Friday, April 01, 2011

Good Morning Good News !!!! April 1, 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!

Do YOU know what April is?

April is the Official Cats vs Dogs Month!!!

Who will Rule the Refuge for the Next Year??

Vincent or Duke?

Cats or Dogs?

Your votes will be counted all month .... and at the end the winner will be announced and crowned the Ruler of the Refuge. 

You’ve always voted me in, forever and ever!!  I RULE not DROOL!!  That’s really important, right?  

I love you and I work hard to make you happy and to make you smile!  That’s really important, right?

You love me and want to see me happy .... right?

Please Vote Vincent and keep me in place as Refuge Ruler !

I can count on you to do it again this year .... can’t I ? 

Will you cast my first vote?

Where do your loyalties lie?

Who will you let Rule the Refuge for the next year?  Vincent or Duke?  Vincent promises Fancy Feast in every dish! Duke promises peace and love!  Put your money where your mouth is, designate your donation for Vincent or Duke, (yes, for the undecided 50/50, is acceptable) be sure to note if you’re voting for Cats or Dogs!

I'm Jealous.
The Central Virginia Newspaper called and they want to interview Duke and do a story about him. Not fair. I AM THE STAR at Rikki's Refuge. This is Cats vs Dogs month. I always win!! Paws down. If Duke's getting publicity I might be in trouble ...... help me scheme on how to win .....  Please Please tell your deepest darkest secrets oh how I can scheme to win - no matter what - I won’t tell you told me!!!!  Please help me out here

Round the Refuge

The Bestest News of the Day
and it’s NOT April Fools!!!
Ron, my wonderful cat man who’s job and life is Serving Cats writes to me and says:

Eightball’s owner moved away almost 10 years ago and left him behind and when he showed up on my deck what could I do?

He’d frequently be gone on week long adventures but last fall he left and didn’t come back.

This morning while I was wondering what sort of April Fools pranks awaited me, Home Again called and said they had him. Or more specifically someone in Charlottesville had him, who lives less than a half mile from me. She had been feeding him for several months, long enough to start calling him Roger, and when it looked like his ears were bad she took him to her vet who scanned him. So I ran home to grab a carrier, picked him up and dropped him off at my vet to get checked out.

Probably an indoor cat from now on.

To show my gratitude for the return of the prodigal dummy (the name EightblallYouBigDummy is really one word now) I’ll donate a 6 foot wide roll of wire for the temp room cat lock roof to keep other dummies from escaping.

And no, this isn’t an April Fools story

Love, Ron

More Voting?
The Shelter Challenge voting starts up on Monday again!!!!    My paws get tired of voting, how about you?  But I always keep up the voting cuz I know hoe important it is.  I have to stay on my toes - all four of them - to keep this refuge running!!!  Yes siriiiee I do.  And every penny we win is a great big hairy deal.  So vote I will and I hope you’ll join me again, starting Monday!!!

Fiddler in a Box
Yesterday our new experimental Kitty Litter, Fiddler in a Box, arrived.  Two whole pallets.  We’ll be doing the very first test study ever in rooms A and B of the 9th Life Center.  Did you guess what it’s made out of???  Nobody got it right yet!!  Come on, give me your guess!

Where in the world are YOU?
Where are you going to be SATURDAY and SUNDAY?  I sure hope it’s here helping us finish Rabbit Rotunda II Roof - please please come out and help!!!    And it’s gonna be warm and sunny ---  you know you can’t resist helping the animals, come on out and lend a hand to save a paw!!!  This is a great event for you to learn some serious building skills.  Skills you can take home and use not only for animal enclosures but sheds, outbuildings, patios, etc.

Quick run down for what to do this weekend - check further down - Upcoming Events for more details.

Saturday, all day Rabbit Rotunda Roofing, 11 am - 3 pm Silly Spring Photo Contest,  noon - 2 pm,  Donation Drop Off

Sunday, all day Rabbit Rotunda Roofing, 11 am - 3 pm Warming up for Spring, noon tour the refuge

Grocery List
Do you know what the biggest and most often asked question I get is?  What supplies to you need me to bring this weekend?  Well here’s a bunch of stuff.

We always need wet cat food. Right now we have lots of dry that Purina donated. About 4 weeks full !!!!

But don’t miss that special sale I told you about yesterday.  If you can come pick up my 11 coupons for $1 off on Purina Cat Chow and then go buy it at Food Lion Fri, Sat or Sun ONLY - you’ll get each bag for $7.99.  HELP, Nanny is refusing to pull the goat cart for me!

We always need bleach, paper towels - DESPERATE THIS WEEK, laundry detergent, dish detergent, right now we need garden hoses and nozzles too and the little swimming pools - not for ME - they have the purrfect size at Dollar General for $8 right now.

We need alcohol, triple antibiotic ointment, vet wrap, super baby itty bitty preemie diapers for my sis Callie, dustpans, brooms, hoes that we use for pooper scoopers - a nice company gave us the container part.

Hmmmm let see, what else, stamps, HP in cartridge 56, spiral binders, chinchilla food and chinchilla dust bath, YES the Chinchilla Food is really important, we’ll be out by tomorrow.

Hmmmm fresh rabbit produce like carrots and spinach and oranges for the guinea pigs, that's all I can think of now but that's a big list to pick and choose from!!!!

Anyone properly equipped to be piggy parents?
I have two potbelly pigs they are about 8 1/2 months old Socs is about 70lbs and Dewey is about 50lbs. I can not keep them they escape their pen and go to the farm next door to us. They have caused a man to fall off his horse.  We have tried all kinds of ways to keep them home but the boys just want to roam. They are brothers and I don't want anything to happen to them.  I have advertised them, and the replies I get are “can we eat them”. Please help, thanks Margie Marshall       540-937-6336.

Bunny Bonanza Posters
Can you print up some 8 x 10 color Bunny Bonanza Posters?  We’re trying to get them spread around!  If you can print and bring or send to us a dozen or two let me know.  Or if you’d like to print out a few and hand out or post in your area.  Probably only within a couple hundred miles of the Refuge since it’s an on site event.  Let me know and I can send you the pdf file.

Meet Frieda the Piggy
This is Frieda now 10 years old.  She’s spent her entire life at Rikki’s Refuge.  She’s been a very fortunate piggy.  Born on December 24, 2000 to young Charlotte, who’d just recently arrived from a pound with her husband Wilbur, Frieda was the runt in a litter of four.  Only days before Charlotte gave birth, did we begin to even suspect she was pregnant.  “Too young to possibly be pregnant”, said the doc who examined her and who neutered Wilbur on their way to Rikki’s.  Charlotte and Wilbur were estimated to be only four months old. 

What a surprise that cold and snow December day when we discovered Charlotte was about to become a mom.  What an even bigger surprise when she was unable to give birth on her own to four breach babies.  Unable to get a farm vet to come and help us during a snow storm (this was before Dr Vargas started taking care of everybody) I got some instruction on delivering breach babies and then went to the farm store down the street for more help.  They laughed hysterically at the city gal who’d never delivered a baby.

Thankfully, all the babies got here safely - I’ll skip the scary and gory details since this is family reading - but I’ll tell you I learned a lot of things that day I’d never intended to learn!  Three little pink and black spotted piggies all about the same size.  And one tiny tiny little black one.  Little Tar Baby looked just like a miniature of her mom.

As the piggies grew, little Tar Baby as Frieda was known at first, grew slowly and could not seem to get the knack of walking.  Her little knees just would not hold her.  X-rays showed that the bone development in her legs was abnormal.  Her diagnosis - just put her to sleep, she’ll never walk. 

But she was a happy little piggy.  She scooted about on her knees and elbows.  Building up big bare calluses.  We called in Dr. Pitcairn, a homeopath, to consult on her case.

A few months later her condition continued to improve greatly.  Here at 8 months old you can see she stands (and runs) perfectly well. 
Notice the calluses haven’t totally disappeared on her little legs yet.  She’s was also still small for her age.  But playing and loving life and a roll in the mud, just like any other piggy.

Today the whole family still lives at Rikki’s Refuge happy as ... well ... pigs in mud!!!!

Katty, Kimmy, Mikey, Frieda (who was renamed as she became a young lady) and mom Charlotte and dad Wilbur.  In the spring of 2009 Charlotte developed breast cancer.  She wasn’t given much hope when a five pound tumor was removed from her lower right breast.  She healed quickly and soon was back in Piggy Paradise with her family.  Two years later she’s still cancer free and a happy gal!!! 

It’s Friday and it’s Free Food Friday num num num
send an email to with the subject "Shelter Giveaway" on Fridays to enter PetCo’s drawing for a $50 PetCo Gift Card every weekend.  A winner will be chosen at random every Saturday.  It may as well be YOU!

Bissell MVP Contest
Vote daily Wednesday March 30th thru Tuesday April 5th for NeeNee
quick, simple, free
Your daily vote could win up to $10,000 for the animals
Click here to Vote for NeeNee
Don't tell this little ball of purring love that she's blind - she'll never believe you!

Vinspirational Visions
Come Share Your LOVE at Rikki’s Refuge
When you help the animals you are rewarded with pure love!  You mean the world to us!!  We love you from nose tip to tail tip - or where ever you end!  Come on out and visit us this weekend and we’ll prove it to you!!!  Snugg snugg purr purr.  Saturday or Sunday to help with Rabbit Rotunda

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.

Co-Pilot Duke
Precious Duke, always ready to lend a paw in any way it’s needed.  Obedient and ready to take orders from Captain Vincent!

Tails of Trivia

Avocados have more protein than any other fruit.  A great substitute for burgers and icky things for your protein!!

Apples are more efficient than caffeine in keeping people awake in the mornings!  And a lot healthier too!!!  You know what they say about the doc!!

There is a giant mushroom in Oregon that is over 2,400 years old, covers 3.4 square miles of land, and is still growing!

Watermelons can cost up to $100 in Japan!

Coconuts kill more people in the world than sharks do. Approximately 150 people are killed each year by coconuts.

Bananas contain a natural chemical which can make a person happy. This same chemical is also found in Prozac.  Now I know why the goats are so happy all the time!

On this Day
100 Years ago TODAY this cat was involved with one of the “hottest” movies of the times

Upcoming Events
SATURDAYS            DONATION DROP OFF,  noon - 2 pm,  got something to drop off quick?  The gates will be unlocked.  No tour at this time, just drop off.  Donation Drop Off will be available every Saturday from noon - 2 pm in 2011

SUNDAYS            TOUR THE REFUGE - NOON, mini tour, take a walk around and see the animal neighborhoods.  Every week on Sunday you can join a mini tour where you can walk around from animal neighborhood to neighborhood, from Piggy Paradise to Horsey Haven and see the animals.   One tour only, starts at noon.  Please be prompt.

April 2, 2011                  SATURDAY     Rabbit Rotunda II Roof Raising - it’s a big project and we need your help to finish up!!!  8 am till 4 pm, please come and help out for a bit.

April 2, 2011                  SATURDAY     SILLY SPRING PHOTO CONTEST - Come with your camera and see who can get the best spring shots of the critters acting all silly and happy, finally glad to be warm again.

April 3, 2011                  SUNDAY          Rabbit Rotunda II Roof Raising - it’s a big project and we need your help to finish up!!!  8 am till 4 pm, please come and help out for a bit.

April 3, 2011                  SUNDAY            Warming up for Spring, help the animals get ready for the season change

April 9, 2011                  SATURDAY     Orange Tractor Supply Outing - come visit us or volunteer to help us out.  Meet the animals and have some fun!!  Too Hot for Spots safety thermometers will be on sale, purchase pre event discount tickets for Bunny Bonanza!! 

April 9, 2011                  SATURDAY     DADS & DAUGHTERS DAY - come out as a team and see how much you can accomplish in one day.  Who can do more?  Moms and Daughters?  Dads and Sons?  Moms and Sons?  Or Dads and Daughters?

April 10, 2011                SUNDAY          Honey Do Day - a little bit of this and a little bit of that, no matter what your talents we can use you!

April 16, 2011                SATURDAY     Bunny Bonanza 1 pm - 5 pm   We need Volunteers for the day, help with set up, clean up, bakers for the bake sale.  Please contact Katarina if you'd like to help out or if you want more information about the event!!   Admission is $3 in advance or $5 at the door per person.  Game booths with fun and exciting prizes for the kids.  Buy a tasty treat at our Bake Sale!!  Game Tickets 1 can of cat food each or $.50.  The Great Baldo Baldini will be performing his Magic Show!  COME CELEBRATE SPRING WITH THE 1200+ ANIMALS AT RIKKI’S REFUGE, ESPECIALLY THE BUNNIES!!  Face Painting, Hair Coloring and Tattoos!  One of a Kind Easter Egg Hunt starts at 3:00 Hint: Be prepared for lots of confetti and fun!  Donations made at this event will go directly to care for the 1200+ animals at
Rikki’s Refuge. Thank you for your generosity and see you there!  For more info and to purchase your tickets please visit our website  or call 540-854-0870 x3, 10910 Barr Ln, Rapidan, Va 22733.  This is an outdoor event don’t forget to dress for the weather!!

April 16, 2011                SATURDAY     Waugh Harley Pet Day 9 am - 4 pm - come visit us or volunteer to help us out.  Meet the animals and have some fun!!  Too Hot for Spots safety thermometers will be on sale, stop by in the morning so you can make Bunny Bonanza in the afternoon!

Because I Love YOU
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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