The pets who I knew were coming back were Tantalus, Orion, Amalthea, Icarus, Pygmalion, and Galatea. Tan had only left so I could get Polaris back before the rush of restoration requests. The rest had all remained as minipets. In the end, only Icarus kept his tiny counterpart. While I have many pets who like being in both my minipet lineup and in one of my stables, these forms had (with the aforementioned exception) only been a way to keep them near me. They weren't their proper colors, so it wasn't really them. Bringing them home for real was a very happy event, as well as a relief, since both of the rares (Amalthea [Stompy] and Pygmalion [Ironeye the Invincible]) were up when I first looked.
There were two impulse tames. Delphi called me after I fetched Tantalus. The bond was instantaneous. I've run with her almost non-stop since the tame. Amazingly, I've never actually clicked with an arcane wyrm before, though I've certainly admired the Spirits of the North since first entering Northrend. In the end, the tame felt partially premeditated, but I really had not expected such a strong bond. The other impulse tame was the product of good fortune. When I went into Deadmines to bring Icarus home again, there was a Brilliant Macaw up around where Mr. Smite used to be. Of course there was. I have always adored that skin since I first saw it on Skywing in BC. I'd tried to make it work on Kallimon, but it didn't take. This was my chance to rectify that. It didn't hurt that I felt terribly guilty about lucking into a spawn that others (and I) have had trouble getting. And so Leda joined the family.
The last pet Kalliope picked up was Eros. He was a PTR pet who had somehow managed to charm me. I kept telling myself that this was far too much effort for a tame that I wasn't sure was going to work out on live. I should have realized I was wrong when I was able to easily get on top of Ban'thalos's tree twice in a row without effort. But I didn't. Instead, I understood just how wrong I was when Banny spawned not long after I arrived. Eros had missed me! And so marked the easiest and least painful tame of Ban'thalos I'd ever had. I don't even care that he breaks my naming scheme; he just was not working as a minipet.
Kallimon always manages to surprise me. As far as I knew, he only had three pets returning: Chili the green shale spider, MaqueChoux's natural size silithid, and Pacane. Naturally, this did not go according to plan. Both MaqueChoux [Haarka the Ravenous] and Pacane [Nychus] refused to spawn, and I delayed grabbing Chili, who had been Jadefang. This meant that I had time to run around impulse-taming things.
That's always where the trouble starts.
Thanks to Blasto and Bubin, I allowed myself to tame three regular-size pet versions of three of my favorite minipets: Zevran, Fenris, and Kaidan (who was a stretch, since his dragon whelpling minipet has no hunter pet equivalent). This was, of course, a terrible mistake, since I've been doing nothing but running around with Zev and Fen in minipet form to begin with. The same is now true of their larger forms, though now Fenris has the edge in terms of time at my side. Hopefully this will eventually pass; they just don't fit Kallimon's main theming. But hey, there's stable space to do that now - and besides, there's enough of them for a stampede.
Unexpectedly returning home were Jalapeno and Doberge, the latter taking a new form in Hugeclaw. Jambalaya will undoubtedly not be thrilled that his competition has returned, but the stable is so huge now that he can deal with it.
Pacane and MaqueChoux finally came home, so I decided to cheat and pick up a shale spider from the Jade Forest. But that meant he wasn't Chili - so after settling on naming him Rockefeller, I went back to Northrend to pick up Chili in his favorite form: a red demon dog.
After all this (and no spawn luck on Spiteflayer), I ticketed for Pompano's return. Like his sister Papillote, there was only one form he ever truly clicked in. Of course, a twist of fate has even changed this storyline. When Pompano was restored, he came back in his original green form instead of Spiteflayer's yellow. According to the GM who had sent him home, Pompano wanted to peck my face off for leaving him in the Twisting Nether for so long. Unfortunately, PetEmote confirmed this as true, as well as revealing a newfound cocky attitude. (Kallimon seems to be a magnet for that type of pet. Sigh.) Pompano was pleased that he'd caused so much trouble. Well, fine then. He can stay green.
Mind you, this is the short version; I ran around backtracking and circling between spawn points much more than it sounds like. How Kallimon takes more of my effort than Kalliope does is beyond me.
It's strange how (with the mental inclusion of Cadmus) my stables are dead even with each other at 35 pets. Completely unplanned. There may be some utility pickups in the future for both, but this will serve for now.