Keeping Those Cold Pets Cool: A Spring & Summer Guide
With spring here and with summer just around the corner I thought it would be wise to bring up a serious issue. While some neopets love to bask in all the glorious heat that Neopia's sunny seasons have to offer, it pays for neopet owners to remember that for some neopets summer comes with its own unique challenges, in particular Snow, Ice and Chocolate neopets for whom the hot months mean coming up with strategies to preserve their comfort and their structural integrity.
Well... not so much structural integrity. Fortunately for neopets everywhere, their biology means that although blistering temperatures can create stickiness (which is embarrassing for those chocolate neopets out there) or slipping hazards (never underestimate the threat of slipping hazards) the heat can't make these neopets melt completely away. However the lack of this danger doesn't mean that summer can't be uncomfortable for many of these neopets. Not just the aforementioned Snow, Ice and Chocolate neopets, although the heat affects them the worst, but also custard and jelly. Perhaps even snot! Although this Neopian wasn't able to find any cases that conclusively determined whether the heat made snot neopets more or less... drippy (perhaps the sun causes them to harden? I just don't know and if any readers out there with snot pets would like to inform me, feel free).
So how do we combat this? Well, when Ilwe, my JubJub, was zapped into Chocolate, I was faced with either keeping her away from some of the places she loved or finding ways to adapt. For any Neopian with a newly 'cold weather required' neopet, the challenges that seem present in journeying out into the simmering heat of the Lost Desert, the humidity of the jungles of Mystery Island, the sunny shores of Krawk Island, the sun-baked Plateau of Tyrannia or even Moltara (for obvious reasons)... well, the challenges can just seem insurmountable. But never fear! Here are five great ways of keeping your neopets cold and comfortable this spring and upcoming summer.
Let's start with the obvious basics: Clothes. Ditch any thick wintery clothes in favour of light weight alternatives and your neopets will thank you for it. Floaty spring dresses and shorts with T-shirts can make the world of difference compared to the sweaters, scarves and fashionable jackets they may have been used to before their colour changed.
The NC Mall has many options to suit any neopet's style. In its current collection you can find many fetching items such as the Sunny Garden Dress (which is perfect for those picnics in the midday heat) and the Cherry Blossom Silk Dress (made of silk so wondrously light you wouldn't believe it). The basic range includes simple collared shirts that, with their short sleeves and light material, are a great example of an item for your cold coloured neopets. Paired with Khaki Trousers or a skirt and you're well on your way to getting out into heat. For practicality's sake I won't go through every item in the NC Mall and instead I'll leave the catalogue for you to explore.
There is also an abundance of great clothes that you can purchase with neopoints if the NC Mall isn't to your taste. There's the Neopian Bazaar's own 'Uni's Clothing' stocked full of clothing (and don't worry, it caters to many neopets not just the majestic Uni), the wondrously inventive Cog's Togs in Moltara and the classy Prigpants & Swolthy tailors in Neovia. Shop to your heart's content!
Now that your clothes are sorted there are still a number of helpful additions you can make to complete your neopet's protective ensemble.
Hats. A good hat can keep the worst of the sun away from your neopet and in doing so avoid the subtle melting of your neopet's face which- while not dangerous- is very unnerving. You can pick one up from the NC Mall or the shops above we covered in the clothes section. Tiki Tack offers a great visor as well although my personal favourite hat is the NC Mall's Mad Tea Party Hat with its perfectly wide brim and snazzy colour.
Sunglasses. Not only do these increase the coolness of your neopet by 20 percent, they also keep the sun out of your neopet's eyes. (This is actually helpful for all neopets, not just the ones with somewhat meltable eyeballs.)
Fans. Pick up one of the affordable Palm Fans from Tiki Tack in Mystery Island for an easy breeze to cool down your neopet. There's also the Lovely Shenkuu Fan. They are a small, compact and a great addition to your neopet's wardrobe.
Umbrellas/Parasols. Sometimes there is nothing that beats an umbrella or parasol when it comes to protecting your cold weather neopet from the harsh rays of the sun. There are many options to choose from ranging from the beautiful royal umbrella to the somewhat less practical fire umbrella, which is not a good option for a cold weather pet. Other options include the snot umbrella (which is not for everyone), the biscuit umbrella (which has a habit of disappearing around hungry neopets) and the beautiful pink lace parasol. Of course, the downside to umbrellas and parasols is that they do require one hand be taken up, which can be an inconvenience to some neopets and a problematic position for others (I'm looking at you, JubJubs) who don't have hands to spare. However, overall in terms of sun protection vs. inconvenience, the umbrella is a strong contender for best accessory
Disclaimer: Discretion is advised. As a JubJub owner, I had to convince Ilwe's Xweetok sister to carry the umbrella for her as they walked. As it turns out, this can cause bickering between siblings and JubJubs being hit on the head with an umbrella for 'walking too fast'.
3. Cold Treats
Cold treats are a delicious way of cooling down your pet and you'll be spoilt for choice. Super Happy Icy Fun Snow Shop is stocked full of varied cold products guaranteed to please. There's snow pizza, snow crisps, snow puffs, snow sandwiches, snow cake and even Snowghetti and Meatballs! And if you're a fan of spicy snow, you can't go wrong with a snow pepper.
And cold food isn't at all limited to the Super Happy Icy Fun Snow Shop or the taste of snow. If you're sick of snow flavoured food and after something savoury, why not grab a Fun Icy Cheese Pop? Or try the Cold Buckwheat Noodles in Shenkuu? And while you're there, try that unique Ginseng Popsicle with its curiously earthy taste.
Craving a sweet cold confection? If you're a lover of faerie food, there's Icy Faerie Mallows; if spooky food is more to your liking, there's the Spooky Gooplecream, and if you're a space farer, then stop by Grundo's Cafe for a delicious Iceberg Sundae. There's also the Slushie and Smoothie shops for cold drinks on the go and the Coffee Shop on Roo Island for when you want to sit and unwind with some iced tea or an Ice Blended Coffee.
A helpful note: In addition to the inventory bag's wondrously 'bigger on the inside' properties, the inventory bag also keeps your cold food nice and chilled so you never have to worry about Slimesicle slime melting all over your plushies.
Take a little piece of cold weather with you wherever you go with backgrounds! These options range from backgrounds like the Ice Caves Background to frames such as the Snowflake Frame as well as foreground items like the Snow Laden Tree Stump. Apart from the more obvious cold backgrounds, there are many backgrounds that, although not as cold, are still great at keeping your pet cool. Evening themed backgrounds are available as well as backgrounds that feature a relatively cool -or at least not hot- climate. For instance the Enchanted Wood background would be a welcome relief for a 'cold weather' neopet from the staggering heat of the Lost Desert.
As weird as impromptu snowball fights in the middle of the Tyrannian Jungle or on the beaches of Mystery Island may sound, they are actually pretty fantastic. The icy snow cools down your neopets, both summer and winter suited colours, and gives them a fun way to expend energy. On your next stop to Terror Mountain, simply make some simple snowballs and store them in your inventory bag. Then next time your ice/snow/chocolate pet is looking hot and bothered while wandering around the Tyrannian Plateau, simply hand a snowball to his or her nearest sibling and things just take care of themselves. Have a few healing potions on hand just in case someone trips and scrapes a knee (better safe than sorry) and you can relax while your neopets have fun playing with the snow.
So those are my five tips for keeping your Ice, Snow and Chocolate neopets cool this spring and coming summer. Experiment with what works for you and you'll all be running around in the sun with your neopet in no time. Freedom is just a few sensible precautions away!