Sunday, January 02, 2011

Good Morning Good News !!!! January 2, 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!

My Favorite Quote, Today
In your growth, do not be afraid of evoking anger in other people.
Anger is only a manifestation of their insecurity.
But fearing this anger can hold you back.
Anger would be merely stupid if it didn't create so much grief.
Dissolve your own anger in love and forgiveness.
Do not let depression or anxiety hold you back in your growth.
Depression is losing perspective, forgetting, and taking things for granted.
Sharpen your focus.
Reset your values.
Remember what should not be taken for granted.
Shift your perspective.
Get out of the rut.
Remember to hope.

---Messages from the Masters to Dr Brian Weiss.

Refuge News
Rene just finished making two really nice outdoor fearl kitty houses.  She brought them by to show me before delivering to their new owner.  VERY NICE!!  Well Taco and Harvey thought so too.  They immediately jumped up on her truck and went in the houses.  Came out, walked around, went in, rubbed cheeks as a sign of approval.  Rene could hardly escape from Rikki’s without taking them with her!!!  I guess that means her houses have the Rikki’s Cats Seal of Approval.

What’s a Docent?
Yesterday was our first day of the new 2011 program.  Every Saturday from noon - 2 the Refuge will be open for Donation Drop off.  A docent will be on hand to meet you and to help you unload all the nummy food you bring for us and to answer questions!!!  No need to call ahead.  Depending on the work load of the day and any needs of the animals, the Docent may or may not be able to give you a mini tour.  Remember: care of the animals always comes first!

Cindy Wright is the Docent Director and she’d love to give you a quick training to learn to be a Docent.  Shifts would be two hours on a Saturday.  You could help out one Saturday a year or one a month or one a week.  Can you spare two hours to help Cindy? 

So what IS a Docent?  A knowledgeable person who can interact with visitors, with staff, with volunteers; answer questions, provide assistance, give tours and provide commentary. 

Interested in learning a little about Rikki’s Refuge and our residents?  No litter box cleaning required!!!  Contact Cindy

Cindy was our Docent yesterday and got to meet visitors who brought supplies for the animals.  And even got to give a tour to a family visiting for the holidays! 

Poacher Patrol
Yesterday, being the first Saturday in January, was the last day of deer hunting season.  This draws out the hunting neighbors. And for some reason, our property is a real draw to them.  Don’t know if it’s cus they’re not allowed to hunt there so that makes it more fun or if it’s cuz the deer come to our property for safety. 

But we do not allow hunting on our property.  First off we’re a protected no-kill zone.  Secondly it’s not very safe to be wildly running around and shooting at things when animals and people are about.  Very dangerous.  Last year we had another conviction for trespassing and hunting on the property stick.  This has made the neighbors just madder.

So they had a new tactic to storm us on New Years Day.  They wore face masks, like ski masks, so they could not be identified.  That’s how one got off last year, he said, “You didn’t see my face, I had my back to you.”  Even though it was his truck, license plates, the jacket he was wearing a few moments later when the sheriff got there and everything.  The judge said, “If you didn’t see the face and get a positive ID ....”.   So now they are wearing ski masks. 

Gee poaching on Rikki’s property is escalating to the same level of bank robbing.  AND you know how warm it was yesterday??  It was in the 50’s so come on, nobody needed face masks to be warm.  Bad hoomans.

They came all over our property.  Close enough that people who worked there could hear them cocking their guns, now that’s just way too close.  Joe was out confronting one batch of them who was refusing to get off the property.  Lena got scared when she heard them cocking guns where she was working, so she came up to the 9th Life Center and called the Sheriff.  They said, they’re at your gate now, we got a call that YOU are shooting at the hunters!!!

So here come the Sheriff and the Game Warden.  While the poaching trespassing hunters are on our property trying to scare the poo out of us they are calling and saying we are shooting at them!  What do they want?  Us all arrested for the day so we can’t protect our own land?  Crazy huh??? 

I think the Sheriff and the Game Warden figured out this tactic pretty quick.  It wasn’t long before every hunter was cleared off our property.  And we could get on with the

Beauty came to Rikki’s many years ago.  She’d already had a long history before she arrived.  She’d been a breeder and lived the first part of her life in a cage cranking out babies as fast as she could.  That was her only value to her owners.  No love, no affection, just a baby machine. 

When the cattery closed down she was sold cheap to somebody cuz she was old and worn out.  She wasn’t very trusting of people.  She was frightened.  She didn’t know how to behave as a pet.  When she’d get upset or frightened she’d reach out and scratch.

So they had her toes cut off. Along with her claws.  The euphemism for this is de-clawing.  They should call it de-toeing, as they take the last joint off.  This causes a great deal of pain.  Not only after the surgery but often forever.  Walking on feet you have trouble balancing on puts weight in all the wrong places and it hurts.  Scratching your litter can hurt.  It’s a serious injury that never heals well. 

And it leaves psychological scars.  Now unable to scratch when frightened, kitties often turn to biting.  That’s what Beauty did.  She bit.  And so she was hit for biting.  Has life been better in a tiny cage, giving birth over and over again and being patted only occasionally or now in a home that “loved” her yet cut her toes off and then hit her when she was frightened?

It didn’t matter, because soon she was in the pound, slated to be killed.  Another rescue group stepped in  here thinking they could adopt out this beautiful gal.  With more trauma behind her now, Beauty was even less trusting and this time she was going to lash out and bite before these hoomans could do anything bad to her.  She didn’t yet understand that there are good hoomans. 

Trying for months to rehab her, the rescue group finally gave up and Beauty was lucky to come to Rikki’s Refuge.  She was a resident of Cat House Number 3, The Friendly Biters.  These are kitties just like her, who for one reason or another, are frightened of hoomans and bite to protect themselves.  Many of these kitties are de-toe-ed kitties.  Somebody cut their toes and claws off to make them soft and cuddly - and not they bite.  Some of them will love you for a few minutes but as soon as they sense something off they bite without waiting to ask questions. 

Beauty lived happily with the Biters for years and years.  Sometimes she’d be loving.  Sometimes she’d bite.  Sometimes she’d walk up behind us and bite our ankles.  Just because she could.  At Rikki’s she was never hit and never told she was a bad kitty.  We knew she had psychological problems that made her be like this. 

Last winter she got sick and had to come into our hospital.  She was very sick.  And she’s quite elderly.  We did not think she would survive.  She needed a lot of nursing care and at first she’d bite.  Then she was too weak to bite. 

But a miracle happened and Beauty started to get better.  And she biting got less and less and her loving got more and more.  By the time she was totally recovered she was a love bug.  Now don’t get me wrong, that fear still lurks in the back of her mind, so a sudden movement or something fearful can still get her hissing and biting.  But overall she’s a wonderful loving lady.

She hated being in the 9th Life Center.  She’d spend years out side in Cat House #3.  But due to her age and problems, including a very bad heart murmur she needed the care of the 9th Life Center.  And so she convinced the hoomans to let her be a mascot and go out.  And she was happy.  And she came back for her medicine twice a day.  And the hoomans were happy.

Now she loves to follow people around.  And she went on the


It was many miles and over the river and thru the woods and when she got tired

What a wonderful day at Rikki’s Refuge! 

From a Hiker:
Hi Kerry and Katarina!   I want to tell you how much I enjoyed the hike today.  It was quite fun and relaxing.   I'll be sure to watch for the next one to be scheduled!   I'm attaching a couple of photos of our mascot , Beauty.    What a sweetheart and a trooper.  :-)  

The third attachment is the gift tree that Katarina gave us for my workplace.  It was so rewarding to share the story of Rikki's with everyone who asked and to get back their compassion and generosity.  We don't have a lot of traffic there so it wasn't a huge return but it was so gratifying anyway.  I definitely want to do it again next year!

Thanks so much for everything that you do.   ~  Toni

Look at Ivory now
Still getting physical therapy several times a day for a stiff hip and leg, but up and eating and feeling great!  Thank you for your support!

My friend Louie reminds us, “Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you don’t have a leg to stand on.”

Pamela says, As I see it, if human beings have inalienable rights endowed by the Creator, so do non-human animals. The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (i.e. a life free from exploitation, torture, and the ability to behave in the manner that nature intended). That's how view the definition of 'animal rights'.

Did You Know?
A jumbo jet uses 4,000 gallons of fuel to take off.    WOW WEEEE can you imagine!!!  Glad I don’t have that tank to fill up huh???

Think we can make more room in the 9th Life Center this way

Good Times in the News
Dog in the United Kingdom rescues kittens
From: The Animal Rescue Site

Most people believe that dogs and cats are at odds with one another. However, a pup from the U.K. recently proved the opposite.

According to New Zealand's Southland Times, a canine named Shyla has been helping nurse a number of needy kittens for the past three years. The dog, who has experienced a number of false pregnancies, can do so because she still produces milk.

Shyla's owner, Angela McFall, spoke with the news source about how her beloved four-legged friend saved seven cats from being euthanized.

"We drove to Ashburton as I had heard there were some kittens that were going to be put down," she told the news outlet. "We stuck our feelers out because we knew she was producing milk."

The news provider went onto explain that Shyla probably doesn't realize the creatures she's helping are of a different species.

Shyla isn't the first pup to become a foster mom for kittens in need. CBS News reports that in 2008, a loving canine named Lilly helped feed a litter of felines who didn't have a mom.

Don’t Miss - Recently Posted
Check out Autumn-Skye’s new blog where she talks about being Ms USA and a Director at Rikki’s Refuge!  We’re proud of you Autumn-Skye!

Polar Bears Destroy BBC's Cameras

Dear Vincent
How many Assistant Shepherds Signed up?
Lots of you have questions about Rikki’s Refuge.  I’ll pick one or two a day to answer here.  Ask your questions in the blog comments or sent to me at
QUESTION: Vincent, I love your Animal Shepherd portrait!!  How befitting of you, out to save the animals!  I’m so happy to join your team!  Who else joined up?

ANSWER:  Yesterday I talked about being the Good Shepherd of all animals, working hard every day to save everyone!  And I wanted to enlist everyone of YOU as my Assistant Shepherd.  Did most of you just forget to send me an email or comment?

Here’s my Animal Shepherd Team so far!!
Sheri Callahan
Gilbert Callahan
Bentley Callahan
Virginia Brock
Janet Duran

We’re teaming up to save the animals of the world !!!!

I Love YOU, one and all


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.

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