Saturday, January 08, 2011

Good Morning Good News !!!! January 8, 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
Love, laugh, make the world happy. Your joy-making shall spread in ever-widening circles, beyond all your knowledge. Centuries after it still bears precious fruit.

Refuge News
Well today has been strange so far.  Brrrr.  Very light dusting of snow over night.  Then about 7 am it started to absolutely blizzard.  you couldn’t see ten feet in front of you.  And it stopped at 7:30 am with about an inch on the ground.  About 10 am if started up again with a steady but light snow.  So we decided to cancel events for the day.  Just as soon as all the canceling was done the snow stopped.  Now at 1 pm it’s sunny and melting.  Go figure! 

So far six trucks or trailers have rolled in with pumpkins.  They’re out picking turnips now. 

Yesterday we went to Culpeper Animal Hospital and picked up $654.15 of medicine and such!  YICK!!  Seems unfair I gotta pay to buy the icky stuff they gonna put down my throat!!! 

Next stop was Culpeper Pharmacy.  Do you know what they did for Christmas for us?  They gave us 10 cases of lactated ringer fluids, ten boxes of needles to use for fluids and ten boxes of syringes!!  That adds up to a lot of money too!!!  Wasn’t that nice of Bill Morris and Gordon Atkins?  Yesterday we bought $65 of insulin syringes for our diabetics. 

This was getting to be an expensive day!!!!  The next stop was Martins where they had dawgie food on sale.  We got 86 big cans for $49.02. 

Mom special ordered more too.  I grabbed a case of Fancy Feast and tried to hide it under my fur coat, mom caught me and I got a big lecture about stealing.  Yeah yeah yeah, so buy ME something!  Seemed to me if we were nice enough to buy their dog food the least they could have done was give me at least one can of Fancy Feast, don’t you think?

Live from Vincent Video
Meet James Davis
James works here everyday except Wednesday and Thursday.  He helps to take care of all of us.  He’s a really good acupressurist and he works on my tail and hip.  That feels good!!  He helps give us meds and he helps to feed and clean and take care of us!!!

Mount Dishmore is a huge pile we make every day.  And all the dishes, over three hundred of them, all have to be scrubbed up and cleaned every day!

You can always find something good in somebody.  If you’re having a hard time, just look harder and harder till you find you.  Looking for good makes us all so much happier.  Even the dawgies are warm and cuddly and friendly even if they try to eat my food! 

Tails of Trivia
A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
And how many do you have, hooman?

A giraffe can clean its ears with its 21-inch tongue.
WOW that’d be nice not to have to lick your paw and swipe it behind your ears, huh?

A hippo can open its mouth wide enough to fit a 4 foot tall child inside.

Music and Motion

Good Times in the News
Homer the Homeless Goose: Where is he now?
Former international symbol of homelessness alive and well at Austin Zoo.

Two decades ago, Homer the Homeless Goose squawked his way to international fame.

In the 1980s, the Austin fowl grabbed headlines when local homeless activists threatened to eat him unless city leaders agreed to a meeting about homelessness. He survived, met Willie Nelson, went to the 1988 Democratic National Convention and spent several months on a raft in Lady Bird Lake with two human companions protesting homelessness.

And then, like most celebrities du jour, he faded away.

But Homer — the goose whom some credit with sparking the city’s homeless advocacy movement — is still alive and well. For the past year, the 22-year-old White Chinese goose has resided in a terraced yard at the Austin Zoo. He has outlived two of his mates (Hazel I and Hazel II) and has now taken up with Hazel III.

He sunbathes. He plays in his pool. He enjoys a daily breakfast of eggs, alfalfa, broccoli and lettuce. And he remains a star in the eyes of those who love him.

Homer burst onto the local political scene in May 1988 when advocates decided they needed a flashy gimmick to draw the public’s attention to homelessness. After taking up a collection of $17, several homeless men and community activist Lori Cervenak-Renteria purchased the then-gosling from Callahan’s General Store .

After toying with a few names, they decided to call the snowy fowl Homer. “They wanted the word 'home’ in there,” Cervenak-Renteria recalled.

But Homer was not to serve as their pet. Instead, several homeless men — backed by a slew of supporters — threatened to kill the bird unless city officials met with them to discuss solutions to homelessness, such as affordable housing and job training. Animal lovers were outraged.

City leaders agreed to talk to the protesters. In the end, Cervenak-Renteria said, the most concrete results of those talks included office space and addition funding for several homeless advocacy organizations. “If you were to focus on a single event that started this community looking at homelessness, this would be it,” said Greg Gibson, housing administrator at Austin Travis County Integral Care, which provides services to people with mental illness.

Homer’s star continued to rise. After the goose was splashed on television shows and newspapers across the world, two local advocacy groups raised money to fly Homer first class on Delta Air Lines to the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta. During his visit — Homer was accompanied by several homeless people and advocates — he met then-Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, activist Jesse Jackson and former first lady Rosalynn Carter, Cervenak-Renteria said.

That October, Homer and two homeless men launched and lived on three makeshift rafts on Lady Bird Lake. Homer had his own small raft, which was tied to one of the other boats. The men stayed on the water for 135 days before the city confiscated their rafts, but Homer only lasted a few months.

That winter, Homer’s raft flipped over and the goose disappeared, Cervenak-Renteria said. He was discovered four days later stuck in the mud near the Lakeside Apartments on Trinity Street, dehydrated and malnourished.

“Even the Austin Police Department put out an all-points bulletin for him,” she said. “It was so funny.”

Cervenak-Renteria took him home and let him live in her yard. He stayed there 18 years.

During that period, Homer lived the life of a part-time activist, making appearances at events and occasionally leading marches to protest social injustice. But mostly, he spent his days in his pen, eating Alley Cat brand cat food, squawking at neighbors and occasionally hanging out at a nearby middle school . He recognized the sound of Cervenak-Renteria’s Ford F-150 pickup and always greeted family members.

“He was smelly and loud,” Cervenak-Renteria said, laughing. “When he saw strangers, he would really go nuts. (Geese are) very protective of their yard.”

In 2006, Cervenak-Renteria’s growing family obligations forced her to find a new home for Homer. The goose spent three years at a local aviary. Then in August 2009, the owners, who said they were closing the business, asked the zoo to take him, Clark said.

Since then, Homer has enjoyed a quiet life in the zoo. He has slowed down a lot — his arthritis flares up now and then — and his caretakers built him a ramp so he can get into his wading pool. He loves attention and perks up when he sees visitors. And while the other geese occasionally snap at each other, they always defer to Homer, Clark said.

“He’s the sweetest goose we’ve ever had,” she said.

Two decades after Homer gained fame, Austin still struggles with homelessness. Advocates estimate that 3,500 to 4,000 people are homeless on any given night. But much has been accomplished in terms of housing and services, Gibson said. And Cervenak-Renteria gives a lot of the credit to Homer.

“He humanized homelessness and turned it from a numbers game into a human tragedy,” she said.


He was the prognosticating cephalopod that could, and did. From his cushy tank at the Oberhausen Sea Life aquarium in Germany, the one they called Paul the Psychic Octopus correctly called a fitting eight games in this year's World Cup, including the championship, which was won by Spain. He retired after his perfect run.

I think it’d be cool to have eight arms!!  I could type and eat Fancy Feast and answer the phone and eat Fancy Feast - wow two flavors at once!!!

Well ....  if I could be any animal I want .....  Hmmmm  I think I’d stay a cat.  I think that’s the bestest!!!

I Love YOU and I see you tomorrow,

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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Saturday January 8, Events Cancelled

We are canceling all on site activities for today.  As of 10 am we have about an inch on the ground and it's started snowing again.  The parking lot can get slippery and though you can get IN fine since the driveway is down hill ---  you may be stuck and we have no way to safely tow you out.

Though Rikki's Refuge is a wonderful place to live - you may not want to spend the winter here living in your car!!!

Please check in tomorrow to see if events are canceled or not.

If you're a self service volunteer, with 4 wd, please come out - we're very short staffed.

Thank you!!!!