Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Good Morning Good News !!!! February 16, 2011

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!

Great Big Red Alert!!!!
Bottom Dollar Grocery Store
is having clearance on 9 Lives 24 can cases for only $4.95.  This is unreal.  It comes out to only 20 cents a can.  Almost impossible to find even the cheapest kitty food for that.  Jan found the sale and, of course, bought out her store.  Not many cases left, but she got ‘em all.  Get out to the Bottom Dollars near you and clean up!!!  If you find a store with more than you can afford to donate - BUY THEM NOW - and I’ve got friends standing by who will help me reimburse you!!!  At 20 cents a can this is almost stealing!!!  

They also have either 9 Lives of Friskies dry bags on sale for $9.99 - so grab some of those coupons and get to shopping!!!  

I sleep so much better at night when my pantry is full!!!

VOTE TODAY   Rikkis Refuge, Orange, VA, USA
The Animal Rescue Site - Shelter Challenge
YOU voted Rikki’s Refuge #1 in Virginia in 2010
Let’s do it again for 2011
quick, simple, free
Your daily vote can win $1,000 - $5,000 for Rikki’s Refuge’s Animals!

There’s lots of ways you can vote
as long as you remember to enter
Rikkis Refuge, Orange, VA, USA
click on any of these and take it from there !!!!

Bouncy Bouncy ... Bouncy Bouncy ... Bouncy ... Fun Fun Fun!
Rikki’s Refuge is for Everyone!

Bissell MVP Contest
Vote daily thru Tuesday February 22nd for Grady
quick, simple, free
Your daily vote could win up to $10,000
Click here to Vote for Grady
"But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart..." ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

My name is Grady and I have a very unique story to say the least. I was abandoned on the streets of Santa Monica, California. This was a very scary experience for me because I am blind. I was rescued by a very kind woman named Lisa and spent some time in a wonderful place called The Cat Hotel in Burbank. One of Lisa's friends, Deb, posted my story on my sisters One-Eyed Kitty Cats group because I was in need of a home. Mom saw the post and decided to adopt me herself. She flew out to California to get me and now I live in Kansas. I get along with my mom and my new sissy very well. Lucy and I took to each other right away and it didn't take long for me to learn my way around our home. Mom says I am amazing…I remain modest though. I am one friendly and laid-back guy. I love to get chin scratches and play with toys that make noise. Mom's not sure why we are all meant to be together yet…but she's pretty sure it's something special. One thing is for sure…ALL kitties need to be given a chance!

Vote Responsibly - Vote for the Animals
All in one place!

Please Vote for Twisty - our Black Cat favorite
(photo contest)

Please Vote for Scruffy - our Adoption Representative favorite
(different photo contest)

I need your WORD - or two or a few
Between now and February 28th please post comments - the non profit with the most comments wins $5,000. Just a few words will do. "GREAT, Home to Vincent the Best SpokesCat Ever" will totally suffice!!!  You can even copy and paste if the thought of writing totally terrifies you!

My Favorite Quote, Today
Details, Details, Details
I know, I know I know.  It’s such a pain to pay attention to all the details.  Takes longer too.  But sure saves a lot of mistakes and going back and redoing things and really is much cheaper and quicker if you do it the first time round.  My hoomans are learning that on the cat runs.  If they’d just tended to the details first time around they wouldn’t be spending this spring rebuilding .........

Round the Refuge
Thank you Bast, another beautiful sunny spring day!!!  Gosh I just love my planet!!!  Have you ever visited a better planet?

Mom approved a plan for the cat house roof rebuild yesterday.  Once upon a time there was a really cool plan that used hoops to span the 20 foot width of the cat runs.  Mom really liked this idea cus it left the ground inside totally free of obstructions - the kitties could run the full length of 100 feet and swoop around the 20 foot width with no supports to worry about banging into.  And this structure was just purrfect - for five years.

Then on December 5, 2005 under the weight of an ice storm, every single support bent in half.  Now, instead of 12 feet tall - the roofs of the cat houses were about 12 inches tall.  Not so bad if you’re a kitty cat.  It was like having tunnels and caves to run and play in.  But for them hoomans who have this thing about walking upright - well they thought it was a problem.  They groaned and complained about having to slither about on their bellies to catch kitties that needed medicine and especially about slithering about to scoop the poop.  The cat houses all have litter boxes inside.  Some of the tough old tom cats (and I’ll have you know some of the delicate little ladies too) think litterboxes are for sissies so they poo in the grass, or snow if that’s what’s out there.  So here were these hoomans, slithering on their bellies, bags in one hand, scooper in the other, screaming and yelling curses.  Sure wish Vincent Video had been a live production back then!!!

The hoop idea was abandoned, and it was decided that there was no possible way to make the roofs withstand the load of ice and snow without a center line.  Mom was all concerned, how much would it bother the kitties?  Well not to worry hooman.  It gave us 13 new scratching and climbing poles in each cat run!!!  And lots got platforms built off them and all kinds of cool stuff.  So in the long run it all worked out for the best.

BUT they were all installed in a real hurry, the ground was frozen that winter of 2005-2006 so they weren’t sunk into the ground properly.  It was a hurry hurry plan to get the roofs back up high with the plan to go back and add on more supports during the summer, before more ice or snow would be a problem.  

Well, as plans go ....  other things happened.  With 1259 critters fighting the confines placed on them by just a couple dozen hoomans - we’re winning a battle almost every day.  A broken gate, a torn fence, a tree falls and makes an escape route.  So it’s constantly fixing one disaster after another.  And soon, with no snow threatening, the finishing of the shoring up of the cat runs sort of went by the wayside.  In the fall a bit more of the project would take place. 

During the blizzards of 2009-2010 quite a few people camped out at Rikki’s and it was enough hooman power to sweep the roofs off so no damage occurred to the cat runs.   That probably made the hoomans even more complacent.  If we survived that ....  

Well that ice storm in the middle of January did us in.  If only two, maybe even one more hooman had stayed at Rikki’s to help, it would have been ok.  But with just three hoomans working - they couldn’t keep up with the snow. 

It gets all complicated, uneven pressure, pressure on the wrong places on the fences and such - but anyway some of the joists fell.  Nothing collapsed.  But mom could see the potential for total disaster was there.  You just can’t have heavy joists falling.  Way too dangerous. 

So a repair design had to be implemented and had to be done right away.  Lucky Billy who works here and is our Farm Specialist also has a background in construction.  Wayne does too.  So mom and Billy and Wayne have been putting their heads together and trying to come up with a plan that will be sturdy and safe forever and ever and use as much of the existing structure as possible.  That’s important because materials cost a lot of money. 

It’d be really wonderful if there was enough money to put in really nice metal fencing like zoos can afford.  In 2005 mom looked into that and it’d be about $25,000 to do the fencing in EACH of the cat runs.  Multiply by 10 and then there’s the four day rooms and ....  holy cow non of us could eat for a couple years.  Then she wouldn’t need any cat runs anyway.  So they went back to the plan of what we could do.

Mom and Billy and Wayne tested a couple plans trying to keep the current center line in place (lots of work to replace) and still making everything stable from all kinds of forces, wind, snow, ice, climbing (they didn’t test earthquake and tsunami).  One after another failed.  The center line just wasn’t supported well enough.  So finally they agreed the center line will have to be replaced.  Bummer, but mom says we kitties have to be safe and that’s the bottom line. 

So the plan is in place, the testing worked yesterday.  Hee Hee Hee you should have seen them pushing and shoving and climbing and swinging to test out the strength from all directions!!!! 

Now we need supplies.  Lumber for now.  They’re doing it in a design that they can take off the plastic mesh roofs later on and replace with metal too.  But for now we can’t afford that much.  Hopefully we can someday.  The mesh roofs really aren’t the problem.  They’ve never torn under snow load.  But they do tear when trees grow thru or fall on them or they get snagged on a rough corner of a beam or joist. 

This is where YOU come in.

Do you have any ins at any lumber places?

Would you be willing to go visit managers at lumber stores and explain our plight and ask what kind of a deal they can work out to sell us the lumber in bulk. 

Or would each store donate just 2 or 3 pieces.

Any kind of help, cuz this is going to cost and it’s a total necessity.

Here’s what we need to fix the ten cat runs:

We need it delivered, unless it comes a little here and a little there. 

It is a sales tax exempt purchase in the state of Virginia.  We'll have to put it on the company credit card for now and do fundraising to pay it off.

All lumber must be pressure treated

130 4x4 12 feet long

520 2x4 16 feet long

100 pounds of nails
exterior galvanized common (must be approved for the new treated lumber, I think most are now)  16d 3 1/2 inches

20 bags 80 pounds each of sacreet or equivalent concrete mix product (or twice that many 40 pound bags)

Check out Lowes, Home Depot, Sedgwick, Madison Wood Preservers, 84-Lumber etc

Please do some begging for us?

We need the product asap, for now we’re buying a few sections at a time until we can have a delivery.

With the plan in place, we’re ready to start full time building to get it done as quickly as possible.  The precise design we’ve come up with must be followed.  Billy and Wayne will be leading the project and working on it Monday - Friday from about noon till 4 pm.  They have to get all the animals taken care of early in the day.   Wayne is here on the weekends too but has a busier schedule with the animals. 

Working on this will require a fair amount of precise measuring, cutting and placing of various boards and a ton of nailing.  Not for wimps, it's hard work!!!  It's got to be done well the first time round so we don't have to rip out materials to replace stuff.  If you have some know how or are seriously willing to learn and then put in enough time for your learning to pay off ....  we NEED you.

Let me know if

- you can help me find best priced materials

- you can do some fund raising

- you're interested in the construction of cat roofs

The Cats of Cod
Artwork by Wayne H. Morris of New York
photography and art
visit to see more of his spectacular work

Wayne loves to study an animal and capture their essence which he then turns into a whimsical work of art depicting them at work or play.  Your pet’s whimsical custom portrait available for only $300 (donated to Rikki’s Refuge). Contact me and I’ll put you in touch  Prints available, 8” x 10”, on heavy stock, suitable for framing, $25 each, resolution may vary so you may want to ask first.  Specify which print you want and shipping address.
Sam Iam Chops Wood
to Keep us Warm
During the Cod Winter

Live from Vincent Video
Cavy Castle and the Guinea Pigs

Fun and Inspiring

Polar bear Knut
(Photo by BARBARA SAX/AFP/Getty Images)
Polar bear Knut catches a fish as he is fed in his enclosure at the Zoologischer Garten zoo in Berlin.

Tails of Trivia
The WD in WD40 means "water displacement." The 40 in WD40 comes from the 40 attempts at creating this product.  Ahhh Something mom was wondering about recently.  Thanks Jeff for sending that one in!!!  If you have any interesting bits of trivia, send ‘em to me!

Walker tells me, They crossed a Pointer and a Setter. The new breed is a Poinsetter, a traditional Christmas pet.

The Malaysian government decided to solve their disease-carrying mosquito problem by spraying the infested areas with DDT.? This worked, but the cockroaches then devoured the dead mosquitos.? This was followed by the region's gecko lizards consuming the roaches. The geckos did not die from the residual poison (surprisingly), but their central nervous systems were greatly affected, causing the lizards to slow down. Moving up the food chain, the cats ate the slow-moving lizards and started to die off in large quantities. Of course, fewer cats means more rats, and the country's rat population soared. As a result, the World Health Organization was forced to step in and ban the DDT. In an effort to restore the ecological balance, they flew in planeloads of cats to kill the rats.
Source: The Best, Worst, & Most Unusual by Bruce Felton and Mark Fowler, 1994, p. 180, Galahad Books
-----  The moral? Don’t mess with nature.

Thank you Jennifer, I’d agree, nature has it down pretty good!!!

On this Day
February 16 begins Great Backyard Bird Count Week - come identify bird species at Rikki’s.  We’ve always wanted a nature trial brochure telling folks of the birds they’re likely to see at Rikki’s.  Grab some birding friends and come help out.

Music and Motion

Creature Feature - Valerie and Friends

Valerie’s 3rd Anniversary Party
Valerie is our Cat Whisperer and so Mystique was invited to the party.

Beauty looks in from the outside wanting to know, “Why I can no come to party? I like cake too!”

Mary Ellen (left) delivering the first of many truck load of donated feed from Village Farm Feed and Garden Center.  James (top) displaying the joy we all felt as such a huge donation!
Seven pallets of nums for all the livestock, from the guinea pigs to the cows, 
every body,
well almost everybody
gets to eat!!

All that num and nothing for me?

Please show your support of Village Farm Feed and Garden Center.  They’re right down the road, a great place to stop off and pick up some cat or dog food to bring out to Rikki’s. Best prices to stock up on your wild bird seed too.  Please tell them Vincent sent you!

Between Route 3 and 522 when you’re coming to visit us and headed out of Fredericksburg.  They’re about 10 miles away at 28284 Constitution Highway, Rhoadesville, VA 22542.  If you get a chance, stop in and say, “Thank you for feeding Vincent’s Friends!” and pick up something for your critters or bird food for our wild friends, or grab a few cases of canned cat or dog food or some Fancy Feast!!!  They did send two cases of Fancy Feast out yesterday too that somebody had stopped in and bought for me!!!    (540)854-8888

Good Times in the News
Momentum Can Be Scary
David J. Pollay, HappyNews Columnist
Thank you Marianna for sending this in.

“Why is it so hard to maintain positive momentum in our lives?”

“And how can we create and keep momentum in our careers?”

These are two questions I’m asked a lot. Positive momentum is the key to our happiness. It is also the key to our success in business. Most of us say that we want momentum; we want to be “on a roll” in life. The problem is that many of us struggle with momentum once we experience it.

Skiing down the hill I was 17 years old, and skiing for the first time. I was at Alpine Valley in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. I had just finished my first ski lesson with a group of beginners. I thought, “If they can do it, I can do it.” I was ready to take on the hill. I hopped on the chair lift to the top of the hill, jumped off, glided a few yards, stopped, and looked down; the hill was steeper than I had thought. I had one goal: I wanted to ski the hill without falling. So, I pushed off and started down the hill. Ten feet, twenty, forty, eighty feet, and I was still on my skis. One hundred feet, two hundred, four hundred feet, and I was still standing! Within seconds I was a quarter of the way down the mountain and still going!

And then I began to worry! I started thinking, “What if I hit someone? What if I veer off the slope? What if I go too fast? What if I can’t stop?” And before I knew it, I’d had enough! I was scared, and I wanted to stop. So, I turned directly into a snow bank. I landed face first; my skis went flying. Even with my face freezing, knees hurting, skis sliding down the hill, and everyone sailing past me, I was relieved!

I no longer had to worry where my momentum was taking me; I had stopped it all together. I was safe again.

How often have we experienced something like this in our lives, physically or emotionally? We quickly build momentum towards achieving an important goal. We enjoy the exhilaration of our progress. But, then something triggers us. We become anxious because we’re moving more quickly than we had anticipated.

Momentum can be scary; it not only moves us more quickly to our goals, it can carry us beyond them. We often find ourselves in an unexpected, new world of possibilities.

The good news is that achieving and experiencing momentum in our lives does not have to be scary. The power of positive momentum can help us achieve our goals more efficiently, and with less stress. We will be challenged, but not anxious. We will have people and processes set up to help us stay on a roll. When we have the focus, and the right support, positive momentum will lead us to our dreams.

This week think about the most important areas of your life. In which areas do you have positive momentum? Choose one area this week, and focus on it. What can you do to “keep on your skis?” Who do you know who has already skied down the hill you’re on? Who can help you prepare for what’s coming? Reach out to people this week. Give them a quick update on what you’re doing. And ask them for any wisdom they could share with you to help keep you headed in the right direction.

Your mission is to remain excited about the momentum you have, and keep going. Momentum can be scary, but when you have support on your journey, it’s awesome.

Editor’s note: I think they’re talking about your momentum to fill out pantry!! 

You all did such an awesome job last week. 

If as many of you - and more - showed up with nums to donate, we’d never be on that downhill terror ride of WHERE’S MY NEXT MEAL COMING FROM.

Or if you’re too far away to stop in with donations, send me some of your human exchange green stuff -- it’s real easy, just click right here

and I’ll go to the store for you and exchange it for good nums for everybody!

Nanny’s always up for pulling the goat cart into town.  There’s this one house that we pass on our way, it has a really pretty flower garden, I always let Nanny stop for a snack!

Great Purrchases / Donations

Help Rescued and Deaf Dogs
Benefit Rikki’s Refuge

Great Books!! Great Benefits!!
Thru February 22 ONLY

Buy a Great Book, Help Rescued and Deaf Dogs and Help Rikki's Refuge, too!  
For one week only, photographer Melissa McDaniel, is having a promotional sale on two of her dog photo books.

Rescued in America

and Deaf Dogs

30% of sales from PHONE ORDERS ONLY will go to Rikki's Refuge. Purchase one - or both! - of these beautiful albums and help Rikki's Refuge at the same time!

Please call your order in to 267-968-9973 today.
The sale starts today, Wednesday, February 14th
and runs through next Tuesday, February 22.
Books are ready to ship!

Click here to view photos from the dog photo books and read more about the projects:

For more on this special promotion, click here:

Take a look at what’s on ebay!!

A full set of Vintage Kitty Postcards!!!

Mission Fish items being sold by others to benefit Rikki’s

Items being sold by Rikki’s in our ebay store
And Melissa is helping to do the listing - so anybody have something they'd like to sell to benefit Rikki's, if you can do pictures and shipping (if you can't donate the shipping cost we can reimburse by paypal or check) let me know and I can put you in touch with Melissa our ebay helper.

The 24th Species
Rikki’s Refuge’s Human Habitat

Zoe tells it from a 13 year old perspective; Kate talks about farm animals; Laurie talks about events and festivals outside Rikki’s

Love YOU very much,
PS You tell me what you want!  Email me at with instructions to change your subscription: additions, deletions or modifications!  Subscriptions:    Vincent’s VIPs - up to the second alerts about issues at Rikki’s Refuge for those who care and want to be intimately involved.  Scheduled as needed.  Good Morning Good News - a little something to get you going in the mornings, for those of you who want to keep smiling with us!  Scheduled daily.  Hairballs - so you know what’s coming up at Rikki’s!  Scheduled weekly.

Rikki's Refuge, supported solely by private donations, houses over 1200 animals of 22 species. On line at Checks, money orders, cash, items at Rikki's Refuge, PO Box 1357, Orange VA 22960

Rikki's Refuge is owned and operated by Life Unlimited of Virginia, Inc., an IRS 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Virginia Corporation, tax-id 54-1911042. Combined Federal Campaigns #77674, Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign #3163, PetsMart Charities #1377.  A financial statement is available upon written request from the State Office of Consumer Affairs.

Learn more and help spread the good word, tell everyone you know about Rikki’s Refuge

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