The youthful-still, self-proclaimed necromancer didn't really get how this had happened.
He looked into his living-slash-invocation-room and saw a double ten of young ladies sporting cat ears and tails, climbing on his furniture, pushing his books off the table, gently purring on the couch.
He closed the door again. "How did that even happen?" he thought to himself. One more jog of his memory of today's events couldn't hurt.
He'd finally put his hands on it. The most forbidden book of all, said to bear a curse of madness. Just what he needed for his world domination plan.
He'd been gathering skeletons for a while - long nights spent digging up nameless graves and exorcising wrathful ghosts with a flick of the wrist. He hadn't been able to bear any longer, and disposed them in the middle of the necromantic circle, careful not to mix them up.
He had then opened the tome, flipped through the pages until he reached the "invoke servant" spell. A cut of the master's blood around each being, that he'd done with a bit of a flinch. Not a cut a potion couldn't close anyway, at worst a scar would remain on his finger. A tuft of hair of the desired feline, that he should've been suspicious of in retrospect, but then, he'd just been confused. He had chased the resident alleycat that loitered around his lair and managed to delicately collect its fur, leaving it irate and naked, but unharmed. The specific modifications to the circle he hadn't expected either, but he'd chalked it up to the legendary nature of the book, and diligently he'd applied them.
Nothing had gone wrong... And yet? When he'd focused his life energy and channeled it into the incantation? He had immediately been able to tell something was up. Instead of the expected skeleton warriors arising to guard his cave, his carely laid down blood cocooned the inert piles of bones in a sanguine bubble he could barely see through.
At first, it had seemed normal, if a bit theatrical. The bones rose back to their humanoid disposition. The first sign of things going awry manifested in the form of their coccyx elongating into a dozen of vertebrae, sapping him of much more strength than he had expected. Not content to give these beings a tail, the spell had continued forward with restoring them their humanity - muscles, guts, blood and flesh. It was unlike anything he'd seen before. And, more surprising yet, all their bodies had been made curvaceous, feminine. Made, he thought, because he was certain he hadn't cared about the nature of the people he'd dug up, and all twenty of them being the same gender would've been an extremely unlikely coincidence. And last, as the cocoons shrank in on their occupants, he'd been able to make out feline ears growing on their heads, and their nonhuman tails being covered in fur. The blood had receded into their bodies, leaving behind one mark of ownership on each summon.
They were the servants the spell had made, and he had panicked. He'd run back into the next room, his study, and had been mulling over all this since then, occasionally taking a glance through the door to make sure it wasn't all a dream.
But no. Here were the catgirls, lazing about his home unchallenged. He closed the door again, and looked down at the grimoire he'd been holding close to his chest. He didn't get it. It was the right one! The right colors, the right cover, the right titling- wait, no, something was off. He approached his hands to two adjacent letters... They had been glued on top of something else. Peeling it off, the true nature of the book was revealed, which he muttered with bewilderment. "Nekonomicon."
In frustration, he ran to his book stand and deposited the tome on it. He frantically flipped the pages looking for anything, anything of even remote danger... But it was all cats. Summon, charm, make ally, teach, enlighten. All for cats and catfolks.
His frenzy stopped when he was interrupted by a voice speaking up behind him. "Nyaster!"
He turned around and was pounced on by an over-excited girl. The sudden assault caused them both to collapse on the ground, and she started nuzzling her face against his. He was beet red.
She’d probably sneaked into the room during the last look he threw through the door. He took an annoyed glance at her ears; she was apparently a piebald.
"Shush! Shush, I say!" He tried to push her off, but to no avail... Was he really that physically weak? ...Or were they that physically strong? "Please?" he added in panic. This seemed to work, as she walked off of him, though she continued the nuzzling. His upper body stood up in an instant, his cape flapping in his face by accident.
Piebald giggled. "Nyaster is being silly!"
Hearing this, he couldn't help but scoff. "I am nothing like you, you cur!"
She seemingly ignored that last part. "Aw. That's too bad, it's really fun to be like nya."
His face grew redder still, and he stood up in frustration.
He went back to his book. His tome, his grimoire- the fake apparatus of destruction. He laid eyes on the page he'd last flipped to... titled "become servant".
He gagged and tripped and fell again. Had he just- cough, had the titling of this uttermost ridiculous spell been correct?
"Nyaster, that's the one!" An excited catgirl confirmed his fear. "That's the one to make you like nya! Oooh, you'll so like it!" Piebald added, bouncing about.
"B... Bwuuh!" the weird sound escaped his lips as he scuttled backwards towards the door, his cape hindering him. "I won't! It is not a thing I shall ever do!" He calmed down a bi- His breath regained a semblance of control, ready again to struggle back to his feet. "I harbor no desire for such vile magics! My destiny is in the darker arts still!"
Piebald slowly closed the distance by scuttling to him, throwing him a look of incredulity. "Really?" she asked.
"Nay!" he affirmed.
"Really really?" she insisted, coming closer, her feline eyes showing peak interest.
"N-No!" His voice grew shakier.
"Nya nya nya?" she whispered to his ear to mess with him. He stammered incomprehensible things and looked away from her.
He knew what she was alluding to, though why she did know eluded him. But she was mistaken. His spell that rendered him beardless, it was so he could appear younger than he was later in life. His spell to make his body lithe and androgynous, it was to make his inevitable adversaries underestimate his power! His subtle makeup- okay, can't a guy just take care of his appearance if he decides so!? He had no desire to be a woman! In fact, in truth(!), he harbored no intent to even be with one, his conquest was of importance such that he couldn't afford time away from his studies! And he would henceforth prove it!
He glanced in defiance at the intruder, and found himself looking at an enamored catgirl, who leaned forward and made their noses touch one another.
Something shattered inside of his psyche. A mental prison for forbidden thoughts he had built over years, suddenly brought down by a single kiss of a stranger.
He didn't actually want to conquer the world, did he?
Only to live in one that'd accept him as he was.
But for years he didn't know who he was, so how could he even be accepted? Any identity he harbored felt wrong, turning every reading into that of rejection.
But he realized.
She hated being a man. It wasn't her. She wanted nothing more than to reject the masculinity that had been forced upon her. She wanted to cry, to laugh, to feel. She wanted to try dresses. She wanted to love women, as a woman. Not as a man. Never as a man.
"Nyaster?" asked Piebald, drawing her out of her reverie.
"Could you... hug me?" she timidly asked. The catgirl was ecstatic to oblige, and jumped on her torso in one fell swoop, holding her tight and purring. Tears started flowing to her eyes. They were of a joy she had never felt before.
She let the cuddle continue for a bit, gently scratching between her lovebird's ears. She couldn't wait to be able to return such devotion.
Slowly, she walked back towards the open page. This spell was easy enough. The only required ingredient was feline fur, and she still had some left over from her summoning. It required her to gulp it down with a glass of water. It tasted awful and got stuck at the back of her throat, but a second glass was enough to unlodge it. She channelled her magic towards herself and started muttering the required incantations.
It enveloped her with a gentleness unlike she expected. Nothing felt wrong nor painful while her bones restructured themselves and her body followed suit, instead, it felt like something turned right, and the pain was lifted away. She felt a couple bones grow as her tail appeared, and her ears shifted towards the top of her hair, becoming huge and triangular. Her speech became as delicate as her, with an odd, feline quirk to it.
She was a calico. But more importantly, she was herself.
"Nyastress!" She turned around and was pounced on by an over-excited catgirl. "You did it! You became like nya!"
Calico giggled. "Nya did."
They spent a little while gathering whatever clothes they could find in her bedroom closet - clothes that were soon to be replaced, but were needed for now - and they went back to the living room, offering them to all the catgirls in the room.
She flopped onto her couch, happily exhausted. Today had been the start of her new world. Piebald creeped towards her, gently laying atop her. Black, and Sphynx, and Tortoiseshell joined in. Soon enough, the whole troupe of catgirls was here, embracing her in their not-quite-human warmth.
It was the best feeling in the world.