Sunday, December 26, 2010

Good Morning Good News !!!! December 26, 2010

I’m Vincent D. Cat and here to make you happy!  You are HEROES!  You work hard every day and you deserve to smile every day!  Those of you working to save us animals hear so very many very sad things.  And there’s lots of very glad things too and that’s what we talk about here!  All pawsitive all the time!  I want my friends to be happy and smile and know there’s a lot of good - including YOU - in this world!!  Be kind and pass it on!  Please send me your Good New and Fun Stuff to share, personal or global. Let’s keep it fun and interactive!!  After all, if we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane!

 Why do they omit the Giant Cat?

The work is never done at Rikki’s Refuge .......

On the Twenty-sixth Day of Christmas,
look what came to Rikki’s,
twenty six dogs a drooling,

twenty five delightful donors,
twenty four plump pigs a plundering,
twenty three goats a butting,
twenty two sheep in need of sheering,
twenty one chickens a cackling,
twenty puppies a pooping,
nineteen rebellious roosters,
eighteen litter challenged kitties,
seventeen emus escaping,
sixteen dangerous ducklings,
fifteen peaceful pigeons,
fourteen peacocks plotting,
thirteen humans helping,
twelve temperamental turkeys,
eleven pouting pussies,
ten crotchety creaking canines,
nine grumpy geese,
eight kicking kittens,
seven guinea fowl freeloading,
six lizards a lazing,
five guinea pigs a gnawing,
four elderly equines,
three burly bossy bovines,
two rabbits a mating,
and a chukar in a cherry tree.

See all the pictures


They’re certainly the only ones happy on this cloudy, snowy day!!  They love to run and play in the snow.  It’s 10 am and the hens are all hanging out in Chicken City not even wanting to come out and see the world with it’s fresh cover of snow!  The kitties are staying in their warm nesting boxes.  Except Mr Mister who loves the snow!
We got less then two inches of snow last night.  Lena and Katarina bunked in to make sure they’d be here to take care of the animals in case it was too bad to drive today.  Isn’t that nice?  Let’s give them a big hand !!!!!
Lena and Katarina didn’t get much sleep last night at this peaceful sanctuary - two roosters are in the hospital and the light off the snow made them wake up and crow off and on all night, that'd get the doves starting to coo, and Tink barking and howling cuz she wanted to be out in the snow but Mom said she's too old and frail and her joints hurt when she's cold.

Mom and Lena kept checking on accumulation on the roofs.  Feline Fields, Rabbit Rotunda and the Day Rooms have net roofs and if the snow accumulates too much they stretch and can tear.  It takes a certain temperature and wetness to the snow to make it stick on the netting but when it does it could mean disaster and then hoomans have to go sweep it all off.  About ¾ of an acre of netting!!!   Too bad the chickens won’t fly over and flap their wings and blow it off!!  About 2 am it looked like it was accumulating on the netting. Mom groaned and figured at the 3 am check she may have to get folks up to sweep.  But lucky a little wind had picked up and it was dry enough to blow it off!!!  Thank you God for taking care of that for us.  We know you’ll melt all this snow off everything for us too - could you maybe do it sooner than next Saturday?  Thank you.

Got more snow coming down now and they’re saying all day today and tonight.  Keep paws crossed for no more accumulation and if there has to be then NOT on the mesh roofs!!!!

"Each morning when I open my eyes
I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it." ~ Groucho Marx


  Rikki's Refuge animal sanctuary hosts a Christmas Day tour and feeding for the critters


As you chow down on your Christmas sweet potatoes, don't forget to set aside a tater or two for Petunia the pig.

Rikki's Refuge, an animal sanctuary based in Orange County that protects and feeds nearly 1,200 animals, will host a Christmas Day tour and feeding from noon to 2:30 p.m.

The tour will feature a briefing on the sanctuary's diverse creatures--and the opportunity to hand-feed pigs, emus, rabbits and more friendly animals in their living spaces.

The event will be solely outside, so make sure to dress for the weather and wear an appropriate pair of shoes.

"Each of our animals have certain foods that they really like," said Jan Chetnik, director of education and public relations for Rikki's Refuge.

"The emus absolutely love broccoli--you hold onto the stalk really tight and they like to pick off the florets.

"And the pigs really like sweet potatoes. In fact, they'll eat anything but onions."

Rikki's Refuge, now celebrating its 12th year, is a serene 367-acre plantation situated in rural Orange County.

The rolling grounds feature nearly 80 acres of space devoted to feeding and caring for cats, dogs, pygmy goats, llamas, chickens and many more creatures with wings, hooves and tails. Among its assorted habitats are pigpens and rabbit rotundas.

Saturday's tour provides the perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with the creatures, all while helping Rikki's Refuge sustain its efforts.

"We are asking that guests bring two cans of cat or dog food, per person," said Chetnik. "We really need canned food. Also if guests would like to bring some veggies and fruit, a number of animals love it."

There is one piece of produce that really gets Rikki's animals barking and snorting for more.
"Pumpkins--they all seem to love pumpkins," said Chetnik. "All of our animals really can't get enough of it, except the cats. In fact, we've had a handful of churches donate some pumpkins for us recently."

And apparently, the pygmy goats will eat just about anything, so make sure to hold on tight to your hat and mittens.

"Our goats love vanilla wafers--but if you're holding a piece of paper in your hand, the pygmy goats will eat it," said Chetnik. "They are mischievous little guys."

In addition to providing an often simple yet nourishing meal, Rikki's provides a second or third chance at living for many of the animals.

"I really do feel like I'm making a difference in their lives," said Chetnik. "When you look in their eyes and hear their stories from people, you step back, as a human being, and realize that you can really make a difference."

And what better day to make a difference than on Christmas Day?

"It's an opportunity to share the love of Christmas and Christmas joy with these animals," said Chetnik.

"Most of them didn't have a lot of joy in their lives--and this is one way to bring some into their lives."
Jesse Scott is a Fredericksburg writer.

What: Rikki's Refuge Christmas Day Tour Where: Rikki's Refuge, 10910 Barr Lane, Rapidan When: Dec. 25, Noon-2:30 p.m. Cost: Free. (Food donations requested: two cans of dog or cat food) Info: 540/854-0870;

Date published: 12/23/2010


A great big huge THANK YOU to Dave Smalley, Editor of the Thursday publication WEEKENDER in the Free Lance-Star.  Dave has run stories and announcements about Rikki’s Refuge and our events over the years.  Your help to get the word out, Dave, has helped Rikki’s to grow and to be able to support more and more animals!  Thank you.

THANK YOU Jesse Scott for this lovely Christmas article!!!        

Thank you to Carol Lee for including us in Young Life - Things for Kids on Christmas Day.  And to Edie Gross for recommending Rikki’s Refuge’s Christmas Day tour as something to do After The Gifts.

Despite the bone chilling cold and wind, flurries in the air and ice on the ground, 125 hoomans came out to meet the animals.  And they all brought wonderful Christmas gifts of food and money!!   

A huge thank you the volunteers who came to be Tour Guides instead of spending the day inside by the fireplace with their families.   Thank you Jan Chetnik, Larry Ramsey, Mary Walker, Laurie Karnay, Cindy Wright who gave tours and to Katarina who helped log and store all the goodies. 

Being Christmas we had to have a miracle.
A couple was on the tour, it was their first visit to Rikki’s Refuge.  They’d read about us in the Weekender just the other day.  They wanted to visit and get a doggy fix.  Their beloved doggy Petey had passed away two weeks ago.  They’d given his toys to Confederate Ridge Animal Hospital and asked them to pass them on to a shelter who’s dogs would enjoy them.

Confederate Ridge Animal Hospital is a Donation Location for Rikki’s Refuge and they gave the toys to our dogs. 

Before the tour on Christmas Day, Cindy Wright came out to feed and clean dogs.  A regular volunteer, Cindy does this every Saturday, Holidays and any day she’s off from work.  She wanted to make the Christmas Day Tour special for our doggies and for the visiting kids. 

So she gathered up donated toys and put them in a sack.

When the tour made it’s stop at Doggy Downs, Cindy told the story of Walker.

Then she picked up the Sack of Toys and - oh I wish I’d been there to video tape this - told the kids Santa had left the toys for the doggies for them to pass out.  The kids got to pick out toys and give them to each dog.  And there the visiting couple who so recently had lost their beloved Petey, saw how much his toys were now appreciated by the dogs of Doggy Downs.  That had to make their Christmas Day!

Flash, an ancient beagle who doesn’t much appreciate the snow and who’d been holding up in his dog house inside Club House #1 all morning, saw the toy he wanted and dashed out, grabbed it and took it back into his house!

Your donations are what makes it possible for our animals to have a wonderful Christmas and to feel love and caring every day!

And we had to have a funny!
After the tour there were lots and lots of donations to log and put away.  Jan
and Laurie were diligently putting things away in the cat supply trailer  and never even heard the door shut.  Or the outside lock click into place. 

When they were all done they discovered they couldn’t get out !!!!

They began banging and pounding.  It was a while before anybody herd them and went to rescue them!!   No, nobody meant to lock them up!  Just habit, either somebody walked out and automatically locked up, or somebody walked by and noticed it wasn’t locked and didn’t notice anybody inside.

Christmas Miracle-Pet returned 5 years after Katrina
BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — Five years after wandering away in Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath, a gray and white cat named Scrub has been reunited with his Mississippi family.  The Humane Society of South Mississippi says Scrub was identified by an implanted microchip. The 7-year-old cat was brought to the shelter by a Gulfport woman who’d fed him as a stray the past couple of months but worried about his safety during a cold snap.  Scrub’s owner, Jennifer Noble, tells The Sun Herald newspaper that she was skeptical at first when she received a call from the shelter. But by the end of the first night back, Scrub had snuggled in bed with one of her boys.  The woman who’d been feeding him lives about 15 miles away. Noble says Scrub is in excellent condition.

Look what my clever friend Heba Cat drew!
★˛˚˛*˛°.˛*.˛°˛.*★* Merry *★* 。*˛.
˛°_██_*.。*./ ♥ \ .˛* .˛。.˛.*.★* Christmas *★ 。*
˛. (´• ̮•)*.。*/♫.♫\*˛.* ˛_Π_____.♥to you and your family♥ ˛* ˛*
.°( . • . ) ˛°./• '♫ ' •\.˛*./______/~\*. ˛*.。˛* ˛. *。
*(...'•'.. ) *˛╬╬╬╬╬˛°.|田田 |門|╬╬╬╬╬*˚ .˛ *....
A Christmas Shelter Dog’s Poem
This was sent to me by a number of people.  When that happens I don’t list everybody deserving credit cuz the lists get so long.  Photo is our very own Mountain, a wonderful Blue Tic looking for a new home. Mountain and Summer are 3-4 years old, perfectly healthy, very active Blue Tics in need of real forever homes.  Young, full of energy, with no training, they were dumped at the pound.   Rambunctious and going crazy in their cage they were lucky to get sent to Rikki’s where they’d have a lot more room till a real forever home could be found.  Mountain chases small animals so is not recommended to be homed with cats.  Summer is a dominant female and other dogs in her home must understand that she’s in charge.

’Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town,
every shelter is full—we are lost, but not found.
Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare,
we hope every minute that someone will care.
They’ll come to adopt us and give us the call,
“Come here, Max and Sparkie — come fetch your new ball!”
But now we sit here and think of the days
we were treated so fondly — we had cute, baby ways.
Once we were little, then we grew and we grew.
Now we’re no longer young and we’re no longer new.
So out the back door we were thrown like the trash.
They reacted so quickly — why were they so rash?
We “jump on the children,” “don’t come when they call,”
we “bark when they leave us,” “climb over the wall.”
We should have been neutered, we should have been spayed,
now we suffer the consequence of the errors THEY made.
If only they’d trained us, if only we knew,
we’d have done what they asked us and worshiped them, too.
We were left in the backyard, or worse, let to roam.
Now we’re tired and lonely and out of a home.
They dropped us off here and they kissed us goodbye…
“Maybe someone else will give you a try.”
So now here we are, all confused and alone
in a shelter with others who long for a home.
The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat,
with so many to care for, they can’t stay to chat.
They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer…
we know that they wonder how long we’ll be here.
We lay down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads
of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds.
Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears –
our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear.
If you can’t adopt us and there’s no room at the inn –
could you help with the bills and fill our food bin?
We count on your kindness each day of the year –
can you give more than hope to everyone here?
Please make a donation to pay for the heat…
and help get us something special to eat.
The shelter that cares for us wants us to live,
and more of us will, if more people will give.
– Author Unknown

Please HELP us save more lives
Drop a Penny in the Old Cat's Hat !!!
100 Pennies Provides Care for One Animal for One Day
Click on the Penny !!!

It Was That Way With These Dogs
I got dozens of emails with this photo attached, everybody was posting it on facebook.  Then George tells me his sister’s friend posed her dogs and took the picture!!  Is that cool or what!!!!  I know every great photo or cartoon has an author behind it, we just usually don’t know them!!!

Darth Buffy says
Someone who fails to see da beauty of da world, nebber lookz in da mirror.

Meet my friend Maukie
She wants to play with your mouse!!!
Roll it around and let her try to catch it.
Pat her and rub her chest to make her purr!!!!

Shelter Pets WIN !!!!!
The results are in! It was a close call, but cute and cuddly for a cause squeezed past the grand finale of the Nature of America series to take the title of Readers’ Pick for 2010. Here are your top five:

winnerAnimal Rescue: adopt a shelter pet

“These cats and dogs show real character. The designer did a great job bringing that out!”— Patrick Scroggin
“Because the stamps are beautiful, and they bring awareness to the needs of shelter animals. Of course, the dogs and cats were just so charming, too. I love every stamp issue. This one, though, grabbed my heart.”— Janet Kalmadge

Nature of America: Hawaiian Rain Forest

“It seems that every time I look at the Hawaiian Rain Forest stamp sheet I find something new. From the tiny mushroom below the Jewel Orchid to the spider and flies below the ’Apapane.” — Jamie Carusone
“I have always enjoyed the artwork of the Nature of America series. I will miss it.”— Dorothy Scott Fielder

Sunday Funnies

“The Sunday Funnies stamps were vivid, expressive, and paid real homage to the cartoonists who created these beloved characters. Each stamp in the collection summed up the nature of each strip perfectly. They are real little works of art celebrating an American tradition!”— Allegra

Abstract Expressionists

“I just love the many choices of paintings that were included. I have very modern design taste and it was so refreshing to see modern design rather than the more traditional design choices usually available for stamps. Please continue to offer more modern design stamps, and thank you for offering this one.”— Rachael Irwin

Cowboys of the Silver Screen

“These stamps brought back memories of loving cowboys when I was young! Rogers, Autry, Mix and Hart were very worthy heroes for any kid growing up years ago. Great collection of stamps!”— Larry W. Coleman

They may still be available at our local Unionville post office.
I'll get you a sheet and mail them to you for $10 (USA, higher for foreign)
that's $8.80 for the stamps and $1.20 for s&h
be sure to include in comments, which stamps you want, the quantity, and your shipping address!
Contact me for more info.

Super-Tiny Chameleon Photographed in Madagascar
by Stephen Messenger, Porto Alegre, Brazil 

tiny chameleon photo Photo: Will Burrard-Lucas
In nature, some of the most incredible species come in the tinniest packages. While traveling in Madagascar recently, wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas happened upon this teensy-weensy Brookesia Chameleon walking along the forest floor. Believe it or not, the lizard he found is actually a full-grown adult, measuring about an inch in length -- making it one of the smallest reptiles on the planet.

According to Will, who set out in search of the tiny chameleons with his brother in Madagascar's Amber Mountain National Park, tracking down the diminutive reptiles is no easy task, at least for the untrained eye. Not only are Brookesia Chameleons unbelievably small, they are able to change color to blend in with dry leaves on ground. But after searching in vain for a while, the pair eventually enlisted the help of a local guide.

"We spent almost a week looking for these chameleons and were never able to spot them on our own," writes Burrard-Lucas on the his Web site. "Fortunately, our guide, having worked in the park for around 20 years, was well practiced in the art of spotting them and seemed to be able to produce the tiny creatures on demand!"
tiny chameleon on rock photo Photo: Will Burrard-Lucas
To provide a sense of scale, Will posed the chameleon on his brother's thumb -- making for one amazing photograph. If the lizard seems a little out of it, that's because he's trying to appear as uninteresting as possible, says the photographer. "When they are disturbed they play dead and resemble a dried leaf."
Brookesia Chameleons are just one of the myriad of fascinating and unique species found in the forests of Madagascar. So far, biologists have identified 26 types of these lizards, but because they're so hard to spot, researchers suspect that their list is almost certainly incomplete. Nevertheless, the chameleons are currently listed as a threatened species.
brookesia chameleon photo Photo: Will Burrard-Lucas
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Will offers some sage advice for anyone hoping to spot the tiny chameleons themselves:

We were there as part of a four week trip, to photograph as much of Madagascar's unique wildlife as possible, so we were thrilled to see this little creature. But I'd advise anyone wanting to spot them to take their glasses -- otherwise they might not see them at all.

Hobbes Fattytail Declares
"Before enlightenment: Chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: Chop wood, carry water." (Zen proverb)

"Before a nap: Eat, lick whiskers. After a nap: Eat. Lick whiskers." (Kitty Zen proverb)

53% of the way to our Double Your Donations fundraising challenge!!!!  If you’re got a couple pennies left over after all that Christmas spending you can spare ... please help out !!!  This is a big goal and we’re trying so hard to meet it !!!!

Count down for TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS for 2010 only SIX more days to feed us instead of Uncle Sam !!!!!

Come Join Us for a Cozy Read by the Fire
Somebody said mom must have too much time on her hands if she can make all our fun pictures. But guess what? Lots of my friends make the photos and send them to me! Thank you friends!

Peace and Harmony to ALL


No comments: