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!

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!

Tennessee Christmas

Ha! I told you I’d update! Go me!

So, when we got to Tennessee, we ate and slept for awhile like I said. That was nice because sleeping in a car is crap – especially a car filled with scratching, gnawing, meowing, licking animals. Seriously, try it sometime. It’s not pleasant. Anyway, we didn’t sleep forever. Nikki would have, but I annoyed her to consciousness and we all sat around in the kitchen and talked. My mom made her delicious queso and after awhile my Gramma and Grandpa came over to see us. It was nice. We talked and joked and all and ate some good food. My grandparents had brought some sushi and shrimp so we ate that while my mom made Winnie (my sister) an Amaretto cake for her birthday which was on the 21st. Yeah, she was born on the winter solstice – cool, huh? Poor Nikki couldn’t eat any of the shrimp or sushi due to her shellfish allergy but my mom’s queso is the best. It was great seeing my grandma and grandpa and they stayed for a long time that night. I wished they could stay here but they live with my uncle and there’s no room for them here anyway. Heck, there’s no room for us at the moment. We have to do lots of rearranging to turn the TV room into our room and the dining room into the new TV room and such stuff. It’ll be lots of work but it’ll happen. Anyway, that night my dad made salmon and steaks for Winnie’s birthday and we sang happy birthday to her. The salmon was delicious, especially dipped in wasabi soy sauce. Oh man, now I’m hungry again.

The next day we went shopping at Walmart for new jeans for me and to get items for Christmas dinner and. . .  you know what? I have no idea what we did on Christmas Eve. None whatsoever. We hung out together and watched movie. Yeah! We watched The Librarian which turned out to be pretty good except for the fact that he kept saying things like “But that’s just a myth” when he’s the damn Librarian! Anyway, good series. Oh yeah, my mom made some sweet potatoes and an asparagus casserole thing and Winnie made homemade mashed potatoes. She peeled for forever! By the time we went to bed we had already said Merry Christmas to one another because it was past midnight.

Christmas Day we woke up kind of late and sat around together talking before we shared gifts. There weren’t a whole lot since we’re all pretty poor but my mom made everyone hats and scarves which took her absolutely forever to make. She’s really good at it. Nikki and I gave my mom, dad, and Winnie their snowmen with their dog pictures in them (Rufus, Spunky, Becky and Smudge, respectively) and they liked them. We then shared a story which I forgot to tell in my post the other day!

Nikki & Ash Scarves

Aren't We Just So Cute and Warm?

Such a Diva!

He's Such a Diva!

So when we were in Chicago and sitting around eating before my dad got home, we were feeding the dogs some scraps and the Little One asked where the other one was. We had Spunky, Becky and Hooch sitting at our feet. I told her that Becky and Hooch were the only ones that lived at the house. I told her that Smudge used to be there but that she’d died a few years ago. She then proceeded to ask me if she was bigger than the other dogs and black and I told her yes. Smudgie was a big german shepherd mix: a beautiful, wonderful girl. The Little One then told me that she had seen her when we first came in. She had been jumping up at the door, glad to see me. She then asked if Smudge liked Spunky and I said “No. Why?” and LS said Smudge didn’t look happy to see Spunky. See, Smudgie was always the alpha and she didn’t like it when Spunky would go by me because she thought I should only be hers, not Spunky’s. Man I miss her. And I wish so badly Nikki could have met her. I suppose in a way, though, she had. The Little One saw her. That’s amazing.

My Smudgie

My Smudgie

Anyway, my family thought it was awesome that she had met Smudge. My Gramma called a whole lot trying to get us to go over to my Uncle’s but we’re slow so we didn’t get there until like 2 or 3. We all rode over there in my dad’s truck so we were pretty squished but it was nice to be together. When we got there we greeted and hugged and watched my Uncle Bo and Garrett play the Wii that they got for Christmas. Then I got to work making my deviled eggs. My gramma and grandpa had already boiled the eggs so I just had to do the fun part. Nikki was my *can’t spell it* chef and my gramma and grandpa were my taste-testers. They both thought I did a wonderful job. Go me! When I finished that I helped my grandpa put some eggs in his gravy and stir it which seems like nothing but apparently he never lets anyone touch my gravy. I’m special, though. He teaches me his recipes and techniques. He even showed Nikki some tricks which proves he thinks she’s one of the family already. Oh yeah! This trip to Tennessee was the first time Nikki had ever met my grandpa. She likes him. So after all the food was made, we ate dinner. It was tons of food and delicious! We had turkey (with white sauce, of course), ham, green beans, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, stuffing, hash brown casserole, sweet potatoes, asparagus casserole, pinwheels, delicious gravy and pies. Yum! After we were all stuffed we watched more Wii and Nikki and I got to play a little. Then my gramma, mom, Nikki and I ran downstairs to open presents and everyone followed. I got some awesome presents! I got 3 of my Ranma manga, a really cool painted sign, some dishes with different pictures of sushi and their names on it, a T-shirt from North Carolina and a set of Asian dinnerware to share with Nikki. From my Uncle Bo and Aunt Jen I got Coca-Cola pajama pants! The sign was a wooden sign that was painted that says “Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.” It was funny because my mom had just opened a sign of her own that said “Home is where the DOG is.” and I said “Aww, we need one like that.” My Gramma pointed to one and it was our sign! I loved taking pictures of everything. After all the presents were opened, Gramma, Nikki and I snuck upstairs so we could eat the pies while everyone else was busy. It was funny. We were all sitting there just digging in by the time everyone else came up. There was more Wii playing but after awhile I went into my gramma’s room and she and my mom and I layed around and talked. Eventually we were joined by Winnie, Nikki, Spunky, Rufus, and my little cousin Will all piled onto one Queen sized bed. It was funny. I took my dad’s Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader and read random stories to everyone. It was pretty late by the time we left. We took food and a couple pies (which sadly have gone bad) home. When we were going to bed that night, Nikki handed me another present. I opened it and I got a Journey MP3 player! It’s so cool! It’s an MP3 player with the Journey logo on it and some Journey songs preloaded on it. I was happy.

The next day we left for Texas, but pretty late and that, my friends, is a story for another day. This one took a long time. I hope you enjoy it!

I’M ALIVE!

Hey everyone!

I’m alive! And I know I’ve been horrible and not updated. I got so overwhelmed at the end of moving. Nikki and I had a completely horrible day that was made worse and more complicated by different people and the circumstances we were in. But none of that matters because we are fine now. We’re better than fine. I think we’re doing really well. Being out of Ashland has really helped. Saying goodbye to the dogs was really hard, though. I actually cried at work when I was alone and saying bye to them all. It was so hard. And some of them seemed sad as well – especially Abby. I think she somehow knew. On my last day Lily’s mom looked like she was going to cry and gave me a big hug and said I’d better come back to visit. Abby’s mom said she’d miss me too and when I told Abby I loved her, her owner said “She loves you too.” Made my heart melt. Damn do I miss those dogs. Harder than leaving people for me. That’s just how I am.

Spunky in Snow

Enjoying His Last Snow Days

Leaving Ashland was hard and took forever. We wouldn’t have made it if my dad hadn’t come up with a trailer for us to fill up or if Nikki’s mom hadn’t brought their van. We have a LOT of stuff! You always just underestimate how long packing those little things will take. On top of that, the weather kept changing on us and we were told “You can’t leave.” “LEAVE NOW!” “No, wait, stay!” “Hurry up and come!” several times. Yeah, it sucked and we ended up staying a couple days past when we wanted to. Then when we finally did get set to leave, we go to start my car and it won’t. *bangs head into desk* It took us a long time to jump it – close to an hour in all. What a perfect start to the trip, huh? It was like 5 at night and we drove through a snow storm at like 40 mph because we couldn’t go any further and still see. Yeah. So it took us 3 hours to get somewhere that normally takes us 1.5 hours to get to. Then my dad told us that we couldn’t go any further because the weather was only going to get worse. Great. So we drive around the town for an hour buying hats and gloves and then finding a place to stay. We stopped 2 places and the woman at the second one was so nice. She took pity on us since she said she had 5 kids spread out over 5 different colleges so she gave us a great rate! In the end she gave us a $78 double bed room for $35! Isn’t that great? We felt bad since we had to lie to her – you know, since there was way more than a dog with us in that room. We darted around in the freezing dark bringing everyone in and they were loud and we barely slept, but it was nice to stop and have a comfy bed. The next morning we had to sneak everyone out in the daylight with the owners walking back in forth! I don’t know how we did it – we’re just that good.

*sigh* So that day we drove down to Nikki’s house, unloaded everyone again, and pretty much opened presents and everyone else went to bed. Nikki got some of the books she really wanted which made me happy. I got some stainless steel cups (which I hope to picnic with), a really cute book on wild puppies, some crayons and paper, and chocolate. The kids got some presents too – treats for the rats and bones for Spunky. I watched a really cool show on the Bible and the Garden of Eden on the History Channel. I love the History Channel!

Spunky Present

So Happy About His Present!

We went to bed later than we should have and got like no sleep because Nikki’s dad woke us up at like 6. Ick. We went to see Nikki’s Oma and Opa and then went back to her house to pack everyone up and then we headed to Chicago. The drive down was nice and short (yeah, 3 hours is short) and when we got there we unloaded everything from the van and Nikki’s dad left. We sorted through the stuff to decide what should stay and what needed to go and when my dad got back we loaded most of it up into the back of the trailer and some in his truck and left. I kid you not. We were in Chicago for about 5 hours before we headed off on the drive down to Tennessee around 7. It was nice to see Becky and Hooch and Gracie but I wish we’d had more time with them. Also, I got some great pictures in Chicago because there had been an ice storm the night before. It was beautiful!

Icy Branches

Icy Branches

The drive down went okay. Nikki and I took turns being middle and last in the train of cars. Oh, we’re also total nerds because we stopped at an “oasis” near Chicago so LS and I could do our Advent Calendars on Neopets. We missed 2 days this time, but we still got lots of cool stuff. Anyway, it got stressful being in the car so much. The cats drove me insane and I don’t know how many times I got clawed. I also had a hard time keeping the snake’s temperature regulated but everyone made it okay. We had to stop a few times to sleep at a rest stop for a few hours so we finally made it in to Crossville about 9 in the morning. >_< Exhaustion! Of course, being me, we had to eat before we could go sleep.

That night was a good night but I think we’re going to save those stories for tomorrow. This is long enough and I can’t think anymore. Plus we’re trying to help my mom with her paper for one of her Harvard classes. I’ll talk about the Tennessee Christmas tomorrow and then the Texas one the next day and we’ll be pretty caught up. Sound okay with you? Good. Now I get to be rewarded with WoW because Nikki said so. Go me! And in case you’re wondering what it looks like here, I’ll post an old picture from when we visited last spring.

Tennessee!

Tennessee!