Mutts n' More

A Random Collection of Fur-Covered Happiness

Welcome!

You've happened upon a place filled with animals so cute and furry (or not) that they can brighten anyone's day. Their stories are often touching or inspirational and are sure to make you realize how important the animals in your lives are. Enjoy!

If you're looking for something a little more real and down to earth, then stay and read about the life of a lesbian couple with 14 furry and scaly kids who are just trying to make it through life's craziness together. It has its ups and downs and twists and turns but one thing's for sure: it's never boring!

Old Photo and Even Older Footprints

Slept in pretty late this morning because I was exhausted. After that I tried to be productive by clearing out most of the messages on my cell phone. Sounds like nothing but I’ve seriously had some of these messages on my phone for over a year and my messages have been full for months and it makes people grumpy. But these were messages from Nikki and my mom and grandma and dad and birthday wishes and stuff like that so I couldn’t just delete them. So I saved them onto my computer using the voice recorder thing. It took maybe an hour or more so not very long but see, I only like doing it when other people aren’t around. So yeah, I did that while my mom was out shopping and Nikki was being super good and cleaning out her car for the trip tomorrow. So yeah, now I’m down to only 3 messages on my phone and all the others are safe and sound on my computer. Which sounds like a jinx so I’m gonna do a backup onto our hard drive later tonight. After that, Nikki went through tons of trouble trying to get her online classes all set up. Northland is totally screwing her over and there’s the possibility that she might not get to take her classes which, of course, means she wouldn’t be graduating when she’s expecting to. Please wish her luck because none of this is her fault – it’s all because Northland can’t communicate between different departments and screws over pretty much every single student that goes there unless you’re a guy jock. Anyway, while she was doing that, I worked on removing and adding songs from my mp3 player and it’s got a really nice list on it now.

After that we took Akima back to the vet since I called them earlier about her wound seeping a bit and we decided it was best to just have her rechecked. We took the pups along for the car ride and because my mom wanted us to get Rufus’ nails cut too. I tried a few weeks ago but our clippers are crap and we haven’t bought any new ones yet. So we went and a vet tech looked at her and she said it looked okay but they went ahead and put another drop of skin glue in the part that was slightly open. Yeah, and we also decided to get Akima a cone which she absolutely hates. Seriously, she is so angry. Rufus’ nails got cut though he had to go in back since he was being such a baby. When he came back he like raced across the table to me. It was funny and cute. When we were leaving I also asked the vet tech if she knew anything about my flyers since we saw there weren’t any up front. I guess they all just got taken already. Yay! I really need to make more and then get out there and put them everywhere! Anyway, she said she’d tell people about me since apparently lots of people ask them about petsitting. And then when we went to pay, she told us not to worry about it. Cool, huh? Free exam and a cone and a nail clip! The clip and cone should have cost us but it didn’t. Nikki says I charmed her or something. ^_^

After that we grabbed some french bread from Kroger and then came back. I wish we’d gotten out more today because it was gorgeous! It was 50 degrees here today! Of course, I also know that it was in the 80’s in Austin. I can hear Mac whining now. Poor her. When we got home and let Akima out it was funny because she tried to back out of her cone and just looked really angry in general. I made it worse by taking her picture and Nikki even videod her. I’m going ot be nice and not post a picture of her because then she probably wouldn’t talk to me for a long time. So instead I’ll give you an old picture of her where she’s not so… pissy.

Akima Kitten Looking All Pretty in the Sunlight

Akima Kitten Looking All Pretty in the Sunlight

Now we’re watching the Daily Show with my mom and once Winnie wakes up it’s going to be Big Bang Theory – I can’t wait! Below I have some quotes from the Daily Show.

“To us bipartisanship is them being forced to agree with us after we have politically cleaned their clocks and beaten them.” ~Rush Limbaugh at CPAC

“Our founding fathers understood that the guys with the guns make the rules.” ~NRA CEO at CPAC

“So to summarize, CPAC consisted of the deriding of veterans, open calls for presidential failure and the anhialation of an American city, all to save the United States from unpatriotic Democrats. Apparently the only time we have to love this country is when it’s controlled by Republicans.” ~John Stewart

Now I have my political opinions and I’m pretty sure they’re obvious but I don’t normally say much about it but sometimes Republicans are just the biggest morons. I know we’ve had our share of stupid people on the left (Kerry was a joke) but seriosuly, they’re just utter morons sometimes. Why would they choose some of those people to speak for them? Rush Limbaugh’s quote above got TONS of applause. Are you f*cking kidding me?! He just blatantly said that they had no intention of trying to work together with the Democrats and they all just agreed with him. It makes me upset. They’re such hypocrites. What a bunch of pansy whiners. John Stewart is awesome!

And now for a cool article I just found:

And your cause for the day (Protecting our Forests) can be found here:

Flashbacks

So I went from on a roll to passed out over the past week. I finally caught whatever Nikki had and while I’ve rested more than Nikki did, I still never really took a day to get over it. The first day I slept in late but then felt so guilty that I forced myself to get up. Probably a stupid idea. Even when people told me to take it easy, I just didn’t want to sleep since I always feel lazy anyway. So yeah, I’ve been partially sick for about 5 days now and it hasn’t helped my mood much. I’ve been really down and agitated. Of course the biggest problem is probably that I haven’t been sleeping enough. I’ve turned back into an insomniac. One night I stayed up until 5 watching a show on the real Moby Dick, talking about the Essex and all that cool stuff. The other nights we’ve just watched who knows what and stayed up until like 3. Yeah, I’m bad and generally keep Nikki up with me, even though she’s being so good and actually working on her site. It’s just always so hot in here at night (even though outside and the rest of the house is freezing) and my Restless Legs have been acting up. Nikki’s too. Not sure why because we haven’t been drinking lots of cokes lately. My guess is that perhaps it’s because we haven’t done much of anything since we’ve been sick walking wise. I mean, even going to a store stretches your legs some. Anyway, anyone out there know any more about this than we do?

Enough of the feeling down crap. I’ll switch to letting everyone know more about our vet visit. I know, some probably don’t care, but other do so yeah. All of the cats are now up to date on their rabies and feline distemper or FVRCP. I don’t know all that that stands for – maybe Carrie can tell me? Actually, I just checked the records and apparently Akima will need a booster for that one but Merlin doesn’t? I don’t get it. Help, anyone? Anyway, the vet and vet tech thought that all of our cats were really beautiful (they even said “Wow” when they saw Zane) and that they’re all healthy. Zane, of course, is overweight, but I’m not too concerned because he’s a good weight when he’s just with us – as in not here at my mom’s. He’s 14.9 pounds at the moment and Merlin is 10.8 at only 8 months! He’s developed a bit of a belly here too, but he’s also a growing boy and we think he’s probably end up even bigger than Zane. As a comparison, Akima, who is about 4 now, is only 6.2 pounds. That’s just how Wisconsin cats are. Akima is still doing really great with her recovery. She refuses to take it easy, though. We’ve had to lock her up a lot because of it. Seriously, by the second day she had already ripped out her one external stitch but luckily she didn’t open anything and so far it seems to be healing just fine. The other day she managed to make it on top of the 7-foot bookshelves in our room and this morning she was racing back and forth and back and forth across our floor. She’s gone totally crazy and she’s actually acting as if she’s in a permanent state of heat because she’s been very lovey dovey ever since. We joke that instead of removing her uterus, they added another one on accident. Right now she’s sleeping peacefully with Zane on top of some of our stuffed animals. Merlin, who has been a complete bastard lately, is actually resting right behind my laptop. I guess they all want to be around us today. As I wrote that last sentence, Rufus pushed the door open and came in to be with us as well. Everyone loves us, I guess. The only one we’ve really been having problems with lately is Spunky.

Yeah, he’s developed quite the attitude problem. He’s spoiled to death here by my mom and so he no longer thinks that he needs to listen to me. What’s worse, almost every look he gives me now is one of resentment, all because I refuse to give him a pepperoni every single time he comes in from outside or to feed him ridiculous amounts of food. He used to be happy with a “good boy” and a pat on the head but now he’s being beyond a diva and I find myself at a loss of what to do with him. He is seriously disgustingly fat because my mom doesn’t understand how to feed a dog that doesn’t self regulate. We’ve gotten into arguments over feeding that dog. She thinks that a cup twice a day isn’t enough but you know what, I know my dog and how much he needs to eat to be at a healthy weight. She thinks that a heaping bowl is a cup. Really, how hard is it? I finally got her to agree not to feed him at all (though she still gave him a little this morning) but the amount of people food he’s getting is also way too much. This morning he was given a huge pot of mashed potatoes. *smackes head* I don’t know what to do with him. He’s gross. He has NO waist anymore and his underside is flat rather than having the nice curve of his chest going up into a thin stomach. And I’m sure everyone knows that I don’t starve my animals. I know what a healthy weight is. That’s all I’m asking for. When we left Ashland he was at a nice 62 pounds. Now I’d be willing to bet he’s 75. Not even kidding, I can barely pick him up anymore. It’s just so frustrating!

Last night I had a pretty big breakdown where I cried really hard because all the guilt of my past animals came back to me. I truly feel like I killed some of my kids. A lot of my rats died from lice because I could never get rid of them. I didn’t bathe them enough. I basically just sat back and let them die. And then there’s the animals like Echo and Jingles where I knew they were sick but decided not to get them fixed. Granted, we were talking $100’s or even $1000’s but still, I feel like if I’d worked harder, I could have done it. Or I could have turned them into a rescue where they’d be fixed. I always felt that they’d prefer to stay with their family but I’m not sure. I cried for the animals that died in my hands and I cried for the ones that died when I wasn’t even there. Both ways make me feel guilty because both ways I either wasn’t there or didn’t save them somehow. Maybe it’s silly but that’s how I feel. I cried for animals that I killed when I was a kid either out of stupidity or, I hate to admit it, curiosity. I very seriously cried over two ants that I remember burning with a magnifying glass when I was maybe 11 or 12. What was I thinking? Why would I do something like that? Am I some cruel monster or are children really just that idiotic sometimes? I cried for so many things and for so many animals that I’ve lost in my life. I wish I knew some way to come to peace with the past but I just don’t know how. It’s a very heavy burden that I carry around all the time and it’s hard.

Maybe that’s why I feel so determined to make a positive impact on the world. I want to try and make up for some of the bad things I’ve done in my life. I know it will never erase them but perhaps it will help. I still really want to get that shelter animal site up and running. Nikki will help me with it someday. For now she’s busy being a productive person and putting happiness into the world. I want to be like her. Anyway, on that line of thinking, I want to try and figure out how to put up another set of links that will link to different helping the world sites. For instance, I’ve recently gotten really into Care2.com which is a site where people can make and sign petitions which are sent to different people in power mostly in the US but also other places around the world. I had signed some randomly every once in awhile when I came across them but now I’ve actually made a profile on there and have been signing a few each day. So maybe some of them won’t have any impact but I think petitions really can help affect policy if it reaches the right people and enough people are behind the idea. Most of the ones I sign deal with animals or the environment but you can search for different categories and really get behind what matters to you. I’m thinking about posting links to some of mine so people can go check them out and sign them if they want to. If you do join, feel free to look me up. My name is (come on, you CAN guess it correctly without me telling you, right?): forpawz. Below is a button that I found for one of the petitions I signed. Check it out and see if it’s something you’d be interested in getting into too.

And your photos for today are from awhile ago, when we were still in Ashland. I went through them just now and my heart melted. Enjoy!

Me and Baby Merlin Sleeping

Me and Baby Merlin Sleeping

Okay, my hair is icky, but it’s cute anyway.

Me Making Spunky Do Funny Faces

Me Making Spunky Do Funny Faces

He looks like a grumpy old man until you see his huge smile. I want that happy puppy back!

On A Roll!

So lately I’ve been trying to be more productive. Nikki has been being so good lately! She’s been working so hard on her new design site and it is SO CLOSE to being done! I can’t wait until she gets all the last little kinks worked out and opens it! It will be great! It looks really neat and professional and she has thought of absolutely EVERYTHING! I’m so excited and proud of her. Once that’s up and running she can focus more on making new themes which I think she really likes. I’m really impressed by her. Unfortunately, she’s also sick for the first time, pretty much, since we moved here. The warmer weather was really helping her immune system but something slipped by and knocked her on her butt. Or rather, it should have, but she likes to pretend like she’s Wonder Woman so she pushes herself and makes it worse. Like she said, though, she actually did take it easy today, with only minimal computer time and some knitting.

This past Saturday we went to Knoxville with my grandparents and Winnie. I really wanted it to be fun and some of it was but for some reason, the day was just kind of blah. We went to an Asian market which was cool but it wasn’t the one we were supposed to go to. Still, I bought Nikki and I some candy (Pocky and YanYan or something like that) and some orange drink she likes. We also went to Best Buy and played with the video games while my grandpa picked up his repaired computer. We also went to the pet store that Nikki and I went to on our anniversary/Valentine’s Day (oh crap, never wrote about it) and saw that the blizzard leopard gecko is still there but we didn’t get him. Finally, we ate at Salsaritas (like Chipotle) and went home. Actually, Nikki ended up getting sick at the restaurant so she didn’t eat. Poor baby. On the way back we talked about how the economy is crap and I think that led to us feeling down too. Umm, when we got back we watched some Academy Awards but once my grandparents left I stopped watching because I find that stuff boring. It was nice to play with Brody, though. I miss him.

So with the animal stuff I was talking about in the last post. Well, we decided to get that one girl ferret but when we went to get her, she had been sold ealier that day. It was a big downer. Then I fell in love with a cute little white with dusty ears and nose but we didn’t get it either. I wanted to but I knew we shouldn’t. It sucked, though, because there were stupid boys there that wanted to get the same little bunny and to keep it in a live trap. One even said he promised not to shoot it. Great. But yeah, we decided not to get any animals for now. I really wanted one since I had gotten into that new animal mode but I know it’s for the best. So instead of getting a new animal right now, I decided to spend my money on taking care of the ones we already have. Now, obviously I take care of them, but I mean routine vet care. I decided to go ahead and take the kitties in for their shots so they will be up to date on everything. This means I won’t have to worry about it when Merlin bolts the door and I can start volunteering at a shelter around here and I won’t put my own kids at risk. Spunky is all fine because he had to be up to date so I could work at the kennels. After the cats, we’ll just have to get Rufus up to date and then everything will be great. Umm, also, besides getting shots, I’ve decided to finally get Akima spayed. Now, before you get mad that she’s almost 4 and only now getting spayed, let me explain. Akima came straight from the pound in Ashland, not the shelter, so she wasn’t spayed when I got her. I was going to get her spayed right away but I got a bad feeling whenever I thought about her going under. I’ve learned to listen to my feelings so I waited. Then when I had no more bad feelings, the problem was that I had no money. I finally started making money this past summer but by then I thought I’d wait until we were here since the vets up there are corrupt and money hungry. So that is why she is getting spayed now. Tomorrow morning a little after 7:30 in fact. Queue me getting nervous. I always get nervous when kids go in and have to be put under. Of course I do. You worry about people too. But see, I’m also hanging under this huge cloud of guilt. I feel so bad that I waited this long. This is my baby and I feel like I’ve put her at huge risk because I didn’t just go ahead and do it when she was a kitten, before her first heat. If i had spayed her on time then her risk of mammary cancer would have been reduced by a huge amount. Now she’s just as susceptible as a non-spayed cat. Of course, she won’t be at risk for uterine or cervical cancer anymore but still. I feel like a failure. Nikki tells me that it was good to listen to my feelings but I still should have done it sooner. If my kitten gets that cancer later on in life I don’t know what I’ll do. Anyway, for now, I just want tomorrow to go smoothly with NO complications. Please keep her in your thoughts and send her well wishes? I truly appreciate it. It helped Gracie, after all! So yeah, tomorrow we drop Akima off at 7:30 in the morning and then when we go in to pick her up at 4:30, we also bring the boys and they get all their shots (or in Merlin’s case, start boosters). In total it’ll come to over $300, which sucks, but I want my kids to be healthy and safe.

Okay, now for the productive part. Most of you know, I’m sure, but I worked a lot today on defining and setting rates for different pet care services. (h njj                       ~Zane) If you haven’t already looked at it, I’d appreciate anyone else checking out my Livejournal: forpawz. I’m going to add more as I go along and I’ll be dropping off more flyers around town. Nikki made me really nice looking ones. Then it’ll just be up to the universe to hopefully answer. Anyway, I want to thank all of you for offering me so much support. I do get down and feel like I’ll never do anything but you don’t give up on me and when I put my mind to something, I can get it done.  ^_^

And now for your favorite part: the photos!

Drake Stealing Some of My Desert

Drake Stealing Some of My Desert

Nate Climbing the Bed

Nate Climbing the Bed

My Mom and I Grooming Rufus

My Mom and I Grooming Rufus

Giving Spunky a Manicure - Spoiled Pup!

Giving Spunky a Manicure - Spoiled Pup!

Akima Being Cute and Playing Around

Akima Being Cute and Playing Around

Again, please send Akima your well wishes. Let her heal quickly and be back to her cute little self very soon! I love you, kitten! And everyone, of course!

Justice For Dusty!

What have I been up to lately? Not much, really. Not much and yet I never seem to find the time to do anything. DA has taken over my life, though I have been learning basic Photoshop and uploading more photos to my account (forpawz, in case you forgot). I’m hoping to become something someday. Very vague aspirations, huh? Well, it’s hard to fail that way. Other random things? I’ve been missing Brody a lot and have been baraged by opinions thrust at me over what I should do with my life. It’s great. *drowns in own puddle of sarcasm*

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to update but I just came across something that made me NEED to write this. I just now found out about the plight of Dusty the cat (as well as another cat) that was tortured by a POS child who should have much worse done to him. It’s a big story, but if you haven’t heard it, then take a look at these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuTm6kjKOhA

http://www.kenny-glenn.net/

(EDIT: While the second link is good for providing more information, I don’t exactly condone all the messages it sends. I certainly am appalled by some of the pictures they decided to post.)

Someone invited me to a Facebook group about Avenging Dusty and that’s how I found out. It makes me sad and it makes me sick and it makes me beyond pissed! These pieces of filth are going around abusing their own pet! Can you say future serial killers? I’m not even kidding! Those boys will get off with nothing more than some community service and then they’ll be free to torture more animals before moving onto humans. Not that I feel animal abuse is any less evil than harming humans but that’s all the law really cares about and you know what, it will be too late at that point. I wish bad things upon people that do this. It happens all the time. Even big time sports heroes kill dogs for the Hell of it. WHAT THE F**K IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

(EDIT: I forgot to mention when I published this that while this shows some of the darkest depths of humanity, it also reveals something that gives me hope. When you look on YouTube, sometimes all you see is people calling people/videos gay or much worse. But it was people on YouTube and other internet sites that were so appalled by what they saw that they skillfully tracked down these horrible people and turned them in to the authorities. Doesn’t that give you at least some reason to smile?)

This is just another example of why I would always choose animals over humans. And you know why? You know what is going to happen to Dusty? He is going to be adopted out to someone else and guess what? He is going to LOVE that person! That sentence just now brought tears to my eyes. Animals are SO loving and SO forgiving that he will go and he will love his new family as if he had never been hurt. THAT is what makes animals the higher beings. THAT is what makes me stand in awe of them. If ONLY people could be more like animals – the world would be a much better place!

Just think about it.

And – go run off right now and hug your furry kids, if you can. Promise them that they will always be under your loving care. Let them know how grateful you are that they are in your lives. Tell them that someday the world will be as it should be and that you will fight for that end until it becomes a reality. They believe in you, I know it.

Merlin Enjoying Being Outside

Merlin Enjoying Being Outside

Zane & Akima Being All Lovey

Zane & Akima Being All Lovey

Tigerlilly Wrapped Up All Comfy Like

Tigerlilly Wrapped Up All Comfy Like

An Older Photo of Gracie

An Older Photo of Gracie

I wanted to show some very loved kittens to counteract the horribleness of this post’s subject. I wish I had pictures of other the other kitties from my life, but unfortunately they were from before a digital camera. I love you, too, Shakespeare, Screech, Cutie/Gato, Tiger, Little Bit and Noodles. RIP my friends.

Oh My Aching Back!

So since I get so far behind in this blog because I’m slow at everything I do and not given the proper time to finish an entry I’m going to write things in bits and pieces until I’m caught up. You probably don’t care but hey, you can skip it. I want to remember so I need to write it down. It’s already faded. So here we go!

Okay, I never ever have time to write anymore. Which may sound weird seeing as I think I do absolutely nothing anymore. But that’s because I get trapped into wasting my entire day watching TV. The Tivo is an addicting agent, I feel. Seriously! I can use it and it’s cool so you don’t have to watch commercials and can see things you missed but people can become slaves to it as well. Okay, people, is it really necessary to save so much crap on your Tivo that even if you watched it 24/7 you wouldn’t be able to keep up? At some point you just need to let it go. Save your absolute favorite stuff and then everything else, especially the ones that repeat all the time, just try to catch it on live TV and if you don’t then just wait for the next time. I hate feeling trapped by a damn machine. It’s just like with cell phones. Technology meant to free us actually ends up enslaving us!

Enough of that. Things have been up and down around here lately. I love having my family around but it’s also really hard moving back in under someone else’s roof when you’ve been living on your own for 5 years. I want to be in control but I don’t really have any. I’m very particular about certain things (yes, perhaps too much so) and nothing here is exactly the way I’d like it. At least Nikki and I have our own room now. That’s right, we finally got down to work the other day with my mom and moved the couch, chair and big screen TV out of the room and into the living room. We were then able to bring our bed in from the front porch and garage and slept in our very own bed for the first time. It was nice, though I think we’re going to add some padding to it because the futon is slightly harder than we’d like. Anyway, there has been a lot of other moving and rearranging to try and accommodate us and this shuffling of room and while it’s slow going, it’s nice to see the progress. Our room feels more and more like our own space every day and it really does lift one’s spirits to have a place they can call their own. Of course, we still long for an entire place to ourselves (well, a roommate would be nice) but we’re trying to make due with what we have at the moment. I wanted to be here in Tennessee to have family around but it’s not exactly as I’d imagined. I still hardly see my grandparents and Winnie is barely around as well. Plus since we’re basically trapped here with no jobs and no friends, we get irritated with my mom just because we’re together too much. It’s crazy. How does that happen? I guess people, while social, still need time to themselves just to be.

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Okay, so Christmas in Texas, right? Haha, yeah, that thing that happened 2 months ago? Here we go. So we left Tennessee pretty late the day after Christmas because, well, we always take longer than we mean to to pack up and get going. Plus my mom was finishing presents for my nieces and we were trying to watch Speed Racer before we left since it was from Netflix and my mom wanted to send it back. We ended up taking it with us. The car ride down was long and uncomfortable. We took my car but since I have poor driving vision at night (I’m fine in the dark but lights really mess me up for awhile) Nikki and I sat in back with Spunky in between us for the whole ride down. Spunky was pretty miserable and kept trying to make his way into the front seat and eventually ended up curled up in the floor. Yeah, you know how big Spunky is (at least through pictures). I still have no idea how he managed it but he did. Poor pup. The only nice part of driving down was talking with people and having Chik-fil-A for dinner. Their chicken sandwiches are good! So yeah, Nikki and I laid in a thousand different positions trying to sleep and while we did get some rest, it obviously wasn’t the best. We finally arrived in Austin (or rather Round Rock) sometime around 9 or 10 in the morning. We went straight to Courtney’s since we were all together and my dad wasn’t letting us stay with him anyway. He’s got no problem with me or Nikki or anything like that but he said his house was too messy. I think he hadn’t cleaned it at all since his girlfriend died which I can’t blame him for since of course he’d be depressed. Anyway, we got there and I got to meet my second niece, Emerson or Emmy, for the first time.

Isnt She Adorable?

Isn't She Adorable?

She was already 6 months old by the time I got to see her. That’s why I want to move closer. I missed Izzy growing up (she’s SO old at 4.5! ^_-) and I want to be around more for Emmy, plus get closer to Izzy. When Izzy was a baby, she thought I hung the moon. I was the coolest chick on the planet just because I could hold water in my hand. I love little kids and they love me. I think I make a good aunt. Anyway, I met Emmy and Izzy was really excited to see us. Spunky and Mia, Courtney’s dog ran around greeting one another and we were all just happy to be out of the car. We even went so far as to wake up Ryan, my brother. Heh. I called my dad to let him know we were there but we didn’t even see him that day. We just hung out at Courtney’s and played with their Wii and watched Ryan and Harry play some shoot-em-up X-Box 360 game. I’m not sure what we had to eat that night but I’m sure it was good and cost a lot. Yeah, it always happened like that. We ate out ALL THE TIME! Oh man.

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So there’s your little slice of back story. Now for the present. We’ve been doing so much moving and rearranging and cleaning lately. Last week, my mom, Nikki and I were really cool and took down and hooked up the cable in our house all by ourselves. It was tough! We had to go into the basement, pull the cable down from my mom’s room, pull down the cable from the living room and then put the cable from my mom’s room back up through the living room. Tougher than it sounds because the cable in the living room is in the wall, not the floor. This means it had to go through insulation. At one point, the string my mom had been using to pull it up snapped and we thought all was lost but I wasn’t about to give up so I started pulling the insulation out of the wall until I found the cable. It was a good feeling!

Ah Yes, The Great Cable Caper!

Ah Yes, The Great Cable Caper!

Three days ago we moved chests and the sofa and tons of pictures and carpets and this and that back and forth across the house. In the end we had the living room packed in all tight so we could create more space in the new TV room. Nikki’s and my room was pretty messy, though, since all of our stuff got shoved in there to make room. Oh man was it a disaster! Anyway, we went to work on it and it’s now pretty nice. Yesterday my gramma and grandpa came over about midday because my mom had asked my grandpa to come help with a list of “chores”. It was all electronic or fixing things and he doesn’t mind because it makes him feel good and useful. Nikki and I ran around and finished setting up our room so we could show it off. After that my grandpa, Nikki and I went to Walmart (and a couple other stores) to buy some food and supplies for my grandpa’s fixing jobs. It was fun spending time with my grandpa and we kept teasing Nikki because she was practically falling asleep in the store. When we got back my grandpa taught me how to repair the vacuum cord that Brody had chewed through and my mom finished making her spaghetti. We had a nice dinner and after a couple 3rd Rocks my grandparents went home. After that Nikki and I were going to go to sleep but ended up staying awake for like 4 hours. Wanna know why? Because you guys told me to start a deviantART account and I listened. That’s right. I’m sure you all know by now, but my account there is forpawz (surprise, surprise). So yeah, I got sucked into DA and have spent the last many days browsing through tons and tons of artwork, especially photos. Oh man I am so blown away by these other people! They are amazing and I really wish I could learn tricks of the trade from them. The problem with it is that I look at galleries I like and favorite like half the pictures and then I see something really beautiful in those people’s favorites and have to open it which means I have to look at their gallery and then favorites and it’s like the damn Energizer Bunny. *shakes head* I guess you could say I’m addicted. Oh well. Today was nice. Nikki and I slept in a bit then Nikki worked a ton on her portfolio and making a new blog theme and such. She’s so good! She’s amazing, actually. And she possibly has her first client! Go her! I watched some of the Dark Knight and Grace Is Gone, a John Cusack movie so Nikki could have the time to get everything done. BUT! The fun thing today was that we took the puppies on an hour long walk and it was nice. It was warm and the sky was pretty and the dogs behaved really well. We took a different route than last time and figured out some of the back ways around here. We also thought about me trying to start a dog walking job around here for all the old people. That and my pet photography. I need to get better first though. Anyway, I loved the walk and it cheered Nikki and I right up.

Walking the Pups!

Walking the Pups!

Another story to remember from today? So Nikki took the three dogs out and then I hear the most pitiful meowing. I look over and Merlin is in front of the door meowing because he wants to go out and join the “other puppies”. It was such a sad little sound that I got up and took him outside in my arms so he could be happy. Such a silly kitten.

So there it is – a real live update! Now I’m going to go for the night and finish watching House. Good night everyone!

And now for more obligatory cuteness:

Merlin Doing His Best Sphinx Interpretation

Merlin Doing His Best Sphinx Interpretation

Trans-Species Love

Today I didn’t know what to write about because I had so much on my mind. I feel kind of defeated today. It wasn’t too bad, though. This morning my gramma called and said she was coming over. That made me happy. She brought Brody too (the puppy that I’ll introduce tomorrow). I love him and he’s such a sweet boy. Anyway, we (me, Nikki, Winnie, my gramma and all the dogs) went out for Taco Bell then we drove into town just to drive. We picked up some Subway for my mom and then we stopped at a toy outlet that was going out of business. I wish we’d gone earlier because it was next to empty but we still got lots of cool stuff. Right when we walked in I saw that there were Godzilla figures and I ended up getting a 6.5″ Godzilla and a 12″ Mechagodzilla. Now I want to look up more Godzilla stuff and collect that. I love Godzilla. And we’re talking old school Godzilla, NOT the Matthew Broderick one. That thing looked nothing like Godzilla AND you can’t kill Godzilla! That’s the whole point! He’ll always come back! He just needs to be recharged by a lightning bolt or by chilling for awhile at the bottom of the ocean. He’s Godzilla! He’s the best! Mothera’s cool too, of course, ’cause he’s got the singing twins and all, but Godzilla is the king! *happy* Oh, and Godzilla is a thing between me and my dad so I called him up and told him and he thought it was cool. He said he had a figure when he was younger but he doesn’t know where it is right now and that he gave me Godzilla feel to stomp around in to annoy my mom when I was younger and I told him I remember them and we actually still have them downstairs. Yay Tangent. So some other things we got at the store were a cute little Yoshi figurine and a small Pluto stuffed animal. They’re both so cute. We also all three got an egg thing that you put in water and it hatches into a mystery something in 24-48 hours and we’ve been on egg watch for a few hours now. Heh.

After that we went to the Hallmark store which I didn’t think I would like but then I found the Disney figurines and got lost in them. I LOVE Disney stuff but it’s so dang expensive. Of course, I think it’s always worth it if you can afford it because Disney stuff is always well made. Anyway, Nikki and I want to collect those as well. They had an awesome Winnie the Pooh and Piglet being pirates on a boat book-ends and a cool Christmas figurine with Chip and Dale when Chip’s wearing the Santa outfit and his hat is on fire and Dale’s putting it out. I know some of you have got to know what I’m talking about. Anyway, that’s the kind of things I love and I can’t wait until Nikki and I can get settled enough and make enough money to start buying things like that that make us happy. Ha, we’ll have $150 Disney figurines in the same room as $5 Yoshi’s and Godzilla’s because, really, isn’t your happiness what counts? Yeah. Also, they had a little button that you pressed and it played the entire Twilight Zone theme song and that made me happy because I love the Twilight Zone – it’s another thing my dad and I share.

So some sad news I found out today, however, is that Brad, the man that ran the State Inspector attached to my dad’s car wash killed himself over the weekend. No note. No seeing it coming. It just happened. It made me sad then mad then numb. I’ve known him since I was at least 12 and it’s just one of those things. My poor dad. First his car wash was down for 5 months due to vandalism, then his girlfriend died a couple months ago and now one of his friend’s killed himself. It’s just beyond. . . I don’t even know. I really want to get to Austin soon so I can take care of him, if you know what I mean. I’m his only child (well, he has Celia’s son that he kind of adopted as family, but you know). I just want him to be okay. We’re going to visit next month when Mac is down there for class so we can meet her and go job hunting. I think that made my dad happy.

Umm, my gramma left pretty soon after we got back – not sure why. She’s really unhappy lately too. I just wish I could cheer everyone up but it really is true that you can’t make anyone else happy. Too bad, though, because I care enough to keep trying. I tried to teach her some tricks to work on with Brody but we’ll see what happens. He’s a puppy. It’s all just going to take time. We’ve got plans set to visit the Knoxville Zoo with her and maybe my grandpa next Saturday so Nikki and I are both excited for that. Umm, after she left Nikki and I worked on our taxes because I got my W-2 today and I know I’m going to lose it if I try to wait until April. I’m still trying to figure out if I qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit. *shrug* A little while later, Winnie, Nikki and I watched The Huncback of Notre Dame and we all got excited because we’d forgotton how much we liked it – especially the music. So powerful it gives you goosebumps! Then we made some really good alfredo with chicken. My mom woke up to make it with me and teach me. I now know how to make homemade alfredo sauce and that chicken soaked in olive oil and herbs is good. Umm, I messed up though and got upset over something stupid and my mom got upset because of that so she went back into her room. Winnie went to bed because she has school tomorrow, so it’s just me and Nikki again – and the pups and Tigerlily. Now we’re going to watch Iron Chef America and go to bed. Thus ends the post that was just supposed to be something really quick. Heh, I just got excited over my new toys, I guess. ^_^

Here’s some pictures from earlier today. We took the girls out for awhile when we were watching the movie.

Meetu Hanging Out in My Hood

Meetu Hanging Out in My Hood

And this picture is so adorable.

Zane and Morgan Love Each Other Too!

Zane and Morgan Love Each Other Too!

Good night all! And just remember, if a cat and a rat can be friends like this, then there is always hope for the world!

Questions

So how exactly does one become an adult? It seems like just one day it happens. Like Jess just up and had a kid and got a home. Just like that. How did you do it? How did you know how to do it? How do I learn how to do it? Because right now adult life just seems so confusing. We’re looking at so many different possible places to live and places to work in those places. I’ve come to the realization that I’m not good enough to actually get a permanent job working with animals. Not yet anyway. Now, do I just stick to my plan of volunteering and trying to slowly make my way up into a position or do I need to get a masters before I even bother trying? I’ve looked up the Knoxville Zoo, the Austin Zoo, the San Antonio Zoo and the Jacksonville Zoo and know kind of how I could try to work my way into them. I know which ones really have the animals I want and which ones would maybe just be a stepping stone. I know that while Jacksonville might have the most promising job option for Nikki that there is absolutely no family there. Of course, she’s have her friend and we’d only be hours from Jess. Knoxville is close to the family here but is an actual city with liberal people in it and I wouldn’t feel as afraid of being beaten up. Austin is where I have always wanted to go and maybe it’s hot and maybe it’s too big now but I like it. I’d be by my dad, Courtney and Ryan and Harry and my neices. We’d have access to the ranch and we’d have support. It’s the place I know the most about by far and what I don’t know, someone else will. I hate  that I have to choose between different family members. I want my whole family to live in the same place again but I fear that will never happen. It’s not fair. Family is supposed to be what matters and is always supposed to be near. Our culture spreads families way too far apart. There are no extended families living together anymore and I think it’s really sad. So anyway, we have the problem of finding jobs and we have the problem of finding a place to live wherever we decide to go. Nikki and I have been looking at buying a house because my dad says you should always buy and never rent (if you can, of course). I think it’s a good idea because when you rent you’re basically throwing away your money. If you can afford to buy a house then the money you spend is going towards something of worth that belongs to you! Plus, I’m sick of having other people decide what we can hang on our walls and I am SO tired of having to sneak around with the kids. I want a house where the cats can sit in the windows whenever they want and we don’t have to jump and run around like chickens with our heads cut off hiding little ones whenever someone knocks on the door. Fear is no way to live – not in a place that’s supposed to be your safe haven. I want a home that belongs to me. I want a place that is actually mine. Some people would think that that is getting too tied down at such a young age (well, considering I still want to travel the world somehow) but I think that I just want a place to call home no matter where else I go in the world. I have moved so many times in my life and I have NO place from my childhood that is still there that I can return to. So maybe we decide to move in a few years but I will always want to return to Austin. It’d be like the home base. When we were gone family could live there or maybe we could rent it out. No matter what, it’s good to have something that is worth something that you own. And if we can hurry and actually get something in this economy then we’ll be a lot better off than trying to afford something when the economy gets better. Of course, I don’t want to steal someone’s home (our home was taken from us when we went bankrupt right at the end of high school) but I’m just saying that since we’re pretty poor, now seems to be our best bet. Still, all of this talk of permanent jobs and owning homes scares me because I don’t feel prepared. I have no idea where to begin or how to make it all happen. I have so many hopes for my future and I don’t feel like I’m ever going to achieve them because I feel like I’m already too old. I feel too old to travel and to become a famous animal person or to host my own travel/animal show. Not because 23 is ridiculously old but I feel like I haven’t made enough progress at this point so I will always be behind everyone else and never be able to compete. It’s a very defeating feeling and it’s been haunting me for years so it’s not like this is a new problem. I always feel inadequate, even when people try to tell me that there is something special I have. I just don’t see it and I wish I could. So animals like me. Maybe they do. Or maybe they fear me. Do I have a special bond with them? If I did wouldn’t I have already done more with my life? What’s wrong with me that keeps me from doing the things I need to do to fulfil my dreams? Why can’t I have any faith in myself? Blah, this post is a big downer. I think I’m just at a difficult point in life. I’m stuck between stages and afraid to make the wrong move. It’s scary. That’s really what it comes down to. How does everyone do it?

And since that rambling-ness probably made little sense or was just plain depressing, here’s something I’d like to ask of all of you. Gracie, our 18 year old cat, was on death’s door a few days ago. She is an incredibly amazing cat and certianly proves the 9 lives of cats idea. I will go into more detail of her story a bit later but for now I’d like to ask everyone if they could just say a prayer, send well wishes, think of her so that she can continue to recover. My dad (Ted) took her to the vet and they kept her for 2 night, rehydrated her, ran tons of blood tests and ultrasounds and all that and found out that she has a thyroid condition which affects her heart. She will now have to be on thyroid and heart medication for the rest of her life. Needless to say, the vet bills were enormous and we don’t even know how much the pills will be costing but my dad spent it anyway because  she is our lady of steel. My dad can’t go to the doctor for his month-long cough because he spent it on Gracie instead. Now maybe you see where I get some of my ideals about taking care of your animals from. Anyway, please just do whatever you can to wish her well in her recovery. I barely get to see her anymore since she lives in Chicago now but this is a kitty who I met when she was days old (Courtney and Ryan’s newly adopted stray had kittens and Gracie was one of them), who moved with us to Singapore, then Minnesota, then Tennessee and is now in Chicago. She is amazing and beautiful and she is the longest lived cat we have ever had. I love her so much and I just want her to be happy and healthy again.

Gorgeous, Isnt She?

Gorgeous, Isn't She?

I love you, Gracie!

P.S. – Isn’t this new layout Nikki made me great? I felt left out not having my Tweets on the side so she fixed it all up for me. I’m special and Nikki’s amazing!

Am I a Deviant?

So I know I didn’t keep up with my promises of updating but I just haven’t been feeling right lately. That or I’ve been busy or too exhausted from being busy. Yeah, excuses, excuses. But there are tons of things I need to tell everyone about such as Texas Christmas (still!) and going and getting a puppy for my grandma, and exploring a really cool cove out by my uncle’s place, all the places we have as options for moving and there was something else, what was it? Oh yeah, going to the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Ha, I knew I’d forgotten something. ^_- So lots of cool stuff has happened but I’ve also been feeling off. It’s sad. Today was nice, though, because we went outside for awhile and the sun and warmth was great. We’ve also done tons of lounging around.

Sleeping With the Pups

Sleeping With the Pups

So just so people know, I haven’t completely blown my blog off. Today I opened a Flickr account and uploaded (or rather Nikki uploaded) all the photos I’ve posted in my blog so far. This trend will continue. I hope you’ll notice what a huge difference it made in how fast my blog loads. All the Nikon pictures were taking up way too much space so it was near impossible for the page to load. With the flickr account, the speed problem seems to be fixed. I will continue to upload photos to that account and link to them from now on. Of course I was wondering about the quality of my pictures since, well, why did I spend $800 on a camera to stick pictures on the web in crap quality? I want my pictures to mean something. Or rather I mean I want the camera to not have been a complete waste of money. I want to be a photographer but I’m not sure that’s really something I should pursue. Anyone can take pictures, right? I don’t know. Anyway, Nikki suggested I start a Deviant Art account so I can upload my best pictures and people can see them in high quality and in big sizes. I’m not sure, though. Again, I’m not an artist and I guess it just all comes down to self esteem or a lack thereof. Umm, so we’ll see where that goes. Also, Nikki is a sweetheart and is working on updating my blog layout so I can fit more onto it. Isn’t that awesome? I think so anyway.

And since my mind is dead but I know you’ve been missing cute pictures (*insert shout out to Jennifer and Carolynn here*) here are a few I’ve rounded up from our time here in Tennessee. Enjoy!

Here is a kerchief that Nikki made that turned out a bit too small for her to wear…

Its a Babushka Puppy!

It's a Babushka Puppy!

Merlin, our puppy-cat won’t stop bolting the door which is extremely annoying, as I’m sure you can imagine, so we decided to take him and dump him into the snow to see if it would deter him.

He Doesnt Look Deterred

He Doesn't Look Deterred

We should have known considering it didn’t help when we dropped him into an entire snow drift back in Ashland.

And of course, more lounging. I was crowded but happy.

They Love Me!

They Love Me!

No Time!

Sorry guys. Absolutely no time to update today. I thought I would have time for a break but I don’t. Writing my paper is going extremely slow and I still haven’t started my powerpoint for my presentation at 9:45 tomorrow morning. Wish me luck. I hope I can pull this off. A failure here would be devastating! Here’s a pretty picture for you.

Ash & Merlin

Me and Merlin Cuddling Today

TIRED!

I am way too tired to write a real post. We went to bed around 3 last night because we were too tired to function. Then it was up at 8 and we packed from then until 5. It was super crazy. My dad showed up at like 10 and then he left at 5. And besides one short break for some KFC, it was pack, pack, pack. We tried to stay organized but we still ended up sending about 5 boxes o’ stuff. *big sigh* It sucked that my dad had to leave so quickly because of some supposed blizzard coming in. We wouldn’t have been as rushed and had planned a nice dinner of tilapia. Oh well. We’ll see him and tons of family soon. So yeah, packing was crap. I just hope we got enough out because all we have left now to move everything is 2 cars and a van. Yeah, we’re probably screwed.  After he left we ate food and watched lots of House. Now we need to do the ferrets and then probably bed.

Pretty Kitten!

Pretty Kitten