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When I was one, I hid my species.
When I was two, I was still light.
When I was three, I gained weight.
When I was four, I was many.
When I was five, I was a kitty.
When I was six, I was a bigger cat.
I skipped seven, no time for that.
When I was eight, I became a plague.
I never reached nine, I'd say that's fake.

What am I?

When I was eight, my name didn't reflect my size.

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I believe you are a

Cat. More specifically, a housecat

Reasoning:

I noticed that cat and kitty appears twice in the riddle, and it is tagged history--plus--your profile picture is a cat. So I Googled "evolution of cats", and this was the first hit:

cats - from here

I think each line in the riddle is referring to one of the eight lineages.

When I was one, I hid my species. This is referring to the Panthera, and "I hid my species", I believe, is talking about the rareness of their fossils, as you can infer from this excerpt from here: (I've shortened it) "The pantherlike ancestor to the cat family...was difficult to trace..., because feline fossils are rare, and difficult to tell apart." It's from the same source as the image, so I'm confident that's what you're talking about. A Panthera: panthera

When I was two, I was still light. I think that light in this context implies weight. The second of the eight lineages is the Bay Cat, which, according to the image, is a small to medium size cat, between 2 and 16 kilos in weight. bay cat

When I was three, I gained weight. The Caracal, the third of the eight, weighs between 5 and 25 kilos, thus implying the gained weight. caracal

When I was four, I was many. The Ocelot, the fourth, lived in a broad range of habitats, while the previous ones were restricted to different continents. ocelot

When I was five, I was a kitty. This is talking about the fifth, which is the Lynx. I suppose that "I was a kitty" is referring to the housecat-like face of the Lynx, apparent here: lynx

When I was six, I was a bigger cat. The Puma (sixth) is a diverse cat, according to the image, with some (cheetahs) being able to grow up to 65 kilos, larger than the Lynx's max weight of 20 kilos. cheetah

I skipped seven, no time for that. Less work for me then :). But the seventh lineage is the Asian Leopard Cat: asian leopard cat

When I was eight, I became a plague. Okay...this, I believe, is referring to housecats, which are the eighth lineage, and according to Wikipedia, it's estimated that there are between 200 and 600 million housecats in the world, hence the "plague" of cats. house cat

I never reached nine, I'd say that's fake. Since the eighth lineage (housecats) is part of the current time period, and the ninth doesn't exist yet, "I'd say that's fake" is referring to non-existent cats, which are, of course, fake.

Also, @FlanMan said in the comments that the last line could be related to a cat not having nine lives, so maybe it's that cats haven't reached their ninth lineage yet...?

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  • $\begingroup$ "I never reached nine, I'd say that's fake." Maybe this has to do with a cat (not) having nine lives? $\endgroup$
    – FlanMan
    Sep 11 '20 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm...I never thought of that. That's a good point. I'll add it to the answer. $\endgroup$ Sep 11 '20 at 20:15
  • $\begingroup$ Ha! Great answer. But it's not what I intended. Hint: rot13(Bayl svir, fvk, naq frira ner pngf.) $\endgroup$ Sep 11 '20 at 20:15
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    $\begingroup$ That's one hell of a coincidence then. Can you tell me if the riddle actually has anything to do with the 8 lineages? $\endgroup$ Sep 11 '20 at 20:38
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    $\begingroup$ rot13(V'q fnl vg'f n frevrf bs yvarntr, ohg abg yvivat barf.) $\endgroup$ Sep 11 '20 at 21:05

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