Friday, January 26, 2018

January 25, 2018


Opie's Diary of Daily Doings at Rikki's Refuge
                                                                                                                                                                   photo compliments of Doug Deal
Another beautiful day at Rikki's Refuge ....  and a couple more minutes of sunshine as we head towards spring .....    come on come on ... no more really cold !!!!   Pleaz ...

One Turkey
                                                                                            photo compliments of Rick Sharp

Two Turkeys
                                                                                            photo compliments of Rick Sharp

Three Turkeys
                                                                                            photo compliments of Katie Terrill

FOUR !
                                                                                            photo compliments of Rick Sharp

The Pecking Order ...
                                                                                            photo compliments of Katie Terrill
is never what you'd think .....   goats take a back seat to turkeys.

UNLESS !!!!!
                                                                                            photo compliments of Catina Tomapat
They see an opportunity to do what they do best !!!!    Never ever bend over when there's a goat behind you ......   they cannot resist an opportunity to BUTT .........

These lovely ladies are Guinea Hens
                                                                                            photo compliments of Katie Terrill
and they are often mistaken as turkeys by our visitors.  They're much much smaller than a turkey, more the size of a chicken and they make a big noise !!!!   They're known as excellent guard dogs.  They will be the first screeching when they hear someone coming down the driveway, or if a fox shows up at night. 

They are also our peace keepers.  If a fight breaks out, cat fight, dog fight, they'll swoop down and surround the fighters and scream and even lunge in for pecks till they break it up.  One a cat grabbed a wild bird and before I could get there, the cat was surrounded by guinea hens screaming and attacking.  The cat dropped the bird and the guineas surrounded him in a tight circle being very quiet, until the bird regained his equilibrium and fly off.  It was amazing.  I don't know if the guineas just want to help anybody being hurt by somebody else, or if they knew that little bird was a distant cousin who needed their help. 

The kitty lost his free range rights after that.  There's a rule we take very seriously, you only earn your free range rights if you promise not to leave the property, and you promise not to hurt any one else.  The latter goes for all visitors to Rikki's too !!!!!   

If you promise to be nice ..... you can join us on an upcoming tour !!!  Sign up for one today Tours@RikkisRefuge.org

I bet you can identify this guy !
                                                                                            photo compliments of Rick Sharp
Rooster !!   But did you know roosters don't just crow at sunrise and sunset, they crow when ever they have something to crow about!!!   Sunrise and sunset sure gives them something to crow about.  But so does any change in light, clouds, or a shadow.  And so does anything in the sky ....  a star coming out, the shifting moon, an airplane !!   Or anything else in the environment they want to crow about and let their friends know about !!!!

With the turkeys going gobble gobble here and gobble gobble there and the geese going honk honk here and honk honk there and the roosters going crow crow here and crow crow there and the guineas going scream here and scream there and the peacocks going scream here and scream there .....  some folks think Rikki's is a very noisy place. 

Yet when you're used to them all, it's just the sounds of nature that surrounds you !!!

Look out !!!  Somebody's about to get goosed !
                                                                                            photo compliments of Katie Terrill
Yes, that's where the phrase came from !!!   The geese love to sneak up from behind and goose each other ....  and YOU too !!!!   Especially Poppy who's a very naughty boy.  He won't just stop at goosing somebody, he loves to chase anybody who let's down their guard and shows the least bit of fear !!!!  

Some of the roosters do too.  They can really chase you down and leap into the air and kick you with enough force to leave a very serious bruise.  It's amazing.  They hit you with way more force than their body weight and they're moving at an unreal speed when they do it.  It's totally shocking how hard they hit and how much it hurts.  Till you've been kicked by a rooster you won't believe it. 

The really bad roosters who just can't resist kicking any and every hooman have to stay locked up cus they can be really dangerous !!! 

Curly Goose
                                                                                            photo compliments of Katie Terrill
She's one of a kind.  At least at Rikki's.  Our only goose with curly feathers !!! 

Walk this way ...
                                                                                            photo compliments of Katie Terrill
The geese love to form lines and strut about ....  the leader changes and everybody tries to imitate him as the strut and parade about.  Their third favorite activity, after rushing to eat anything and swimming in any available water .... puddle, water bowl, or pool !!

Birds of a feather ....
                                                                                            photo compliments of Katie Terrill
All the birds love to flock together.  They may break up into smaller groups here and there during the day, but they all come together to discuss going ons many times during the day, and they all flock near one another for the night.  Birds love company.  They invite YOU to visit !!!

My name is Hiccup
                                                                                            photo compliments of Katie Terrill
my tongue always hangs out ....  I don't know why ... it just does ....  do YOU still think I'm beautiful?

I can eat it all .... 
                                                                                            photo compliments of Doug Deal
I know I can .....   just don't know how long this is gonna take .....

Come on ....   I double dare you .....
                                                                                            photo compliments of Doug Deal
rub my belly .....

Just catchin some rays .....
                                                                                            photo compliments of Rick Sharp
been lovin these beautiful days.

Our 23rd species
                                                                                            photo compliments of Doug Deal
Diamond our official Platter Puss 

Goliath and Wanda
                                                                                            photo compliments of Catina Tomapat
Cat vs Dog negotiations on the table .....

Perta
                                                                                            photo compliments of Catina Tomapat
our most recent dog arrival.  His mom was in an awful accident and permanent injuries left her unable to take care of her old boy.

Volvo catches the last of the sun
                                                                                            photo compliments of Catina Tomapat
before heading in for the evening.

Sun is low
                                                                                            photo compliments of Doug Deal
it's roosting time.

Last glimpse of the sun thru the trees
                                                                                            photo compliments of Doug Deal
heading in to the barn for the night.

Love, Opie 

thank you for making it all possible !

Thursday, January 25, 2018

January 24, 2018


 Opie's Diary of Daily Doings at Rikki's Refuge
                                                                                                            photo compliments of Doug Deal
Another beautiful day in paradise !!!

                                                                                                       photo compliments of Clarence Deal
Gracie and CJ were slow coming out for breakfast.  They'd just decided to sleep in a little.  They look fine.  We'll check back in a bit when the sun's up more and it's a bit less crisp out !!
                                                                                                                photo compliments of Doug Deal
Big Ben slept against the water faucet hoping to be the first for a drink in the morning.  There are bowls of water all over .... but the faucet is the best !!!!

After a long drink ....

                                                                                                               photo compliments of Doug Deal
He just turned around and with his head propped on the drainer, he went back to sleep !!!
Guess it was a long hard night sleeping squished back on the sink like that !
                                                                                                            photo compliments of Doug Deal
HAY and a good morning to YOU too !!!   May you have a mooooovolous day !!!

                                                                                                               photo compliments of Doug Deal 

What's it with water this morning?  Titan can't wait for a fresh refill, he's gotta start drinking as soon as it's all scrubbed out and the hose goes in !!!!
                                                                                            photo compliments of Clarence Deal
Num num num ....  most everybody rushes to their breakfast ....  crowding around their bowls and platters.   Oh ... there's a gap there?  Who's that for ?

                                                                                                       photo compliments of Clarence Deal
Shadow!  Every morning they save her a place, while she holds back a couple paces, bows her head and says grace, asking for a special blessing for those who donated her food today. 

YOU too can be in Shadow's prayers !!   www.RikkisRefuge.org/Donate

                                                                                                        photo compliments of Katie Terrill
Get lost goatface !  Go pull your goatcart .... THIS here machine is the CAT MOBILE ..... I gotz the keys and it's all MINE !!!   Headed for the all you can eat sushi buffet !!!  See ya round !  Goliath (aka Rikki's Siamese thug kitty !!)

                                                                                                          photo compliments of Katie Terrill
 ALL you can eat?  But .... but ....  don't they have seaweed for me too ????

                                                                                     photo compliments of Cindy Wright
Mr. Nibbles ....  happy day !!!  Cindy came with treats and nums !!!
                                                                                                   photo compliments of Catina Tomapat
Chevy helps with the laundry ....   he likes his bed nice and warm !!!!

Don't worry !!!  Time to fold and door opened and Chevy jumped in!  He'll come out with the laundry, everyone here knows to be oh so careful about any open door to anything ....  dryer, washer, refrigerator, cabinet .... if you open it, somebody can get in, and they must be safely removed before closing. 

Once upon a time we had a really cool cat named Ting-Ting.  She got adopted.  She was so much fun and always into something new and crazy.  In the summer she'd jump in the fridge and get way to the back and really fight about being pulled out.  One cool cat !!!!   She was from Nepal and we figured didn't think much or hot Virginia summers !!!
                                                                                               photo compliments of Rick Sharp
Dixie helping with medical charting !!!!  

Dixie is one of our miracle kitties.  She came as an orphaned kitten with issues.  Very sickly, stayed tiny and thin.  We didn't think she'd survive long on the planet.  She'd recover from one problem and another would come along.  We were resolved to help her be well, but expect her to only have a short life.  Had something happened before she came, was her mother really sick before she was born, did she have bad genes?  We didn't know.  We loved her. 

She struggled along till she was about two years old.  How many times one of us stayed up all night holding her, expecting her to pass over the Rainbow Bridge.  She was still about 4 month old size, thin fur, boney, pathetic looking, but very happy and running and playing in between her bouts of illnesses. 

Then suddenly at two she started gaining weight, growing, her fur grew in lush and thick and she's been healthy ever since !!!!   Thank you god for giving us the feeling that we should keep trying and keep trying and keep trying !!! 

Dixie now runs and plays and climbs trees and greets visitors.  She's had several good healthy years.  We pray she has many more.  If she isn't granted that, she's known love and happiness and great good feeling health for longer now than she had in sickly years !!!  

I think she would have opted to stay alive and have the chance to thrive !!!

                                                                                        photo compliments of Catina Tomapat
WHO invited you in here hooman?  Back out and mind your own business. 

Jasmine in the sink .... every chance she gets ....  is a feisty little girl of the kind we call Friendly Biters.  What?, you're probably thinking, how do you be friendly AND bite.   There are some kitties who can be super nice loving really cool kitties, until the fancy strikes and they chomp on what ever hooman body part is available, generally with out warning, and with out pattern.  

We love our Friendly Biters !!  They are super challenging to make friends with, so much fun to see how long you can play with them before you bet bit !!!!   Some people think we're crazy .... I don't know why ....  

Cleopatra you may remember from a couple years ago.  She came from Egypt for therapy after a serious head injury.  She healed physically, though with a curve in her face, but it doesn't bother her and it doesn't bother us !!!  

She still has periods of confusion and requires extra understanding and hoomans who know when to approach and when not to. 

These two became inseparable after their first meeting.  Sometimes I think one of our residents suddenly recognizes a soul mate in a new comer!!! 
                                                                                           photo compliments of Clarence Deal
Valerie says, come on over and visit and hang out with me !!!!

                                                                             photo compliments of Catina Tomapat
Volvo way up in a tree for the first time since his accident !!!!   

You can read about Volvo's story in my January 19th diary post.  He came to us after a serious car accident that inflicted a lot of brain injury. 

We're so proud of him and how hard he's worked to be a cat again !!!! 

                                                                                                              photo compliments of Doug Deal
Evening is coming and the temps are back up to the sleeping on roofs instead of under roofs !!

Have you noticed how it's getting light earlier and dark later !!!   Love that !!!
                                                                                                               photo compliments of Doug Deal
Good night .....   you can count my sheep tonight .....

Love, Opie 

thank you for making it all possible !

January 23, 2018


Opie's Diary of Daily Doings at Rikki's Refuge

                                                                                                               photo compliments of Doug Deal
Good Morning Bovine Boulevard !

                                                                                                              photo compliments of Doug Deal
Good Morning Peacock !

                                                                                                              photo compliments of Doug Deal
The turkeys take center stage .....  see curly goose to the left ?

                                                                                            photo compliments of Clarence Deal
Smoky Joe looks down on hoomans every chance he gets.

                                                                                                 photo compliments of Clarence Deal
Goosie Goose helps to clean his pool

                                                                                                         photo compliments of Clarence Deal
Now I've helped clean my swimming pool, its time to swim !!! 

                                                                                                         photo compliments of Clarence Deal
I use this litter box - you use that one .....

                                                                                            photo compliments of Katie Terrill
It IS the Goat Cart, right?

                                                                                                          photo compliments of Rick Sharp
Boxed up purrfectly and ready to go !!   Come out and adopt YOURS today !!

                                                                                                              photo compliments of Rick Sharp
Beauty gets her beauty sleep !

                                                                                                                                                                photo compliments of Paul Erhard
Superman is ready to go .... but goats are not moving .....  How will Superman get to Fancy Feast Store?

                                                                                                   photo compliments of Katie Terrill
Goose and Bub .... the inseparable odd couple !

                                                                                                             photo compliments of Katie Terrill
Cindy answered sanctuary manager Doug's pleas for help and came out with a truck load of livestock feed !!  Thank you Cindy .. you're our hero !!!!

Question: How do your cows stay warm?  I know cats and dogs and sheep grown thick winter coats, but what about cows, I've never seen one with thick lush fur?
                                                                                                            photo compliments of Katie Terrill
Answer: Take a closer look!!!  Cows grow much thicker fur in the winter.  Curly too.  See the spots that look ... well sort of licked down ... they groom by licking their and each other's fur !!!
                                                                                                           photo compliments of Katie Terrill

                                                                                                           photo compliments of Katie Terrill

                                                                                                             photo compliments of Katie Terrill
Hi Lyn !!!!   Thank you !!!  What kind of goodies did you bring for us today ?

                                                                                            photo compliments of Katie Terrill
I'm tellin ya, there better be some cat food in there .....

                                                                                                                photo compliments of Doug Deal
Mid day we had some spectacular cloud formations.  Did you get outside to see them?

Do you wonder about where I live? 
                                                                                                                        photo compliments of Opie
It's kind a like this ....  you can look at us on google maps by going here

Move the map around till you see Barr Ln and Quarterhorse Ln touching Constitution Hwy ..... you might have to make it smaller now to see all of us ..... Quarterhorse is on our west side, and Barr Ln on the east and kind of down the middle of our property .... follow both of them all the way down .... you'll see creeks way back there .... our land continues on the other side of the creeks. Now go back up towards Constitution Hwy and keep going east from Barr Ln .... you'll see McNeal Ln ... that's the eastern boundary of our land ....... now zoom out so you can see it all and go into satellite mode.

See all the cleared area around Quarterhorse and Barr Ln, that is all the part of the Refuge we have our domestic and farm animals living on .... about 100 - 150 acres .... then all the woods surrounding that is Rikki's too .... another 300-350 acres for wild animals!

It's easy to get lost out here !!!!   When you take a tour, you're walking 2-3 miles around to visit with all of us, that's why it takes hours to have a tour !!!!

What does it take to feed YOUR animals ..
                                                                                            photo compliments of Opie
An itty bitty scoop?  A little scoop?  A medium scoop? 
A big scoop?  A bucket !  A big bucket ! 
A giant tote ?

                                                                                                              photo compliments of Doug Deal
Or do you have to take off the front loader ....  break out the forks .....  load up ..... and feed your animals !!!!
                                                                                                              photo compliments of Doug Deal
Everything at Rikki's is a BIG job !!!!

                                                                                                               photo compliments of Doug Deal
Good night !

Love, Opie 

thank you for making it all possible !