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"I found my old house first. My uncle's dump. He obviously didn't live there anymore. Somebody'd mowed the lawn and painted the garage."

This house was the former residence of Tobias and his uncle, situated in a bad neighborhood in California.


"She lived only a few blocks from the three-room shack I'd shared with my uncle."

Tobias' uncle lived in a three-room house which Tobias described as a shack.[2] For many years, Tobias was constantly shuffled back and forth between the East and West Coast every few months to alternate living with his aunt and uncle,[3] as neither wished to have permanent custody over their nephew.[4] Tobias had his own room, where he would spend time alone playing with dinosaur toys.[5] Tobias' uncle let him go to school and allowed him to live without restrictions, although he was a drunkard who passed out in Tobias' room in addition to harassing and emotionally abusing his nephew.[6]

In 1997,[7] when Tobias was thirteen,[8] he was sent back by his aunt to live with his uncle once again.[3] One day after school, Tobias returned home and informed his uncle, who was sitting on the couch drinking his beer, that his sketch was accepted into a state art show by a committee. As there would be a prizewinners' reception, Tobias asked his uncle if he would take him, although his uncle refused as there was no prize money. Tobias then went to his room and began crying.[9]

While living at his uncle's, Tobias acquired a pet tabby cat, which he named Dude.[3] One night while sleeping, he was awakened by a telepathic red-tailed hawk who was on his dresser, although Tobias was unaware that this hawk was himself from the future and deemed the entire interaction to be a dream.[10] After gaining the power to morph, Tobias noticed his uncle was still sleeping and put Dude outside his room as he morphed into his cat inside his room.[3]



  1. According to #54: The Beginning, it is in California. VISSER also reveals it is mid-sized coastal city, with series co-author Michael Grant describing the fictional city as a blend between Orange County and Long Beach.
  2. The Diversion
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The Invasion
  4. The Encounter
  5. In the Time of Dinosaurs
  6. Back to Before
  7. The Andalite Chronicles takes place in 1976 and states it is 21 years before Elfangor met the Animorphs, placing the event in 1997.
  8. The Answer
  9. The Illusion
  10. The Change