Monday, December 20, 2010

Good Morning Good News !!!! December 20, 2010

I’m Vincent D. Cat and I’m here to make you happy!  You work hard and you deserve to smile every day!  Those of you working to save us animals often hear very sad things.  There’s lots of 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!!  Please send me your Good New and Fun Stuff to share, personal or global. Let’s keep it fun and interactive!!

Please PLEASE don’t make me go Christmas shopping 

Oh please don’t drag me thru the stores!  I’m making donations to Rikki’s Refuge in honor of everyone on my Christmas List!  How about you?

Dark night of the moon!
It’s been 372 years since a lunar eclipse coincided with the winter solstice!!!    Party at Rikki’s!  Come on out, we’ll be walking the snow covered grounds and watching the eclipse. 

Hey if you live on the east coast you might want to step outside about 3 am tonight / tomorrow morning.  Not only is this the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, we’re having an eclipse tonight!!!  Check here to see what time it’s happening at your place.

And if that's not enough, a minor meteor shower is expected to send a few shooting stars through the darkened sky during the height of the eclipse.

George shares - Why email was invented! 

On the Twentieth Day of Christmas,
 look what came to Rikki’s,

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

Saving Goats
Remember a few years ago when we rescued all those mom goats who were pregnant? The first babies, twins, were born on Valentines Day that year! They were about the size of us kitties when they were born.  The goats in this musical video aren’t ours, but they reminded me of our babies playing in the cat runs that year!! Ours have all grown up now and are the goats you meet on a tour!!

Meet the real life Tom and Jerry: Cat gets stuck up a tree after chasing a wily mouse

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:25 AM on 20th December 2010

It looked like a scene straight out of children's cartoon Tom and Jerry when this hapless cat got stuck half way up a Christmas tree after chasing a mouse.

The 14-month-old feline, called Bumble, had leapt into the branches after his prey. But, just like his cartoon counterpart, the mouse proved far too quick and agile for his pursuer.

The clever rodent made it to the top in a flash but Bumble struggled to get more than half way up the five foot tree.
Bumble by name: This cat hadn't really thought things through when she chased a mouse and got stuck half way up her owner's Christmas tree

Who's an angel? The mouse made it safely to the top of the tree, dislodging the angel from its perch, while Bumble caused chaos with the rest of the baubles in the lower branches

And as he struggled to disentangle himself from the lights and tinsel, the mouse smugly looked down on him from his safe spot.

The incredible spectacle was captured by Bumble's owners Carolyne and Stan Brading at their home in Whitwell, on the Isle of Wight.

Mrs Brading, a support worker, said she was delighted to get such an unusual sight on camera.
The 51-year-old added: 'Bumble is a bit of a character, he's always up to mischief.

'I think he'd been chasing the mouse and it had scurried up to the top of the tree to safety.

'The mouse wouldn't have had any problems climbing up but Bumble obviously found it a little more difficult.

'When we walked into the room we found him perched in the branches about half way up, and the mouse was peering down on him.

'I couldn't believe what I was seeing. We grabbed the camera straight away because it's certainly not something we think we'll witness again.

'Despite the awkward position, Bumble looked quite comfortable. We lifted him out and the mouse scurried away.

'The tree was a mess. The angel that had previously been on top of the tree was on the floor and there were baubles everywhere. It took me an hour to put everything back together again.

'Everybody who sees the pictures thinks it's hysterical - just like a scene out of Tom and Jerry.'

Vincent’s Very own 25 Days of Christmas
On the Twentieth Day of Christmas
our hoomans sighed with relief
to have wonderfully dry feet

twenty warm and toasty feet
Have you ever worked in wet shoes or boots? It is awful – especially when the temperature dips and the wind blows!  Today we’re thinking of the staff again with this electric boot/shoe dryer.  A bit pricey, but it dries 2 pair of shoes/boots at the same time. 

click on the staff to help them feed the animals  -- or on the boot warmer as a gift

nineteen dogs a walking,
eighteen extra eyes on the lookout,
seventeen ears a listening,
sixteen healthy hoomans a caring,
fifteen seniors breathing easily,
fourteen feral kitties happily helped to the speuter clinic,
thirteen terabytes of memory,
twelve glorious gift cards,
eleven wondrous packets of warmth,
ten hooman helpers illuminated to see,
nine domed doggy igloos,
eight cozy kitty condos,
seven guinea pig garages,
six months of warm and wonderful heat,
five gentle, soothing, healing musical CDs,
four lights to help us see all the creatures at night,
three nummy cans food for each of the doggies,
two snuggy pads to keep us comfee,
and one VINCENT eating FANCY FEAST ....

You can have Amazon send it right on it’s way to

Vincent D. Cat
Rikki’s Refuge
10910 Barr Ln
Rapidan VA 22733

AND it even counts towards Amazon point for Rikki’s cuz you’ll be going in thru our site with this link!!!! 

Interested in buying other items from Amazon for yourself or for gifts for all your friends and family?  Use this link to make your shopping shop for Rikki’s - it doesn’t cost you a thing - Amazon will make a donation to Rikki’s when you enter their site thru this link!!!

If you missed any of Vincent’s Shopping Suggestions - here they all are!

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

True Story of Rudolph
A man named Robert L. May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night.  His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing.  Bobs wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer.  Little Barbara couldn't understand why her mommy could never come home.

Barbara looked up into her dad's eyes and asked, "Why isn't Mommy just like everybody else's Mommy?"  Bob's jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears.  Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob's life. Life always had to be different for Bob.

Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys.  He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he'd rather not remember. From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in.

Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn's bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938.

Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn't even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn't buy a gift, he was determined a make one - a storybook!

Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animal's story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope.  Again and again, Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling.  Who was the character? What was the story all about?  The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was.

The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose.  Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day. 

But the story doesn't end there.  The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book.  Wards went on to print, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores.

By 1946, Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph.  That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of  the book.  In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May.

The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter.

But the story doesn't end there either. Bob's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore, it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of "White Christmas."

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn't so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.

We’ve come a long way since 1946
When Wards gave the rights to the book back.  Today I heard a ad on the radio for a Car Dealer in Charlottesville advertising that if you buy a new car this week they’ll donate a whole $25 to the food bank!!!!   What is that?  Like 1/10 of 1% or something? 

And for only a $30 TAX DEDUCTIBLE donation to Rikki’s Refuge, Progressive Automotive and Tire in Stafford and Fredericksburg will give you $295 worth of services!  A great stocking stuffer, a real win win. for details!

LOOK !!!!  My own Katarina !!!

Giving animals a Christmas

 Today in the Free Lance Star

Katarina Galvin (center, red coat) instructs a group of teen volunteers from Fairfax County on cleaning a shelter for feral cats at Rikki's Refuge in Orange County. Galvin, the refuge's volunteer coordinator, has organized an angel tree program to benefit animals this holiday season.

 Katarina Galvin, with T. J. at Rikki's Refuge, has put ornaments with pictures of needy animals on trees at local stores.

Teen coordinator at Rikki's Refuge launches a different kind of Angel Tree-one seeking gifts for animals

Date published: 12/20/2010

Angel trees are not uncommon this time of year, but Katarina Galvin has put her own spin on the tradition.

She has made and placed animal-angel ornaments, each with the wreath-surrounded picture of a needy non-human recipient, on Christmas trees throughout the area.

Galvin, 23, is the volunteer coordinator for Rikki's Refuge in Orange County, and the ornaments picture some of the 1,200 rescued animals that live on the 367-acre farm. The nonprofit sanctuary is home to more than 20 different species of abused, neglected and abandoned animals.

At the Petco store in Harrison Crossing in western Spotsylvania County, the Christmas tree is adorned with cat, dog, rabbit, guinea pig and turtle angels--domestic animals for which gifts can be purchased right there. The ornament can then be attached to the gift, returned to the tree or taken home as a memento.

At Booth Feeds' stores in Spotsylvania and Stafford counties, the angels are cows, horses, pigs, sheep, chickens and other farm animals. Other trees decorate offices, and there is one at Confederate Ridge Animal Hospital in Fredericksburg.

In Orange, there are trees at the Orange-Madison Co-op, Village Feeds and the LaRue de Beauty salon. In Culpeper County they can be found at the Culpeper Animal Hospital and the Culpeper Co-op.

Galvin was in the seventh grade when a friend's family took her on her first visit to Rikki's Refuge. That was seven years ago, but because she lived in Fredericksburg and didn't drive, she didn't get back to Rikki's until 16 months ago.

"I always remembered that it was a place with loving people taking care of animals," she says. "After I revisited it, I kept going back."

She was asked to be the sanctuary's first youth volunteer coordinator.

"It was really fun," she says. "I got to take disabled animals to schools and teach students how to take care of them, since some of them were differently abled kids."

Last summer, Galvin set up a teen volunteer program at Rikki's Refuge that attracted 15 teenagers who went to the farm on Thursdays to clean cat boxes, train dogs, organize trailers, paint buildings and care for animals. She helped organize monthly tours and open houses.

Starting next month, there will be Sunday tours of the sanctuary.

"Kerri Hilliard [the sanctuary's executive director and founder] supported me through everything," Galvin said. "This was the first time I had worked with animal rescue, and she helped me learn the operations and encouraged me to do more and more."

This isn't Galvin's first volunteer experience. At 16, she started as a junior volunteer at Mary Washington Hospital. After a month she was hired to work in the dietary department after school, during the summer and, later, during college breaks.

After college, she was promoted to an office job and is still employed by Mary Washington Healthcare.
As the volunteer coordinator for both teens and adults, Galvin finds her work challenging and rewarding.

"I love doing it," she says. "It's helped me become way more confident, and I've learned management skills and even how to train dogs."

This is the first year of the animal-angel tree, but probably not the last.

"I always feel good when I throw a fundraiser and it's a success," she said. "It blows me away every time."

Well it’s getting late and I better say nighty!!!

We’re making some progress on the challenge.
I still have a long way to go.  If you can help, no matter how small - it’d mean the world to me!!

Nighty night,

The Full Vincent's 25 Days of Christmas

Vincent's 25 Days of Giving 
with Love at Christmas

Click on the animal               Click on the gift
you wish to feed                  you wish to give

On the Twenty-Fifth Day of Christmas
all the critters of the Refuge,
want to wish the very best to YOU!
Please join Vincent enjoying 25 meals, Christmas breakfast, Christmas snack, Christmas lunch, Christmas snack, Christmas dinner, Christmas snack ....

Vincent wants to remind you to feed your favorite cat.
We end our 25 days of Christmas from a final plea from Vincent for canned Fancy Feast! Case of Fancy Feast!   Please sign up for a monthly delivery!!!  Pretty paw please !!!!

On the Twenty-Fourth Day of Christmas
All the doggies are as happy as can be
chowing down of gourmet doggie food

twenty-four happy mutts, 
eating till they are full
Today we have another request from the dogs for people to gift them a Case of Canned Dog Food! 

On the Twenty-Third Day of Christmas
Rikki’s hospital patients received
lovely hanging, easy cleaning, dinner bowls

twenty-three bowls for all the yummie
Some of these small, hanging, stainless steel feeding dishes would be great to have for the hospital ward! 

On the Twenty-Second Day of Christmas
the hoomans were in a great mood
getting automatic help opening all the food

twenty-two labor saving can openers
Despite our love of pop-top canned pet food, the staff know they will have to deal with cans that have to be opened by hand. So a few of these electric can openers will speed up feeding time and make everyone happier.  Two would probably be enough but we’ll share with 22 volunteers!

On the Twenty-First Day of Christmas
the hoomans and doggies alike
were thrilled to chase off the windy bite

twenty-one warm and fuzzy uni-species balaclavas
Want to support the workers who take care of all the creatures in 30 degrees and BELOW weather? Some Balaclava’s will really help keep them warm. And since these are fleece with a hole cut in them, we can always think outside the box and wrap sick or senior pets in them for added warmth.  They would actually be perfect for that since they wouldn’t fall off like a blanket would.  At only $6.50 each, these are a terrific buy.

On the Twentieth Day of Christmas
our hoomans sighed with relief
to have wonderfully dry feet

twenty warm and toasty feet
Have you ever worked in wet shoes or boots? It is awful – especially when the temperature dips and the wind blows!  Today we’re thinking of the staff again with this electric boot/shoe dryer.  A bit pricey, but it dries 2 pair of shoes/boots at the same time. 

On the Nineteenth Day of Christmas
wouldn’t it be wonderful if
all the doggies got wonderful long walks

nineteen dogs a walking
We never have enough dog leashes and collars to walk the dogs who live in Doggy Downs! Having a bunch of spares would ensure that the Doggy Downs dogs (as opposed to our mascot dogs) get walked regularly.  Any color and any brand will do, as long as it is a nylon leash – not retractable – and the collars should be wide and snap close.  No need to buy matching sets – unless you want to. 

On the Eighteenth Day of Christmas
Rikki’s welcomed eighteen extra eyes on the lookout

eighteen extra eyes on the lookout
Now its time to think about our wildlife. Unfortunately, we have poachers who come into the woods around the sanctuary to hunt – despite our NO TRESPASSING / NO HUNTING signs. This poses a danger not only to our wildlife, but also to our dogs, staff and volunteers. We routinely have volunteers patrolling our property to keep the poachers out, and a few pair of these waterproof binoculars would surely help! 

On the Seventeenth Day of Christmas
Rikki’s received radios to keep up on any emergencies

seventeen ears a listening
A couple of these solar power / self-crank emergency radios (with flashlight and cell phone charger) would be great for the times when the power goes out AND we’re out of batteries – and that could happen at any time of the year! 

On the Sixteenth Day of Christmas
Rikki’s is happy to have
sixteen healthy hoomans caring for the critters.

sixteen healthy hoomans a caring
Time to think of the staff again, this time with a supply of Airborne Immune Boosting tablets.  There is no such thing as a “sick day” at the refuge -- the animals have to be cared for every day.  These Airborne tablets would give the staff a little extra boost to help them get through the day when they are feeling run down. 

On the Fifteenth Day of Christmas
Rikki’s received fifteen seniors breathing easily,
in moist humidified air.

fifteen seniors breathing easily
A few humidifiers for the senior center  would really be great.  Here is one that will run for 12 hours on a single filling and has an automatic shutoff. 

On the Fourteenth Day of Christmas
Rikki’s welcomed your help to trap
and fix all the feral kitties.

fourteen feral kitties happily helped to the speuter clinic
We’re getting close to Christmas and people are thinking about others.  Let’s help the feral kitties.  We could really, really use as many of these feral cat TNR (trap, neuter, return) traps as possible – both for work we do here at Rikki’s and to support our Wild and Feral division. We never use traps to catch and kill!  The more of these traps we have, the more cats we can help get to the speuter clinic. 

On the Thirteenth Day of Christmas
Rikki’s memory received a boost,
with lots of storage room for photos and medical notes.

 thirteen terabytes of memory
You know, it’s easy to forgot about all the hard work that goes on in the office. Today’s gift request is for a couple 1 Terabyte External Hard Drives so Kerry can backup Rikki’s photos and medical records!

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas
Rikki’s jumps with joy to receive,
dozens of Gift Cards for lots of goodies,

twelve glorious gift cards
Most people hate gift cards – but not us – we just love them! And some of the favorite places we would love to have gift cards for are Target and Home Depot.  And I bet you can think of a lot more useful places!

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas
our hearts, well our hands and toes, would be warmed to receive, a little wondrous warmth

eleven wondrous packets of warmth
 Most of our daily chores take place OUTDOORS. Winter is tough, especially when the wind blows. A few  boxes of these hand warmers would work wonders at taking the edge off!   


On the Tenth Day of Christmas 
look what came to Rikki’s,
ten hoomans who can see in the dark

 ten hooman helpers illuminated to see
At Rikki’s work starts before sun up and ends long after the sun has gone down. Several of these 7 LED headlights would be so welcomed by our staff and make night rounds so much easier!   

On the Ninth Day of Christmas
Rikki’s Doggies jumped in glee
excited to receive
domed doggy igloos

nine domed doggy igloos

A happy day for the dogs!!   They’d love to have these lovely outdoor houses. Medium size is fine, we don’t want them too big or they get drafty. Stuffed with straw, these houses will be used by dogs – and sometimes a goat or pig – and maybe an occasional chicken! 

On the Eighth Day of Christmas
The kitties stopped climbing the tree
and curled up all cozy in their condos fit for three

eight cozy kitty condos
One thing we can never have too many of are outdoor cat condos! Yes, we have the cat barns, but many of our felines like to have their own space. These outdoor condos, stuffed with straw, work great all winter – and beyond. 

On the Seventh Day of Christmas
the guinea pigs rejoiced
as they as they climbed their new porch
and explored guinea pig garages

seven guinea pig garages
The guinea pigs would love to use this as a shelter – especially when we stuff it with straw!  Yes, we know the product says it is a covered cat litter box, but we get used to thinking “outside the box”.  You see the nice little stairs and the cozy compartment inside? 

On the Sixth Day of Christmas
you warmed our hearts, hands and feet
as Rikki’s received warm and wonderful heat

six months of warm and wonderful heat
Winter is here - boy is it ever - and we never seem to have enough heat!  A few of these ceramic tower heaters would certainly keep the senior center, hospital and office nice and toasty!  And they are economical too.  There’s always cooler areas of the building that can use a boost!  This is a great price too!

On the Fifth Day of Christmas
Rikki’s received gentle, soothing,
healing music complete with a player for CDs
 five gentle, soothing, healing musical CDs
Calming soothing CDs to help the animals recovering in the hospital unit and/or those living in the senior center.    

On the Fourth Day of Christmas
Rikki’s received some light
to help us see all the creatures at night

four lights to help us see all the creatures at night
These Solar-Powered Motion-Activated 80 LED Security Floodlight can be installed ANYWHERE!!!!  It gets really dark at the refuge in the winter, and when we have to check on our creatures during the night, it would be great to actually be able to see them!  We could use several of these lights for around the main house and the cat runs in the barns and everywhere.

On the Third Day of Christmas
doggy lovers want to feed,
nummy canned food to all the doggies
 three nummy cans food 
for each of the doggies
The doggies are drooling for a case of Pedigree, ground, Butchers select canned – with the pop top lid. Or any flavor that is ground and has a pop top lid. We get more mouthfuls out of ground and when it is 20 degrees outside the last thing anyone wants to do is fiddle with a can opener! Amazon gives you the option of sending us a case every month if you want to . . hint, hint. We really need canned for the dogs during the winter to help keep them warm and healthy.

On the Second Day of Christmas
those who love us want to see,
all the old folks and the hospital patients warm and very comfee

two snuggy pads to keep us comfee
This wonderful Microwaveable heating disc will give up to 12 hours of warmth to our seniors or sick.  We have plenty of towels to cover the disc, so no need to buy a cover.  We use them a lot, but we only have two, and we can’t afford to buy more.  We really wish we had half a dozen or even a dozen!  They are just the bestest.  Wonderful for somebody sick and super safe, never get too hot but hold that heat for hours.  Even Iggy likes them and tries to share with old Mr. Sam.  Mr. Sam and the other old arthritic folks love to have one under their bed, they wake up with less creaky and stiff joints. 

On the First Day of Christmas
those who love me want me to get,
my very own case of FANCY FEAST ....
and one VINCENT eating FANCY FEAST ....
Those who love me want me to get my very own case of FANCY FEAST ....   You know what’d be really nice and like Christmas ALL year round????  If you signed up to send me a case a month!!!  I’ll love you forever, I promise !!!!


You can have Amazon send gifts right to us!

Vincent D. Cat
Rikki’s Refuge
10910 Barr Ln
Rapidan VA 22733

AND it even counts towards Amazon point for Rikki’s cuz you’ll be going in thru our site with this link!!!! 

Interested in buying other items from Amazon for yourself or for gifts for all your friends and family?  Use this link to make your shopping shop for Rikki’s - it doesn’t cost you a thing - Amazon will make a donation to Rikki’s when you enter their site thru this link!!!