Manga Review: Vampire Knight V1

Posted by Bitten Usagi at 1:58 PM 0 comments

Vampire Knight
Volume 1
By Matsuri Hino
Rating: Older Teen
Published by: Viz Media/Shojo Beat
Appeared in July-November 2006 Issues of Shojo Beat

First off let's tackle the artwork.
I LOVE Matsuri Hino's drawing style and her characters are beautiful.  The page layouts are also uber easy to follow.  It is printed in the original Japanese format, which I prefer, with pages and manga being read from right to left, which for many who are used to manga that is switched to the American format can be a bit hard to grasp but this is a great manga to get used to the correct format with.  Her pages flow wonderfully.  I have read manga where it's so jumbled that it's difficult to tell whether I'm coming or going.  ^w~  Back to the characters, they're wonderfully drawn and her style is very precise and she does not glaze over details at all!

The Story:
Vampire Knight is about Yuki, a student at cross academy.  There are two classes at the academy: Day Class which are your normal students and Night Class, which is full of vampire students but the Day Class knows nothing about the Night Class other than the class is full of extremely beautiful students.  Queue Yuki & Zero, who are school guardians and work to keep the Day students from discovering the secret of the Night students.  Other key players are Kaname Kuran, the president of the Night Class and the eccentric headmaster of the school, Headmaster Cross.  There are of course other characters as well but I'll let you get to know them yourself.  ^w^

The characters are great.  Yuki is super cute and while she's a bit shy in certain cases, she's a strong female lead and you don't forget that this is centered around her.  Zero is also a strong character and quite opinionated (and completely unafraid to make his opinion known) but I hate to say too much as it may spoil this volume.  Kaname is a strong lead though as well and it's obvious from the start that it's time to start picking sides between him and Zero already.  Headmaster Cross is a riot and super cute when he's all mushy over things, like a present from Yuki, but also a very strong person and while you may not see a lot of him he stands his ground and cares for everyone, vampire and human, equally.  An admirable trait I think.

I've thoroughly enjoyed Volume 1, which contains chapters 1-5.  I have actually read this several times, though I hadn't bought the manga & had only read it online or through a manga reader I had on my blackberry so they were "scanlations" (scanned translations) so not everything was quite right and plus I prefer to support the mangaka if their work interests me and hmmm let's see... Vampires?  Yes please.  Yeah, I'm one of those people.  Deal.
This does NOT mean I love all things vampire but I do love a good vampire story if I can find one. ^w^
This manga is one that is hard to put down; it's easy to read as well as having an interesting storyline.  Plus Hino-sama begins divulging the ins and outs of vampire society in this first volume which I love.  Sometimes I feel like in manga the mystery is left for quite a while and it's easy to get annoyed waiting for it.  I definitely recommend it to anyone, even those who aren't really used to the right to left format or is new to manga altogether!  It's a new world in several ways but not so much that it's overwhelming.  ^w^

And last but not least, as this is a question I've gotten in my YT review before so I'll address it here.  As far as I'm concerned the rating is right on BUT if it's a concern for you then you should check it out before your kids do, plus bonding over manga is awesome! :D


Oh Fridays, How I Love You

Posted by Bitten Usagi at 2:02 PM 1 comments
Fridays have come to be a beautiful thing.  Semesters past I was always one of those poor saps that Fridays meant absolutely nothing other that more work because it and the occasional evening were the only times I had that I was able to work.  It sucked and I don't miss it at all.  I still have a small shift on the weekend but it's nothing like it used to be.  It feels good to finally be one of those people that can scream TGIF at the end of the weekdays.

So I'm slowly finishing up some editing from past shoots.  Damn photo manipulations class made me such a perfectionist, haha.  That's good until you're trying to get stuff done so you can move on and I feel like I can't move on until I'm done with these photos.  I feel like I gotta get these done so I can left them behind and get to work on what I'm excited to work on, which is putting more me into my photography.  I have an attitude and I need to portray that in my photography.  I get called a bitch a lot but since high school I've been like "you say that like it's a bad thing" and yeah a lot of the time I'm a bitch in the bad sense but I'm working on that.
[Though days when I lose my seat in class and end up having to sit up front, directly in front of some jerk who thinks my chair is theirs to tap on or someone who sits right next to me in a totally open lab, and then precedes to make disgusting noises as they blow their nose and hack all over the place or that guy that has to go HA! every time the professor says something even REMOTELY funny and then HAHAHAHA! when she says something chuckle worthy... (oh & did I mention he's had a cold for a week so I get to hear *cough*HA!*sniff, sniff sniff sniff sniff*HA*coughcough**sniffle*HAHAHAHA!) make it really hard]
Sorry went on a bit of a rant there for a second.  I just don't understand people, I guess.  Or at least the ones who insist on walking next to their friend down a narrow staircase so you have to hugs the railing in order not to be taken out but I digress.  I'm really excited to burst into this new direction.  What my advisor said really hit me and I'm excited to get people together.  Now it's just getting models.  Yeah, yeah, I know try places like Model Mayhem, well the problem with that is that all my photos are my old style (or rather lack of a style altogether) and so there's that problem but yes I will go there and put in my bio what I'm working on, so hush.
(Sorry people keep reminding me of things I need to or should do too and it's starting to wear on me a bit)

I do have a couple friends around here I can start with though, it's just that I'd like to do what even in my head sounds like a ridiculous amount of shooting, but then that's what I need to do as I need to get an entire portfolio of my photography together by like mid-April or so.


Okay, on to other things.  I've decided that I'm going to start doing my manga reviews in blog form only because people on YouTube are dicks and I'm not in the mood for their bs.  Cause you know, no one else has ever made a pronunciation mistake in their freaking lives.  *rolls eyes*  plus I get more done and it gets done and actually posted.  I hate editing video of myself.  My voice on tape or video drives me insane so it takes me forever to edit, if I don't just scrap the whole dang thing.  So Mondays will be my review days as I've promised myself to read more manga this year, but we'll see how long after May that lasts, hahaha!
Speaking of babeh... I could sit and watch my stomach move from D's movements for hours.  It still makes me giggle and yesterday he was going half crazy and I discovered that if I yell, which I tend to do a lot of when driving in this shithole of a city, he gets all sorts of upset or something and tumbles around and punches and kicks.  So there's that.  Now he's not only determined to make me eat healthier but also determined to make me calm down.  He's gonna be just like his father...

Anyway, I really didn't have much to say today, sorry, but the pictures I have that I would post aren't here with me so that post will have to wait until next week or something.  Hope everyone has a glorious weekend and I hope at least one of you is looking forward to manga reviews, though I'm probably kidding myself.  And ya know if all you wanna hear about is the family stuff and you don't want to read posts where I cuss all the time and stuff you can always hop on over to the Family Blog and follow me there.  I wouldn't blame you one bit as I'm as foul-mouthed as a sailor and am well aware that I offend people on a daily basis.  It's kinda my thing.  ^w~



Four Generations

Posted by Bitten Usagi at 10:34 AM 4 comments
Normally I do a Wordless Wednesday
Erm... at least when I'm posting regularly which I don't seem to be doing anyway...

but this is one of those photos that I just can't not talk about.

This is four generations of my family, taken when I was around 3.
My Great Grams (Grams' Mom), Grams (Okaasan's Mom), Okaasan and then of course me sitting on Grams' lap.  Mom thinks this was when my Great Gramps died which is probably why everyone looks a bit distracted and like they're struggling to be happy but I love this photo anyway because the best part of it?
I knew my Great Grams.

She was a wonderful woman.  I remember staying there in the basement and waking up to the ceiling creaking like crazy (the house was pretty old and wonderful and had so much character, I miss it) and when you came upstairs she'd have all sorts of stuff laid out for breakfast.  When I was little it seemed like a buffet, haha.  She also had the coolest old stool to sit on too.  It was vinyl and had the steps to use as a step stool.  I actually said something about wanting it and found out my Great Uncle had it and was like if she wants it she can have it so it now graces our kitchen, in serious need of refurnishing.  It's very well loved, haha.  She always had toys (though some were quite old) for me when I came to stay.  We had to break into her house once.  She had forgotten her purse and I being the smallest (probably 7 or so at the time) got the job of crawling through the window, lmao.

When her sons gave her crap she gave it right back.  She was sweet but passionate.  I consider myself lucky to know her.  I didn't see her much in the months before she died, which oddly enough was when my other cousins saw her most.  She had Alzheimers really bad and I didn't want to remember her that way.  It was really the first major opinion in my life but I wanted to remember her spunky and sweet, not forgetting who her own family was.  I feel sorry for my cousins... for not taking the time to get to know her when she was alive but then that seems to be the way most of them are, not taking the time until the end is near. *smh*

I also know my Grams quite well as I've said before on here.  ^w^  We write letters to each other a lot and I wouldn't trade it for anything.  She and Okaasan are in my list of besties.  They're amazing women whom I love very much.  My family means so so SO much to me.  Cody gives me crap about "cutting the umbilical cord" cause I get super bummed out when we can't get back to see them often, lol.  Like right now I can't wait for my baby shower and it's not really because of the shower, it's that I get to see them.  ^w^


I Should Be Reading

Posted by Bitten Usagi at 7:36 PM 0 comments
But I'm not.  Obviously.  I can only read so much about Asian Politics until I want to *headdesk* until I can no longer feel, haha!  I have been doing more unassigned reading than anything, really.  I got a book with tips and info for portrait photography that I've been reading a lot of.  Most is review but a some of it has been extremely helpful since most of my lighting experience is in lighting products and not people, though there are some similarities between the two.  I did assist a photographer the semester before last and that helped me a TON but it was also with studio lights.

My new camera came today.  I was super excited.  It definitely made my Monday suck less.
Though really it's my Tuesdays that are my hell.

Meet TIM 
(TIM stands for Twin Image Maker)

Also meet and love Archimedes who accompanied dear Timmy on his journey from Photojojo to his home with me.  ^w^  He is also quite the star of my Timmy photos.  :D

My other two should be here any day now as well.  I finally was able to get a Polaroid one-step (I've been wanting one for years) and the one I ordered happen to come with a Polaroid Square Shooter 4 which may or may not work but considering I got them both for what most of the one-steps were going for individually I was pretty happy.  Film for the Square Shooter is pretty damn rare though so I don't see using it anyway but it's good for the collection, ne?

I also made me a cell phone charm.  I was super stoked that my new phone (Droid X) had a spot for a charm but didn't want to get something metal that would scratch the screen (or the screen protector- haven't made the jump to buy the $30 one that's supposedly scratch proof) so I decided I would get a plushie one and while I did find an uber cute Hello Kitty/Ichigo (strawberry) I found this little guy at Hellmart and in my head I was like "IT'S SO FLUFFY I'M GONNA DIE" *giggle*

 So I made my lil white & purple unicorn into a cell phone charm.  :D

Also, I have blogged over at the family blog again.
I really just need to make a button to put over here in the sidebar but yeah... maybe someday and maybe not, hahaha.  I'll prolly blog again around tomorrow or Wednesday too, since I sat and watched my stomach move for like 20 minutes last night and another 20 minutes tonight.  *giggle*  I just love it so much I can't get over it.  It's funny when people tell me "oh wait till he's big and doing this or that" like it was so annoying (someone on my fb).  I simply tell them that I am totally okay with that.  This way I know my lil man is okay.  Plus maybe it's that we've waited so long for this that I cherish every bit of it.  I love when I'm getting kicked like crazy from the inside.  It's so fun and so weird and I wouldn't trade it for anything.  


Carving Out My Path

Posted by Bitten Usagi at 6:15 PM 0 comments
So it's almost been a week since I blogged but it's pretty obvious that it doesn't matter to anyone other than me whether I'm blogging or not.

Had my meeting with my adviser about my portfolio and I'm still super nervous about it but I've got an idea though and I'm ready to run with it.  I wonder if he saw the specific moment the ah-ha moment hit me or not, but then some of it hit me after I left too.  I realized that I'm not putting my attitude into my photos so no wonder I'm having problems.  I've got a few more photos to edit and get to models but then I'm going to be working my ass off and hopefully getting about a shoot a week in or at least every two weeks so I can really hone putting myself into my photography.  My professor said a couple things in our meeting that really hit me, like the fact that looking at me it's pretty obvious I have a rebellious nature and I'm not portraying that and to get the clients I want I need to be doing that.  Also when he suggested some places I look to get some inspiration I realized a few of my own and I'm super excited to start drawing from these places as well, such as anime and manga.  Plus I've still got that photo from my ah-ha moment last year hanging in my office reminding me all the time that if I want to achieve greatness I gotta stop asking for permission.  ^w^

Other than that I've just been busy with lots of reading for classes (so much for getting any fun reading in this semester) so my "now reading" is all jacked up. I will damn well find a way to read Lover Unleashed when it comes out in March though.  Can't wait for more of my man Vishous.  YUM.

So that's it for this installment of the vampire bunny talks to herself so yeah...


PS:  How about them Packers? :D


Kids These Days

Posted by Bitten Usagi at 2:16 PM 0 comments
I can not count the times I've said those words in just the past few months.  And really it's not just kids these days.  Cody and I were talking about this last night.  He has discovered that auto parts stores up here are not what they are back home.  See we come from out in the middle of no-where, had to drive an hour to a Walmart, 2+ to get to the nearest mall and the nearby theater has ONE screen so if you don't like the time or what they're playing (which has usually been seen by other countries before you get the chance to see it in theaters) you're screwed.

I miss it terribly.

Back to my point.  Cody has noticed that if it's not in the computer screen in front of them the people working in auto parts stores have no idea.  Which I guess for someone who lives in the city might be par for the course but it's super irritating when you're used to being able to call the auto parts store and ask a question, like telling them the strange noise your car is making and they can even diagnose the problem for you, not that Cody even needs that 99% of the time but it's nice to have available.  It's just funny when you realize these things and realize that while you may have been hours away from "civilization" you were actually quite spoiled.

Something else I noticed is that included in Walmart's secret slogan "no we'll tell you what you want" I couldn't find a box of assorted greeting cards.  Then no one my age really even writes letters anymore.  Nothing is snail mail anymore, it's all email, which is great for some things but nothing makes my heart smile more than the handwritten letters I get from my Grams.

This lead to this conversation between Cody and I:

Me:  Our generation needs to bring back the snail mail!
Cody: Yeah, that'll happen.
Me:  Yeah I know... I just don't get it.
Cody:  Not everyone was raised like us to appreciate that sort of thing.
Me:  You mean raised in the middle of no where and being 10 years behind everyone else?
Cody:  Pretty much.

I just think it's sad.  Remember writing cursive in elementary school?  Omg it was so hard to learn sometimes and they drilled it into us that come middle and high school the teachers wouldn't accept anything not in cursive.

*dies laughing*

Then came computers into the schools and cursive was forgotten by most of the population and a lot of people can't even read it.  Yet here I am again.  I don't write completely in cursive but I write in a hybrid of cursive and print that's never the same.  In the same letter I could write the same word three times and it's unlikely any of them are written the same way as the last.  My writing has a life of it's own, haha (which probably means something fascinating in handwriting analysis that would likely get me committed but whatever).  It makes me wonder though.  Will my kids even be taught cursive?  When will they enter their first class that regularly involves computers?  In 6th grade we got email addresses and there was one lone computer in the classroom (and this was when Okaasan and I were living in the city for a few years) that we all fought for time on though none of us ever got any mail because no one else had email addresses, haha.

I'm just amazed when I look back at things like cursive, that while being taught was SUCH a big deal and now no one uses it.  Hell, ask Cody, I struggle to print.  I just think cursive is so much prettier than print, plus all that time learning it shouldn't be wasted.  ^w~

As I write this I also think this is one of those reasons I think vampires are so cool.  So many of the stories about them show their tie to traditional ways.  I love tradition.  Well some traditions.  ^w~  I just feel like there are some things our generation has left in the dust that we shouldn't have.  But it's not to late so I don't about you but I'm going to fight till my death to keep some traditions alive and I will teach my kids them as well.

Maybe it was that I was raised on things before my generation, like Spike Jones, who really was before Okaasan's time as well but my father introduced her to his stuff and I remember listening to it my entire childhood including running with two friends in a circle in the living room to one of his racetrack skits.

Alright.  I'll stop sounding like that crazy cat lady down the street screaming at the kids to get off her lawn now...  Besides, I gotta go see if Hallmark in town has any assorted greeting cards packs. :P



Let's Do This

Posted by Bitten Usagi at 2:47 PM 0 comments
So much for staying on schedule during the semester.


Mostly my excuse yesterday was that we had another doctor's appointment which was down in Denver.  It amazes me how we're an hour away but going down there is a half day ordeal.  The appointment went well other than I really did not like the doctor who came in after the tech did my ultrasound.  Pretty sure D didn't like her either.  How could you like someone bouncing the ultrasound thing on your home to try and get you to move around.  
Truthfully, I was pissed.

So by the time I got home I was exhausted.  Then again by about 5 or 6 in the evening any day I'm wiped (stupid classes in the tops of buildings) and doing anything other than sitting on the couch takes entirely too much energy, haha!

Found out today that I will have to sit out on some activities in my photo class.  It's all about alternative ways to process photos so we're working with several chemicals and while most won't hurt me as long as I'm wearing gloves and not drinking the developer (doesn't print developer just sound scrumptious?) I'll be just fine.  I will, however have to miss out on some fairly noxious processes like Gum Bichromate, which is uber fascinating but I can always give it a go after the little one is born.  But there is lots I will be able to do and I can't wait to make pinhole cameras out of all sorts of ridiculous objects which will be one of our first projects.

My other classes seem like they'll be good, fairly easy.
*runs off to knock on wood and runs back*

Which I'm hoping will hold true as another one of my courses is me focusing solely on my portfolio.  My senior portfolio that needs to be spectacular enough that they'll be like yes we feel confident you can go off in the world and be a photographer.

*deep breaths*

This is what's scaring me most.  I gotta pick a direction for my art.  Up until now it's been try a little of this and a little of that and make discoveries and have fun.  Now it's figure out what I want my photography to say about me.  My art has to speak for me and what I'm about.  It needs to have a discernible style.  So John looked at me today and said he needed me to do some serious soul searching.


I know it's true but damn it scares me.  I also know I can always later change directions.  Artists change style all the time but I've been trying to choose a direction for a year and I'm still drawing a blank.  This is also why my photography site has sat for months without me adding anything.

Well that and I need to reinstall my tablet driver because suddenly my laptop hates my guts.
Which is the goal for tomorrow afternoon/night and then this weekend is crazy photo editing time so I can get discs to two of my girls who were awesome models for me last semester as well as get some new material on my site and take something to John next week and say okay this is what I've been up to and now I need your professional opinion.  Which I would get whether I wanted it or not but it's crunch time and I need to lay it all out on the line.

*deep breath*

Alright last semester of my college career....

Let's do this.


Last Semester

Posted by Bitten Usagi at 4:28 PM 0 comments
Terribly creative title, ne?

So I was supposed to have blogged yesterday but I didn't get around to it.  Mostly I was in a horrific mood and didn't want to subject you all to an entire post of my whining.  It wasn't that anything had really gone wrong I was just having one of those days that emotionally I feel like crap and every tiny thing annoyed me.  I hate when I'm like that and there's no reason for it, especially with things in my life right now.  I have so much to be thankful for and then when I remind myself it makes me feel that much worse for being such a colossal @$$.

Today is a bit better though, so here I am.

2nd day into my last semester of college EVER.  Thank the gods above because this university is trying my patience this semester, lol.  I pay them how much a semester and they can't even get mobile blackboard for us?  Yeah I can access it via my mobile browser but I just find it a bit ridiculous is all, though I should be used to the university spending more money on getting students here than keeping the sudents they have happy.


Maybe I shouldn't be blogging today either.


So my classes are looking good so far.  Fairly easy but we'll see if they stay that way.  One of my professors is British so that was a highlight.  I felt smarter just going over the syllabus the first day than I have in entire semesters of other classes *cough*Women's Studies*couch* (& the Great EYE!!! class) Plus my photo class sounds really fun, I'm just super nervous about my portfolio.  I'm scared and I need to really remember this:

 Then I think I'll be okay.
I hope.

Okay so since I can't seem to be anything but depressing I'm going to end this here and do some research for a class for a tiny presentation I need to do Thursday.

Oh after some thinking I decided to go ahead and keep the family blog separate.  I tell Okaasan about my awesome ibffs a lot and when I started the blog she asked if they would be commenting there and I said yeah some might and she was pretty excited about that so I'll let you guys know when I update it and we'll go from there.  :D  Oh and uh... I updated it last Wednesday after our ultrasound.

Speaking of awesome ibffs, go give the ever so sweet and funny Aubrey some love.  She lost her Grams recently and could use some extra hugs and love.


Meet Chibi-Usa

Posted by Bitten Usagi at 10:01 AM 1 comments
And now, the last of the furkiddles and the youngest.  :D


Our little red-headed bun-bun.

So some background on this here story:  I'm obsessed with Sailor Moon.  I'll save going into that at another time but pretty much you need to know that Usagi (Sailor Moon) is the character I identify with most.  So there's this whole thing with her and I call Cody my Tuxedo Kamen (in fact there may be plans for NDK cosplay next years *wink*) and so when we went to the fair I was like BUNNIES!! Lol.  If you follow me on Twitter you may remember this Twitpic:

So all my lovely Twitter friends were like "seriously Cody she needs a Chibi-Usa" and we bugged the hell out of him about #OperationCuteCuddlyMinion and it was awesome and we totally broke him.  Lol.  And little miss bun-bun came home with us.

Sakura was not going to be the only one not in my lap of course.

Takara is still scared of her for the most part when she's out running around the house trying to get away with chewing on papers she can find and trying to run underneath the dog.

Yes she runs UNDER Sakura.  Unfortunately I haven't caught it on camera because it doesn't take long before Sakura gets mad and lays down somewhere.  Apparently she's not cool with having someone run underneath her and since she's used to being too low to the ground for anything to do that I can understand why (that and it may have to do with the reasoning of why dachshunds run under other animals from their badger hunting days.  It's not nice and I think the threat of having someone do that to you would be upsetting).

Then when Takara does get brave enough to check Chibi out...

Sakura guards her or chases the cat away.
(and now you know why I'm really not all that concerned about Takara bothering the baby)

And no that's not Chibi's cage, it's what we brought her home in.
And ya know, even though she runs under Sakura...
They're still pretty good buddies.


Meet Sakura

Posted by Bitten Usagi at 7:38 PM 2 comments
So normally today would be Wordless Wednesday but this week is all about the furkids!

So today I bring you:

Wiener Wednesday

Sakura happens to be the middle furkid so didn't that work out?  Haha.  We got Sakura about a year after we got Takara when we had moved to a place that allowed 2 pets.  I had been telling Cody I either wanted a heeler or a mini dachshund and he wasn't going for either. XD  Well my aunt and uncle had gotten one and he started considering it then we got to looking online and discovered there were long haired ones as well (and wire hairs) and they were adorable so Cody trekked off to south of Castle Rock to get the little girl.  On the way home it was raining like crazy though and she was totally freaked and crawled up behind his neck. XDDD

Sakura is a registered long hair dachshund and she is too cute for her own good, which you already know if you follow me on Twitter, because you get to see a lot of her because she's always doing something goofy or cute.  Her full name is Lady Sakura of the Sea
Lady came from how her ears look like Lady's from Lady & the Tramp- the first Disney movie I ever owned
Still has the plastic case VHS version
Sakura was picked out by Cody because he liked the meaning
Sakura is Japanese for Cherry Blossom for you non-otakus out there.
of the Sea comes from her momma's name because for registered dogs they often keep names similar to parents, it's cute cause in her line there are a bunch of dogs named after candy, hahaha.

OMG I had totally forgotten how tiny she was when we got her.
*goes nuts over photo*


 This one was taken for a certain sweet little girl. :D
(Part of a flat Stanley project, I have a photo of Tigger somewhere with one from my niece)

Okaasan and little miss Sakura this Christmas, lol.  She was fast asleep.  
And as you all know Sakura has quite the collection of clothes, now including this adorable little Christmas dress that she got from Cody's parents this year.

Close up of the new dress as she hid on my lap at the in-laws while little kids tore open presents left and right, haha.  It's glittery so of course I love it.

Then of course there is the adorable french fry fiend.
Seriously this dog LOVES french fries and is ecstatic if she accompanies us to the drive thru or hears crinkly bags of fast food when we come home. 

Honestly I could post photos for days.  It's kind of sad how many photos I have of her and Takara really, plus there is this cute little video of her and her crazy boxing skills.  She has some darn fancy footwork, ne?

You should see the effect she has on huge burly men, too.  Now that's skills.  I've watched muscular men with tattoos and piercings who like like they could rip your arm off effortlessly go out of their way to stop and pet her and... BABYTALK her.  It's freaking hilarious.

She's super sweet though and really good with out niece and nephews (ages 6 to 3) and doesn't have a mean bone in her body, which is a characteristic of most long haired dachshunds.  This likely from the Spaniels that they seem to have bred the dachshund with in order to get the long hair.

See that?  Made you learn something today too, hahaha.  I know lots of facts about dachshunds actually.  Like- did you know dachshund means "badger dog" and that they were bred to track badgers in their burrows and either kill them or drag them out of their burrows?

Can you imagine this going after a badger?
Stealing a seat or maybe licking someone to death, but definitely not going after a super nasty badger.


Meet Takara

Posted by Bitten Usagi at 3:36 PM 1 comments
Welcome to the first in a series about our furkids.  You know, before we have a baby and everyone forgets about them. :( 

First we'll start with the oldest:

Back in the day Cody said no cats and being an animal lover I was bummed but then suddenly one day he was like "let's get a cat" and he didn't have to say it twice.  Okay, actually he did because after he had been Mr. No Cats for so long I thought I had started hallucinating.

So we went on the search.  We checked out places like Petsmart which are all good and well but dear god adoptions in those kinds of place cost a pretty penny but then again you're also getting a furry ball of joy that already has its shots and is fixed.

Well we went back home, where we know many people that have barn that happen to accumulate some kittens but no-one seemed to have any kittens and it was all big mean cats who had been on their own so long you were lucky to catch them and even luckier to pet them without losing an arm.  So I was bummed and we talked to my friend Missy to see if her mom had any out at her barn and she said yes, but they weren't really kittens and then a new kitty had shown up just a week or so before that seemed pretty small.  So off we went, not expecting much, knowing the other cats had been out there for quite a long time and were pretty wild.

Among the big mean kitties was this little girl.  Tiny and scared.  We fell in love with her.  Funny how she showed up at the barn about a week before we came down looking for a cat, huh?

So we take little un-named kitten to my Mom's and we were talking about her and possible ways she appeared out at my friends' mom's place (the main which was abandonment simply because she was fairly friendly) while my Grams petted her and she happened to say something which struck me.
"I bet somebody threw you away"
That's when the saying "One man's trash is another man's treasure" hit me and it fit so well.  She was so precious and she had been left to fend for herself.  If you go to shelters you can hear some real horror stories about why people left their cats there.  I'm talking completely moronic statements like that the cat didn't match their new couch.  Who are these people?!?
(Also, I'd like to take this moment to encourage you to ADOPT, or save I guess is more our case.  There are so many precious little ones like her that deserve a loving family and it's heartbreaking to know that so many need homes.)

So anyway... that's how Takara go her name.  Takara is Japanese for treasure and she's our little treasure.

It's funny because she never seemed to have gotten any bigger but when I look back I realize she really has grown.  She's still tiny (though I dunno how any cat could be that tiny with as much as she eats, damn good metabolism that I don't have) but much bigger.

Takara and Daphne (the guinea pig we used to have).
She would dangle her tail in the cage and when Daphne went to investigate Takara would paw at her. XD

This is the "Mom are seriously in my face with a camera again" look.  A look I see A LOT.

Some things to know about Takara:

She isn't mean but she isn't exactly friendly either.
She doesn't normally come up to strangers but if you're around for a bit or come over often she may get brave.
She has an unknown pet limit at any point and time.  This means you may be petting her and get bit.  Not hard, unless you keep petting past the warning bite and if you're still petting her then it's you're own fault for taking your life into your own hands.  We warn guests btw so don't be all how can you have a mean animal, blah blah blah.  Plus she was here before you so :P
(Also on the note of petting- Only Okaasan has belly privileges.  Anyone else who tries to pet her tummy does so at their own risk and gets to see her mean streak- guaranteed.)
Overall she's a nice kitty with a bitch streak.  Just like me, hahaha.

She was also pissed at Cody and I for MONTHS after we brought Sakura home, but then who could blame her?  This was her home and we were merely her servants and then we bring this hyper little dog that likes to chew on her into her home.  I know I'd have been miffed to say the least.

More photos:
('cause I'm a proud momma)
She ended up falling in love with the dog though and they take turns chasing each other around the house.  They chase, tackle and chew on each other all day long.
(and it's a wonder Takara's not bald as often as I have to vacuum up tufts of cat hair)
This one's a new development.  She's never cared about human food but months ago she decided she liked french fries.  (Maybe it was that the dog was always getting them, who knows)  She'll bat em around a bit then eat it.  Then she developed a taste for bbq and cheese flavorings on chips and popcorn.  I love the look on Cody's face in this one and she's like "come on just gimme some cheesy popcorn, dangit"

If you're lucky you can even get Takara snuggles, which are uber rare and make anyone feel better.

So there's our oldest furkiddle.  She's a sweetie with a mean streak and I wouldn't have her any other way.

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