Mutts n' More

A Random Collection of Fur-Covered Happiness


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!


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 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!

5 Responses to “Flashbacks”

  1. Nikki Says:

    Despite what you believe, I know you didn’t kill anyone. But let’s’ not get into that again. You know what I think and feel and believe, and I know I’m right. What matters is what you do now and you are already making a positive impact in the world. We are both better people than we used to be and it’s a good life. You are amazing. One of the reasons I fell in love with you (and stay steadfastly in love with you) is because of your compassion. You cry for things to change and you make an honest effort to help make things better. You empathize so deeply for other living creatures, that sometimes I am overwhelmed and left without words because I don’t know how you feel such big emotions without bursting. You inspire me to be better and I would not be here and doing things to make the world better if it weren’t for you. You are amazing and beautiful and the most caring person I know.

    I love you, Ashley Lauren Niels. You know that, but I thought I’d tell you again (especially after seeing that heart-melting picture of you and Merlin. My babies.)

  2. Jennifer Says:

    Excellent pictures today. But don’t feel bad about the pets. It is my sincere belief that everything happens when it is supposed to. You loved them and that is what counts.

  3. Carrie Says:

    Feline Viral Rhinotrocheitis/ Calicivirus/ Panleukopenia

    Honestly, I had to look up the spelling. The Feline Distemper shots also often have Chlamydia as well.

    That’s weird about the booster shots. Usually we’ll do a booster if we’re unsure about when they had their last shot in their kitten series. Although, if Merlin finished his kitten series, but you don’t know about Akima or if it’s been a long time since her last one, that makes sense that she would need one and not him.

    “Merlin is 10.8 at only 8 months!” Holy crap!

    I’m sorry to hear Spunky’s turning into a chunker (and a brat, ^^). I can imagine how frustrating it is to try and keep him healthy and trained but having outside influences that don’t help. But knowing you, I’m sure once he gets out of that environment (or you “train” said influences) he’ll go back to his normal self.

    *hugs about passed critters*
    Ditto what Nikki said about you empathizing so strongly with critters. You are always going to feel like you could have done something more, even when you really, REALLY, did all that you could. Unfortunately, money always plays a part, like it or not. I think Echo and Jingles lived out a great life with you. I can’t say whether giving them to a rescue would have been the right thing to do or not; it’s very possible a rescue wouldn’t have been able to help them either. And I can say that if I had actually stolen Echo from you guys like I wanted too (^^), I don’t know if I would have spent that much either.

    And yes, children really are that idiotic. Even you. We all know that if you could take it back you would in an instant, whatever the price. So there. :P

  4. Ash Says:

    Nikki: I know how you feel on the matter. You helped me so much last night. I just wanted to get my thoughts out in here too. It helps me sort them out and if anyone else feels the same way maybe it could help them somehow too. I love you so much and I know we’ll keep helping the world in our own little ways.

    Jennifer: Thanks for your thoughts on fate. I feel the same way too – about everything happening for a reason, but it’s still hard some times. And I’m glad you liked the photos – so do you like snapshots better than my “professional” portrait type photos of the kids?

    Carrie: I knew you’d come through for me on the shot! You’re handy! ^_^ As for the booster stuff, I don’t think Merlin started any shots in Ashland but maybe he did. I’ll have to call and figure it all out. And yeah holy crap! He’s absolutely huge! And I had to carry both of them in one carrier – 24 pounds of cat! Haha. And yeah, I think Spunky will be fine once we move or even as time goes on here. He’s still in that “Gramma’s House!” mode. Finally, what you said about the passed kids and the things I regret made me so happy I almost cried. You always know just what to say. Thanks for being such a great friend!

  5. Jennifer Says:

    Yes, I really do like the real world shots best. The other ones look too pro to be pets.

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