going to her death…”

Neko Double Agent Dressed to Kill

This outfit was assembled with the help of two dear friends. The smartly feminine suit was designed by Milla Michinaga, who I humbly credit as a mentor (whether she knows this or not) in the development of this blog. Long before she became a clothing designer, her fashion blog was my inspiration for the kind of quality and attention to detail I hoped to achieve — albeit within my Neko genre.

Meanwhile, my ears, tail, and guns were lovingly crafted by the very sweet and talented Aditya Shippe of AdiCat Designs. When I rezzed the guns that she insisted on creating especially for this story (those of you who are true James Bond afficianados will note their adherence to detail) and saw “Virtual Neko” engraved on the sides, I was touched. Aditya’s motto? “Live like there’s no milk tomorrow, and play with your friends every day.” I’m honored to call this spirited Neko designer my friend.

Secondlife guns roleplay spy secret James Bond
From left to right (click on image to enlarge): AdiCat’s Leg Holster for the Virtual Neko 9mm; the basic Virtual Neko 9mm; with the extra light accessory; with the silencer accessory. Not shown: the spotting scope accessory, the fold-out stock accessory, and the loader (yes, this gun shoots). All accessory changes animate your avatar. Bond’s “Q” would be proud…

From left to right (click on image to enlarge): Be Happy’s bullet shoulder strap; DoMoCo’s gloves; Kitten Neko Eyes by Tacky Star and Heze sunglasses by Solar Eyewear; Liderc’s Dog Tags necklace.

Neko Second Life roleplay guns James Bond Vesper
From left to right (click on image to enlarge): Unique Needs Dolly Goth Spy pumps; AdiCat’s Munitions ears; Rebel’s bullet armband; a sideview of the “Reload” belt by Blitzed and the top of AdiCat’s Munitions tail.

| Hair | Kin: Mairi, tinted to darken the red color a bit
| Eyes | Tacky Star: Kitten Neko Eyes, small with no veins (package comes with four eye sizes and 3 levels of “blood veins” — this store’s unique eyes are worth a visit)
| Ears and Tail | AdiCat: Munitions Loaded Neko Set (Xcite compatible, HUD or voice control, original animations, and color-change to approximately 600 options)
| Glasses | Solar Eyewear: Heze Glasses (HUD-change lenses and frames)
| Necklace | Liderc: Dog Tags (Kitty)
| Left Shoulder Strap | Be Happy: Bullet Shoulder Type 2 for Women
| Blouse | Gisaci: Cambridge Cuffed Shirt in Cream
| Suit | Michami: Stella in Black
| Armbands | Rebel: Bullet armband, right arm
| Gloves | DoMoCo: Gloves Full finger in Burgundy (brown)
| Belt | Blitzed: Reload belt (with a handy resizer script)
| Gun | AdiCat: Double-O Neko 9mm with Holster (How to use: wear both the holster and the gun, click on the holster to make gun appear, and you’ll get a menu that gives you all sorts of additional amazing “Q”-inspired gun options!)
| Shoes | UN! /  Unique Needs: Dolly Goth Chunky Spy Pumps with Toe Pistols
| Poses | Niqotine, LAP/Long Awkward Pose, and Imperial Elegance

If girls with guns is your kinda thing, you might also like…

Photos by the daring agent provocateur Bobby Yoshikawa <3***

© Stacia Villota / Virtual Neko in Second Life – 2009


Happy Birthday Virtual Neko Blog! (plus handy Neko FAQs)

•June 26, 2009 • 28 Comments

Virtual Neko Second Life Birthday 3

One year ago today, a little Neko blog was born into a virtual world called Second Life.

At the time, I had no idea what it would become… no clue about the depth, the history, the dress code (if there was one), nor the size of the Neko community in Second Life. Heck I wasn’t entirely sure what “being Neko” meant, given that I was a relative newcomer to the “cat ears and tail” set.

I only knew that something about being Neko had struck a chord inside, making me want to do something, to give something back, to support this uniquely curious, often misunderstood, but ever-so-delightful community of “cat people.”

Neko Alice Wonderland cropped

So I jumped down the rabbit hole as it were… delved into it with all four paws, tracing a yarn ball’s worth of loose threads that I would later weave into this blog, meanwhile creating all sorts of “Neko Resource” pages, and an online Neko community forum. (Photos in this story are just a few of the highlights from the first year).

But I’m getting ahead of myself. What I really wanna do, after a year filled with blogging about all things Neko, is answer the most basic Neko questions everyone always seems to ask… the same questions I set out to answer in the first place… which I still get asked in Second Life today. So without further ado…

Why Are You Wearing Ears and a Tail?

Some may call it catty, but my typical reply is this: “because I’m a Neko” (well duh). Then I wait to see if they take the bait. Most good little mousies (or humans, sometimes prey is interchangeable) will eventually nibble. Which leads them to their next question, which is usually…

How To Masthead2

What Is a Neko?

The short answer: a human avatar who wears cat ears and a tail, and typically affects a cat-like attitude on a full time (or at least most of the time) basis in Second Life.

The medium-length answer: mm, it depends… we Nekos come in a variety of genetic variables. Some are very nearly human, the only difference being our lovely ears, tails, and sometimes Neko eyes (c’est moi). Others are further along in our “transformation,” preferring skins with calico spots, furry belly texture, or even tiger stripes. These more “feral” Nekos sometimes wear additional cat-like accoutrements, including paw feet boots and whiskers.

kawaii1The long answer? That requires a bit of history:

Neko means cat in Japanese, so you might think it started there. Yet cats were admired for thousands of years before “Maneki Neko” and “Hello Kitty” became popular — cats have been found buried in ceremony on the isle of Cyprus 8,000 years ago, worshipped as the god “Bastet” in Egypt, and countless other cultures record affinities for all things feline.

Somewhere in recent history, humans began dressing up as (or sometimes even transforming into) cats. From the villianess “Catwoman” who first appeared in Batman comic books in 1940, Osamu Tezuka’s catgirl mangas (comic books) in the 1950s (which inspired numerous cartoons), the American television cartoon “Josie and the Pussycats” in the early 1970s, and the Broadway musical “Cats” in the early 1980s, to a Cyberpunk roleplayer “Chromebook” that included a cyber-neko altered body kit (thanks Pussycat!), clearly some sort of personal feline transformation was afoot (apaw?).

However during the 1990s, it was the Japanese culture that took “dressing up” to a whole new level. By then, all sorts of manga and anime (animated movies) were featuring little girls sprouting ears and a tail, inspiring cosplayers all across Japan (and eventually the rest of the world) to begin “dressing up Neko” in first life.

Family3Right on the heels of this phenomenon came Second Life.

The very first Nekos in Second Life simply called themselves catpeople or catgirls (getting called a Neko in Japan is a whole ‘nuther matter if you’re a guy…). So it’s still somewhat of a mystery how “cat equipped humans” came to be called “Neko” in our little virtual world.

My best guess is that the term “Neko” evolved due to the growing influence of Asian residents in Second Life — people who in their first life were already dressing up as Neko cosplayers, and simply carried it full time into their virtual life. No one knows for sure, but it’s possible this was the catalyst that turned Second Life’s early “catgirl” phenomenon into the full-blown “Neko culture” it is today.


Why Did You Become A Neko?

For me, it was simple: someone very special started wearing ears and a tail. After a week of being mesmerized by those delicate furry parts, I wanted in. We TPd to Atomic, where I debated the Neko-defining choice of fluffy versus smooth hair tail: fluffeh felt right to me. In fact it felt so right that when I started to take the parts off one week later, something seemed terribly amiss. That’s when I knew: transformation had begun.

Sure there are part-timers — fashion bloggers who wear Neko ears and tails for a day to complement a particular outfit, party-goers who “dress up Neko” for an event. But for most of us full-time Nekos, it’s less about a style, and more about who we are. Here are a few of the answers to the “why” question from the Second Life Neko Community forum:

DeathNote sm

“When I came to SL, I was human, but not for long. I asked myself, what can I do here that I can’t do in RL, and the answer was: be another creature! And thus I became a Neko.” – Sasha

“I love cats and kittens of all kinds, so once I found all the Neko stuff in SL, I just had to dive in.” – Adrianna

“(Over the years, I kept seeing) ‘neko / catgirl’ art and thinking – there they are again. (When I) logged into SL, a freebie I got resulted in me wearing ears and a tail. When I took them off, I felt weird, so back on they went. And then I had to get an AO, and then I had to get better ears/tails, and then… and then… next thing I know, I’m running around meowing and hissing at things. :)” – Pussycat

“I’m home… it just feels more natural.” – Kevin

“I have always identified personality-wise with cats more than any other animal. What I didn’t understand until later, was that Neko-ness isn’t just about the ears and tail, there’s a whole subculture involved. There’s something youthful in the Neko subculture. We’re like a bunch of lost kittens, cast out into the streets, struggling to survive alone when all we really want is a nice warm fire, a bowl of milk, and someone to provide belly-rubs and ear-scritches.” – Matty


“I am a Neko in RL who never really felt like i fit into my own skin. Once i found Second Life, I soon found out about Nekos. Since then I have never looked back. :)” – IshtarAngel

“It’s part of who I am… spiritually…” – AmayaYuri

“To me being a neko is an atitude or a personality twist. I have several places I go to RP and I am always diferent, but that personality trait of being happy and carefree is always there. That’s embracing your nekoness to me — a toothy silly smile and a twitch of the tail.” – Aditya

As you can see, being Neko is more than a game, more than a fashion genre (because we really don’t have just one), more than an addiction for fluffy moving parts, more than the ability to “pounce” your friends or “purr” over something yummeh. Kinda like the old question in first life, “are you a dog person or a cat person,” being Neko is first and foremost about attitude.


What Do Nekos Do in Second Life?

Same thing any of us do in Second Life… explore, shop, build, snuggle, listen to live music, work, roleplay, visit art galleries and museums, dance, and share fascinating conversation and perspectives with people from all around the world. We Nekos just do it with a few extra furry bits and attitude.

One of the myths about Nekos in Second Life is that most of us are roleplayers. People often assume that our cat ears and tails are simply “required props” we wear while “playing a Neko character” in some of Second Life’s many gaming or roleplay sims. While there are certainly plenty of Neko RP gamers, and several roleplay sims that support Neko communities (Midian City and City of Lost Angels, to name a few), the majority of the Nekos I’ve met are inside Second Life strictly to be… Neko. No roles or gameplay required. Unless of course you count purrs and pounces…


How Did the Virtual Neko Blog Come to Be?

This is the question I hear most these days. The story goes something like this:

Back when I decided to “try Neko for a while,” I was lost. Google searches turned up almost nothing (outside of a band in Arizona and a bunch of hello kitty fans in Japan).

SL Search queries weren’t much better… I’d wind up in a crackhouse sim with little poseball clusters named “scratch” and “rawr” and “pounce,” surrounded by stores selling everything from furry parts, to what looked like the Seattle grunge clothing movement, freakishly resurrected.

What IS a Neko? How to BE a Neko? This became my mission. My passion. Some may even call it my obsession, since I have this little… mm, shall we politely call it… list problem.

You see, when I decide I wanna learn about something, it’s all or nothing. Which inspires me to make lists. Please don’t ask me to explain.

These lists started out as notes I jotted during my in-world research, bolstered by a bit of right-click-inspecting whenever I spotted someone wearing a well designed Neko item. Initially I expected to find maybe a handful of Neko stores. But pretty soon the list grew so long that it migrated from a pile of messy sticky notes, to an alphabetized, neatly typed document.

And then I started visiting each store I found, adding more notes, discovering more Neko stores next door… pretty soon the document grew so long that I had to divide it up into separate categories. Which eventually became separate lists… like… um… Ears and Tail stores. And Neko Eyes. And Neko AOs and Animations. And… and…

geisha IIa

Somewhere in the middle of all that list insanity I began to wonder… what if there were other little Nekos out there like me, wandering furtively from store to store, wondering if there were others, hoping to find their next meal (even if it was a cute little tuna can armstrap), wishing for a place they could call home… wouldn’t they find these lists helpful too? And how could I bring all of us together?

That, my fellow cats and kittens, is what inspired the birth of this blog. In short, it was a particularly excellent excuse for a place to store my lists. Of course it didn’t hurt that I loved to write, and that someone I knew had some pretty amazing SL photography skills…


I’ll never forget my first surge of excitement when I began to receive comments and emails from other Nekos. “I’ve been a Neko for a year and am so happy to find your blog!” Or “Hey thanks, I’ve been designing Neko stuff since 2006 and suddenly everyone has found me!” And “Wow I had no idea there were so many of us, and so many stores!”

One year and over 70,000 hits later (do I sound proud? Yep, I am), every comment I receive, every new Neko designer I discover, every blog reader I happen to meet in-world, reminds me why I do this: because I’ve grown to love this passionate little Neko population, and feel a dedication to doing whatever I can to suppport the Neko community in Second Life.

To every single one of you who reads this: thank you, from the bottom of my kitteh heart, for a most amazing year.

With much love and a very special thanks to Bobby Yoshikawa <3***

© Stacia Villota / Virtual Neko in Second Life – 2009


(okay this cupcake kitty from Ann Launay was just too cute not to share… thank you!!!)



Dare to Explore, Hunt and Save 50%

•May 22, 2009 • 4 Comments

UrbanDare noodlebar

Believe me, I needed this beer after the day I’ve had. Starting today and going through midnight SLT on Monday May 25, Urban Dare has launched a pretty amazing Grand (Re)Opening Event at their sim.

How grand, you ask? How about this: every one of Urban Dare’s Neko tails and ears are on sale at 50% off, on top of a 36-item hunt containing excellent Neko accessories, plus even more great sales at the other stores on the sim.

Urban Dare Hunt items
A few of the items you can get for free in the Grand (Re)Opening Hunt at Urban Dare — this weekend only

If you’re not already familiar with Urban Dare’s Neko tails and ears, these are some of the best HUD-equipped Neko parts on the grid… well worth the sale price. The (free!) tail included in the hunt is yet another example of this store’s quality, and thanks to the special “accessory” included with this tail, I think you’ll find it comes in quite handy for walking around dark urban streets at night…

Which is exactly what you’re going to want to do here. In fact you should plan on spending some extra time to explore this excellent sim, especially if you’re into SL photography. So what if Craven Theas took away the magical swamp next to his old store? The new Urban Dare build leaves absolutely nothing to complain about…

UrbanDare oxybar

Amidst all my shopping and hunting, I managed to have lunch at the noodle bar, take a ride on the monorail (yeah, I had to jump off a broken-down one — merely a hazard of shopping), dance at the underground club (now there’s a working monorail…), and refresh myself at the oxygen bar. The perfect end to my night? A quiet snuggle with someone special, overlooking this amazing city.

Last but not least, be sure to bring your non-Neko friends here too. When they’re not looking, just push ’em into the Neko Transformer device on the first floor of the store. Heh.

Here’s your Monorail ride (and this one’s not broken):

Neko Second Life Urban Dare free sale monorail

© Stacia Villota / Virtual Neko in Second Life – 2009


Home Sweet Neko Home

•May 19, 2009 • 10 Comments

Home Home Apartments Secondlife
One of the many diverse apartments available to Nekos in Second Life (building on left), located in the sim called Spottieottiedopalicious

What constitutes “home” for a Neko? It’s not a simple answer. A home tends to define a specific attitude or style, and we Nekos truly run the gamut in SL — from grungy feral kitties, to spoiled, silken pillow house cats.

Thanks to my Neko friends, I’ve been able to explore a number of Neko homes in Second Life. Not surprisingly, the range I saw was not too different from the diverse places that cats call home in first life — from back alley dumpsters and cardboard boxes, to abandoned warehouse buildings and barns.

Let us not forget however the pampered house cats out there who much prefer the finer things in life, including sunny window seats, elegant urban lofts, and kawaii styled cottages… so, where to draw the line?

Nekopolis Secondlife
Nekopolis in Second Life

Neko Homes in Second Life

The majority of Nekos I see in Second Life prefer a “street / urban / grunge” look, quite possibly reflecting the kinds of places they like to roleplay (City of Lost Angels, Midian City, Wastelands and the like). So I started my list with homes that featured a more industrial, post-apocalypse, or abandoned style.

Then I added in all of us kawaii Nekos, which of course required me to include a few pink homes and cute cottages. Cyberpunk Nekos were already well supported within the overall cyberpunk community, so I did not include any “space” or “cyberpunk” specific homes on my list.

Last but not least, for those of you Nekos who prefer remaining essentially human? Let’s just say I already spend enough time maintaining the ever-changing slurls on all my Neko Resource pages, so I had to draw the line somewhere.  🙂 The best way to locate more “standard” homes is by using your Second Life “search” tab, or visiting and searching there.

Neko Roleplay Second Life Spottieottiedopaliscious 2
Spottieottiedopalicious — a perfect sim for roleplay, or for Nekos to call home

Neko Apartments in Second Life

Not ready to purchase a home or land, but willing to rent something a little less expensive? A number of sims in Second Life offer “apartments” for rent, typically set within an urban build.

One such example is a sim called Spottieottiedopaliscious. This sim resembles an urban city, with aging buildings, back alleys, underground areas to explore, and even a few stores. I discovered this place thanks to fellow Neko friend Kevin Freelunch, whose friend Saedryn rents a cool three-story apartment (with a loft) here.

On my second visit, I saw several Nekos wandering about. On my third visit, the luck of my nine Neko lives brought me face to face with none other than Gaberoonie Szondi and Pitri Bebb, the brilliant masterminds behind this great sim… which I soon learned was indeed intended for casual, unenforced roleplay. “The only rule,” Gaberoonie assured me, “is to have fun.”

Neko Home Sweeney Todd SL
The “Sweeney Todd” loft at Spottieottiedopalicious

Spottieottiedopaliscious is based on the idea of a bunch of kids who tried to build things that mimicked what grownups would do, using whatever they could find, all within a post-apocalyptic city. The city features a diverse range of creative elements, all with well-done textures.

If you decide to make this city your home, Gabe and Pitri are only too happy to accommodate you. Just tell them how many prims you need, what sort of design you have in mind, and they’ll help you find it, or build to suit. Rental costs are affordably based on desired prim count. There are even a limited number of small parcels available for purchase within the city, giving you land ownership rights to build your own stuff (as long as it’s within the theme of the city). The building and any objects already on the parcel you purchase won’t count against your prims.

Last but not least, another option is the sim Nekopolis, especially if you’re the kind of kitteh who doesn’t need much space or furnishings — you can rent a small place here for only $1L a week (with a maximum of 10 prims).

Delirium Second Life
Tentacles breaking through the sidewalks of the Delirium sim are just a hint of the amazing underground located beneath its urban streets

Dedicated Neko Community in Second Life

Some Neko sim owners talked about it, while others just went ahead and did it. Looking for a place to rent in a Neko-friendly sim? Look no further than Urban Dare.  For $200L a week, you get a beautiful urban condo with one floor and a loft, featuring a dramatic city view, and 100 prims allowance. Contact Craven Theas for more info.

If you’re looking to rent an apartment in a sim that has a dedicated Neko community, CatniP’s owner Akasha Wachmann, and LoveCats’ owner LoveCat Thei are both willing to consider adding something like this to their sims (if you haven’t been Akasha’s gorgeous sim at Delirium, you must… be sure to check out the underground!).

Ananke Steampunk Ship_001

One of my personal favorites — Ananke Technologies’ steampunk-style “Serene Fantasy Cloud Hugger Airship”

Furnishing Your Neko Home

Once you’ve chosen your new Neko Home, furniture is the next step. My list includes stores that sell the more typical “Neko grunge” furnishings, including grungy furniture sets, dirty floor mattresses, dirty rugs, vending machines, old metal signs, lockers, and filthy pools.

I’ve likewise included all the stores that sell Neko-specific items, such as cat lounging trees, kitty baskets, Neko hammocks, sardine can beds, and the like.

Of course when I found a Neko store that made excellent leather couches, furniture sets, or even a few cute “kawaii overstuffed” items, they were included too.

Once again, for those of you kittehs who prefer a more standard / human look to your furnishings, please use the SL “search” tab or visit to explore the full range of outstanding furniture stores in Second Life.

Block13 Bed
Block13 ‘Bedicine’ Bed

Ready To Begin House Hunting? Here Are Your Links:

Neko Homes and Housing

Neko Furniture

© Stacia Villota / Virtual Neko in Second Life – 2009