Sunday, January 09, 2011

Good Morning Good News !!!! January 9, 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!

Today, I’m dreaming of my goals
If one advances confidently in the direction of their goals and endeavors to live the life that they have imagined, they'll meet with success unexpected in common hours.  ---Henry David Thoreau

Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.  ---Louis Pasteur

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.  ---Thomas Jefferson

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.  ---Henry Ford

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.  ---Confucius

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution.  Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.  ---Thomas A. Edison

My Goals for 2011
Rabbit Rotunda II finished
Quarantine Building finished
Cat Houses #1 Extension and Adoption area finished
Dog Trailer repairs
Roof repairs on the Tool Trailer and Gift Shop
Maintenance on Cat Runs (gates, latches, etc)
            Dog Clubhouses (roofs) and Fences (incomplete sections)
            Temporary Runs (roofs, gates, latches)
New Medical Treatment Room set up
Conversion of Old Medical Treatment Room
Outside Electrical System upgraded and usable May
Elderly Dog House built next to the 9th Life Center
Livestock Hospital Room built next to the 9th Life Center
Aviary with Pond built next to CH#10
Current Aviary converted to Cat House
Barn shelter built in Bovine Boulevard
Additional 9th Life Space
Generator Safe House near the 9th Life Center
Gutters and Downspouts on the 9th Life Center

Refuge News
Yesterday morning I said, “Morning everybody !!!! Tell me where you are - do we stretch all the way around the world?”
And this is how they responded!
Pookie - Naperville, IL which is about 35 miles west of Chicago!!
Cathy - I'm in East Haven, Connecticut. ♥
Wally - Sydney, Australia!!
David - Woburn, MA. A suburb of Bah-ston.
RoseMarie - Spotsylvania, VA..right in your "backyard", Vincent!
Jeff - i am in southern England :)
Lesley - London
Joyce - Southeastern New Hampshire - about 11 miles from the coast.
Will - Champaign, Illinois, USA!
Senniug - England/Wales border!
Erin - Lowell, MA- about 2 miles from NH & 30 miles north of Boston
Amilyn - Kershaw, South Carolina, USA
Jacki - New Mexico
Badger - Tunbridge Wells Kent UK
Kate - Hertfordshire, England
Brenda - Dolgellau, North Wales,we are 2 Torties,3 white and blacks,1 ginger and white and one scruffy long hair tabby and white =^..^= x
Bast - Brisbane, Australia. And no, i'm not in the flooded area, I'm about 300mi south of one lot, and 300mi east of the other
Loretta - Maynard MA
Grace - Marquette, Michigan, USA
Ann-Karin - Lesvos, Greece
Mandy  - Or, Fort Worth, TX. :P
Charlie - Cheshire, UK.
Heather - Charlotte, NC
Kelly - Coveney Cambridge, MA right near Harvard University
Deb - a snowy, 16 F degrees here in Michigan
Candis - Michigan- 16 degrees and snow.
Mandy - Fort Worth, TX
George - london !
Scott - an american cat, dog, man, and woman in athens greece!
Donna - Chicago, IL

Yesterday morning there was a very light dusting of snow on the ground.  Then about 7 am there was a near blizzard, the snow falling so fast and in such huge flakes you could hardly see ten feet away.  The two big white snow doggies, KiKi and Beauty, were so happy!  They were running and playing and rolling and sliding all in the snow.  When it suddenly stopped at 7:30 am with only an inch of accumulation they were really disappointed.  They’re crazy - they just love that cold icky snow!

Despite the on again and off again snow yesterday and canceling all the scheduled events, we had lots of wonderful help.  Lena was away on vacation visiting her parents.  Wayne was stuck in his driveway and couldn’t get to work till 12:30. 

Starting at 7:30 in the morning, freezing and with snow falling on their heads, Katarina, Kathy, Kim, Melissa, Alan, Bob, Toni, Grace, Gabe, Alex, Chris and MJ began picking pumpkins and loading the trucks.

Bob was the first to show up with a huge trailer load of pumpkins.  And he brought back the generator he repaired!!  Thank you BOB!!!  Cindy was the next to arrive, of course with helper Walker.  They cleaned up Doggy Downs and then helped with other chores.  Next they went shopping cuz we were out of laundry detergent and paper towels and they got other goodies too!  Next came Katarina with a truck load of pumpkins.  She was soaked to the skin.  She went home to change and then out to the turnip field to dig and load trucks.  Melissa was next down the driveway with a load of pumpkins along with Alan in another full truck.  Dennis was next with a trailer of food from Spotsylvania school cafeteria.  Geeezzzz  look at all this food coming and none for me.....  no Fancy Feast!

Next came MJ with truck full of pumpkins.  I hope I have this in order right, I keep asking Beauty to it all down and she keeps forgetting.  She’s so busy wagging tail and hoping for a treat.  Ron arrived with the mail he’d picked up in town and with a donation of trash bags.  He ran over to the Orange County Animal Shelter to pick up some extra doggy toys and treats!!!  Mary came in to do computer work and office stuff.  And a different Mary stopped off to make a donation and leave six kitty beds!!!  Well, finally something for ME!!!!

Rene stopped in to show us two more cat boxes she made for feral kitties.  A yellow one and a pink one.  Meanwhile Melissa, Alan and Katarina were digging up turnips and loading their trucks.  And then the turnip trucks began to roll in!  Melissa brought a truck full of the biggest turnips you’ve ever seen.  And MJ brought a truck full too!  Katarina took her’s home cuz she had another event she had to get to.  She’ll be out with them in the morning in time for the tour at noon!  And then in the dark of the night Mariza came to bring mom dinner.  WOW what a busy day!

Daisy, a Rikki’s Alumni

Daisy is celebrating 2 years today of being a part of our family.  She is not crazy about having her picture taken . . . she is a happy girl otherwise!!  ---Pat Phelps

Live from Vincent Video
Meet Sean
Sean works here every day except Monday and Tuesday.  He’s training to be a 9th Life Specialist and learning all about our special needs for feeding and care.

Tails of Trivia
January 9th is International Word Nerd Day

The longest word in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. The only other word with the same amount of letters is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconioses, its plural.

The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.

Music and Motion

Good Times in the News
Antelope in Grace

An afterthought detour to higher elevations at the end of a hectic day of chasing human activity during a Hill Country snowfall brought this serene nature view. In a secluded area, two antelope, seemingly content with the freezing air and continuing precipitation, made no effort to bolt from intrusion. Instead, they happily and quietly pranced about, inviting participation in their delight. The animals seemed to laugh at the ridiculously hurried photographer, burdened with equipment and strained from a day of point-to-point scrambling for snow pictures. Why would anybody want to be anywhere else today? The sublime appreciation for such a day is found way up on a ridge’s high crest, where creatures don’t worry about traffic and frozen pipes and late school buses.
By Tom Reel/

9 Species That Returned From Extinction in 2010
or believed extinction

Sierra Nevada Red Fox
One such species was the Sierra Nevada red fox. It was thought extinct until U.S. Forest Service biologists captured photos of the fox with a camera trap in 2010. Researchers also took DNA samples of saliva pulled from a bait bag the fox bit into to experts at the University of California, Davis. Lab tests proved that the Sierra Nevada red fox was back.

Giant Palouse Earthworm
The elusive Palouse earthworm was legendary across the Great Plains of the United States. Since the first reports in 1800s rumors about the worm proliferated, even as the population made a dramatic decline.

People said that it spit in self defense. They said it smelled like lilies when handled. They said it grew to be over three feet long. They said it was extinct. But a discovery of the Giant Palouse Earthworm dispelled all of these myths—and has helped researchers and conservationists gain basic knowledge about the species that may be essential for its survival.

Horton Plains Slender Loris
After it had disappeared from 1939 to 2002, conservationists thought this little mammal was extinct.

But the Horton Plains slender loris, photographed for the first time in 2010 by the Zoological Society of London's EDGE project, had indeed survived. There have only been four documented sightings of the small, reclusive primate since 1937.

Ghost Orchid
The ghost orchid, a rare plant named for its almost transparent flowers and habit of hiding underground for years, was been found again in the UK after being declared extinct there in 2005.

The small flower does not rely on photosynthesis for sustenance and instead lives in symbiosis with an underground fungus that supplies nutrients. This allows the plant to survive underground for years without blooming.

Black Kokanee Salmon
In 1940, a hydroelectric dam was constructed in northern Akita Prefecture, Japan. The project, it was known at the time, would destroy the only native habitat of the black kokanee salmon by making the waters too acidic for the fish to survive. Still, developers went ahead with their plans.

70 years later, a small population of the extremely rare fish was discovered in nearby Saiko Lake, pictured here.

Gray Whale
Thanks to overfishing, the gray whale became extinct in the North Atlantic in the 18th century. In May 2010, however, it made a reappearance in the Mediterranean. Spotted off the coast of Israel, the whale would have had to have made a record migration to reach this area from extant groups in the North Pacific.

Yellow Spotted Bell Frog
Thought to be extinct for more than 30 years, the yellow spotted bell frog was rediscovered in Australia in March 2010. Found along a creek bed on private property, the owner of the frog's only known habitat is working with conservation officials to ensure the species' survival.

Short Tailed Albatross
In just a few short decades, the short tailed albatross declined from a population of millions, at the beginning of the 20th century, to suspected extinction in the 1940s. Years later, small nesting populations—thought to be as small as 10 individuals—were found on remote islands in the Pacific.

In 2010, the first nests on US soil since "extinction" were discovered.

Rosser's Sac Spider
Originally discovered in the 1950s, the Rosser's sac spider was elusive—evading even a photograph—until 10 years ago when sightings stopped completely. With its wetland habitat shrinking, researchers and enthusiasts feared that the spider may have gone extinct.

A sighting of the spider in 2010 not only provided proof of its existence, it suggested that the population may be healthier than anyone imagined.

Sac spiders like Clubiona trivialis, seen here, make up a large and diverse family of spiders.

Dear Vincent
what can I expect at Rikki’s?
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: I am thinking of coming to take a tour of Rikki's and wanted to know exactly what your facilities are like. I'll be driving a couple hours to get to your place, so I specifically wanted to know if you have things like a bathroom and snack machines available?  Sally

ANSWER: Hi Sally!  I sure hope you do decide to come visit me.  And bring me an offering of Fancy Feast.  Life at Rikki’s Refuge is still very basic.  So far all the improvements and luxuries that have been added have been geared towards us animals and our care and comfort.  We have lots of litterboxes and they get cleaned twice a day, so the potty facilities are great! 

What? Oh that’s right, you’re hooman!!  Sorry, I forgot.  For your type we have the great outdoors!  Or if you’re more conservative Larry’s Loo.  The purrfect place to potty if you’re hooman.  Our porta potty, which is provided for your pottying comfort is provided by Larry!!  And it’s kept clean every week by Jones’ Johns.  Just last week a lady said, “That’s the cleanest porta potty I’ve ever seen!”   Our septic tank and field are old and we have to be very careful so there are no problems, so all the hoomans use the porta potty. 

My mom is my snack machine!  She gets those thumbs cranking and opens Fancy Feast for me and my friends.  I can share with you!  We have a 260 foot well that has nice clean water so you can fill a bottle for drinking.  

If you had something more modern in mind, like flush potty, or chips or candy or soda or juice, please stop in at the BP station and convenience store at the corner of 522 and 20.  We don’t have any soda machines or anything like that.  We don’t yet have any indoor space for hoomans.  Our hospital and 9th Life Center are the only indoor areas, so expect to be outside and rustic!


 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