Monday, January 17, 2011

Good Morning Good News !!!! January 17, 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!

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!

Team Vincent, you moved us to #7 Planet Wide
with 0.86% of all votes and
#1 in Virginia with 27.36 % of the votes
almost 5% ahead of the competition
come on ...  we can pull ahead
don’t let them nip me on the heels

A little birdie is telling you to vote!

Bissell MVP Contest
Vote daily thru Tuesday January 18th for Zoe Marie Spumoni
Running on behalf of Rikki’s Refuge
quick, simple, free
Your daily vote could win up to $10,000 for Rikki’s Refuge

sitting at 738 Votes this morning
Vote Vote Vote
we’ve only got today and tomorrow
let’s get her to 1,000 votes
come on Team Vincent
YOU can do it !!!
 Click on Zoe's picture to Vote for Zoe

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.  ---Anais Nin

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  ---Eleanor Roosevelt

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.  ---Ambrose Redmoon

Some days when I pick out my quotes for the day, it seems like the first one is great, but the next one is even stronger and the third is really so true and ......   

Refuge News
WOW WEE it’s been so busy at the refuge I didn’t even get time to talk to you yesterday. 

Laurie came out.  She’d donated these wonderful split buckets that can hang over a fence.  They are absolutely fabulous for carrying supplies for working and cleaning around.  Thank you!  Laurie is our Director of Festivals and Events for 2011.  All kinds of fun things, like Pet Fiesta, Wine Festivals and so on.  If you’d like to help out and volunteer at these events, contact Laurie at

Autumn-Sky came and brought dishwashing liquid she got for FREE.  You can do that too.  Want to know her secret??  She had a coupon for 50 cents off.  The store was having a Double your Coupons.  She found a little bottle for 99 cents that qualified.  So with the coupon it was free!!!  She had several coupons so was able to get a whole bag full of bottles!!!  That’s a lot of dishes we can wash. 

And it’s not just dishwashing liquid you can get for free.  Save those coupons, watch the sales, wait for double your coupon and WHAM you can get all kinds of things for free.  Cat food, dog food, bleach, dishwashing  liquid, floor cleaners, laundry detergent, trash bags, paper towels, spray bottles (best way to buy them is with product in them).

Somebody recently asked why I’m not begging for cat litter.  We had a huge donation a couple months ago and we’re doing fine in that department.  We need the NUMS !!!!!

Adam and Helen came out and washed the huge pile of dishes.  They’d brought fruits and veggies for the Rabbit s and Guinea Pigs and while up there feeding them, they also cleaned Rabbit Rotunda.  Any help feeding and cleaning is always a big help.  it’s a little less my hooman staff has to do so then they have time to try and catch up on their long long list of TO DO.

Angela and Mariza came out.

Fred came out and brought donations he’d collected in the Northern Virginia area.  

Jan came out and brought detergent and bleach and paper towels. 

Mary came out and sorted the mail and worked on all the paper work that generates and logged checks and got the donations into the bank so I can turn them into Fancy Feast.  She takes care of most of the Business stuff and is the one you’re often talking to on the phone too. 

Ron stopped in and picked up the mail coming thru Orange.  He enjoys doing lots of kitty loving.  This is Betty getting loved.

Barbara volunteered at the Voices for Animals Feral Cat Speuter Clinic in Charlottesville.  Pegasus was a black and white kitty who’d been trapped and brought in.  He was looking down.  Terribly skinny, I mean terribly, hips sticking out.  Gooey on his eyes and nose.  Lungs ok but icky cold and snotty.  Injured hind foot.  He was under anesthesia and they decided to put him to sleep because in his condition he couldn’t go back to his feral colony.   Barbara began to cry and said, the poor guy, he’s been starving.  Is it right to just kill him cuz he’s had no food?  Can’t we try to save him?  Doesn’t he at least deserve a chance?  She called mom real quick and said can Rikki’s try? 

Yes, we would try!!  Sometimes you can’t win.  But lots of time if you really try, you can.  And we are going to give Pegasus the best try we can. 

Ron, who was out working, dropped what he was doing and rushed off to Charlottesville to pick Pegasus up.  Mom and Lena were very anxious for him to hurry hurry and get back so they could access poor Pegasus and get to work saving him.  When he arrived two hours later, he was still a bit unconscious from the anesthesia.  His heart seemed a bit faint.  So they held him and warmed him up and rubbed him, and soon he began to wake up.  Mom talked to the doc who was working at the clinic and got Pegasus started on meds. 

Eating, tlc and just nursing care is what the poor buy needed.  He’s not very old either.  By 6 pm he was awake and starting to eat.  He’s eating canned food like he’ll never see any more.  Poor baby.  As of right now it sure looks like he’s going to be just fine.  He’s hissing a little bit but mom doesn’t think he’s really feral.  Just scared. 

Please help up save Pegasus. I think together we can do it.  We’ll give him the care and the tlc and medicine and all the food he can eat.  I need YOU to buy him food and medicine and help us save him.  Will you help Pegasus?  Be a STAR - click the star to help.

Thank you Dr. Caroline Prior for volunteering at the Voices for Animals Feral Cat Speuter Clinic and for being in favor of trying to save Pegasus.  Thank you Voices for Animals for running such a wonderful Speuter Clinic.

Bob picked up a dog house someone donated and brought it out.  It’s the coolest, most unique dog house you’ve ever seen.

You’re really sure that’s a dog house?  The kitties .......

Here’s Bob live on Vincent Video explaining the origin of the dog house!

It’s real heavy and took lots of folks to unload!  Rarely do you get more than one episode of Vincent Video in a day, but today, you’re in luck!

Bob also brought out bags and bags of doggy nums!

Cindy came out with her car teeming full of cat food and supplies. She worked all day Saturday and is coming out again today cuz it’s a holiday.  She took care of all the doggies and was a docent on Saturday and helped with lots of chores and unloading and putting away donations. 

Thank you to all the folks who came to drop something off during Donation Drop Off hours on Saturday.  Donation Drop Off is every Saturday from noon - 2 pm.

Rikki’s Refuge is a great place to do Community Service.  Two teens are working on fulfilling some hours and Katarina led them thru many chores.  Many High Schools require Community Service now as part of the curriculum of raising socially conscious individuals.  It counts for lots of points on College Applications too.  Some work places give a day or two a year paid leave to their staff to do Community Service.  And of course minor offenses are often assigned community service in court.  Check in first if you need to do court ordered Community Service, depending on the nature of the offense, you may be able to do it at Rikki’s.  Any one who’s committed any form of animal abuse, hooman abuse or violent acts cannot volunteer at Rikki’s, Community Service or not.

One of the teen boys doing Community Service has his dad pick him up in the afternoon.  He gave his dad a quick tour of the Refuge and he was so impressed he wants to volunteer too!

The first time you visit you’ll have to read over the rules and regs and fill out a form stating that you agree and that you fit in certain guidelines.

And speaking of another kind of Community Service, Jan is now supporting 29 classrooms around the country who receive Kind News.  Kind News is a monthly publication that arrives to sponsored classrooms monthly with an issues for each child and a special teaching edition for the teacher.  These classrooms are headed up by  teachers who’ve made the commitment to teach Humane Education to their kids and who follow the guides and outlines and study sessions in Kind News!

David and his brother (I’m sorry my little kitty brain forgot your name) worked on Rabbit Rotunda II roof.  That’s all that’s left to finish this wonderful project!!! 

Several pigeons are hoping to move into Rabbit Rotunda II when it’s finished.  Five doves have been living in a cage inside the 9th Life Center and are really looking forward to getting out and spreading their wings.  Though they won’t be able to move until spring when it warms up since they’ve been living in a climate controlled area over the winter.

The waiting list of rabbits and guinea pigs who wan to move in has gotten long since the original Rabbit Rotunda filled to capacity.  Most of them are living in little hutches or small aquariums now and will be so happy to get to come to Rikki’s Refuge and have so much freedom and running and playing space they’ll think they moved to the jungle!

Dennis came out with lots of food for the Piggy Paradise.  Along with the REACH kids, a special program for special needs kids, he recycles school cafeteria food for the animals.  So much salad and fruits and veggies. They separate the food groups by dietary requirements for the different animals.

Jan and Larry, Rikki’s Original Sweethearts, celebrated their 11th Anniversary on Saturday!!!  They made very generous donations in honor of each other and their time together!!!  Wait till you see what they have coming for Valentine’s Day !!!   Stay tuned .....

Katarina led volunteers on Saturday, worked with volunteers and lead a tour on Sunday and will be working with volunteers today.

Ken came out with fruits and veggies for the bunnies and guinea pigs.  And with the CD of the TV program that ran just before Christmas.  We’d all been waiting and holding our breath to see it.  Autumn-Sky and James were the hoomans on the show and Anya, Peppers and Peter were the animal representatives.  I worked for hours trying to down load it yesterday and it was about ¾ of the way done and my paw hit something wrong and it went kaput!  So I’ll try again when I have the chance to get to high speed.

Here’s Timmy watching it on my puter.

Ken earned his Docent Badge now so you’ll see him from time to time on Saturday during Donation Drop Off, noon - 2 pm.  Ken helped a nice couple who came out to donate some funds and supplies.  They friends, Don and Libby, had told them about Rikki’s Refuge.  Don and Libby first learned of Rikki’s from a story in the Free Lance Star in 2005 and have been supporters ever since.  Make sure you tell your friends!  I bet you have several friends who don’t even know about Rikki’s Refuge and I bet they’d love to make our dream a reality!!  So tell your friends!

Paul came out and helped with Docent duties.  He’s an official Docent too .  Candy wasn’t feeling well so she couldn’t come out.  Get well quick Candy!!

Rene is working on some more cat nesting boxes for the cat houses.  She delivered a new one, which met Vincent’s approval!

Rene brought mom fudge on Saturday and banana bread on Sunday.  He he he mom’s gonna get fat like me and then she can’t tease me no more!

Cassie and Sydney are Bob Wallace’s little nieces and he’s told them all about Rikki’s Refuge.  They saved up their money and made pretty envelopes and each sent $25 to Rikki’s.  Wasn’t that sweet?
bob and cards

Barbara brought a whole suv full of all kinds of supplies.  From cleaning things, to food, to brochure holders. 

Mary Ellen and David stopped in.

Grace and Toni came out to volunteer and help with the Sunday Tour.  Tour every Sunday at Noon this year!!  Grace joined Teen Care last summer and really stood out as a leader.  She’s been a tremendous help to us animals.  She’s a Docent and a Tour Guide and knows how to take care of most all the animals!

Lloyd stopped by and brought newspapers for the cages.

Bill checked out the work that is still needed in the Quarantine Building before we can actually use it for animals.  He’s picking up some supplies and will be working on it today!!  Yipppee - we can’t wait till it’s done.  Then the current Quarantine Room will move to the new Quarantine Building and Medical Treatment will move to the old Quarantine Room and then Medical Treatment will become Old Dogs!!!!  It’s always a shuffling act at Rikki’s!!  Oh if only we has SO much more space!!


Mom discovered something new.  Kenobi eats so fast that she throws up.  Always.  Mom is now putting her food in this special ice cube tray.  It’s got little itty bitty sections, so Kenobi has to work at getting it out.  Now it takes her a long time to eat her breakfast and she has fun trying to get every last drop and she doesn’t throw up!

Live from Vincent Video
Meet Randolph the Rooster

Fun and Inspiring

Tails of Trivia
A male kangaroo is called a boomer, and a female is called a flyer.

Cats can produce over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs can only produce about ten.

January 16th was Appreciate A Dragon Day!

Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706

Music and Motion

Great Purrchases / Donations
Food Lion has a sale on 16 pound Purina Dry Cat Foods for $9.99.  Grab a coupon and go shopping.  Grab it while you can.  We’re starting to see 13 pound bags for the price of 16 pounds and fear they are downsizing again.  This may be a clearance on the 16 pound bags.  Boooo Boooo  Cat Food has already doubled in price in the last tow years.  More money per bag and less food in it.  HELP - grab while the grabbing’s good!!

Dear Vincent
Why can’t you take one more cat?
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: My friend tried to get a cat into Rikki's and was told there was no room. How can you have free-roaming cats and not have room for just one more? Who decided which animals get to come to Rikki's?   Pete

ANSWER: Pete, I so wish we could take in every animal, cat and others, who needed a home.  That’s the hardest part of being here, knowing there are so many more that need our help. 

There are “legal limits” on how many animals can be in how big of a space and all kinds of rules like that.  There are practical limits too.  When animals, hoomans included, are crowded they get mean and they get sick and they have all kinds of problems.  It might not be too bad if you had to live in a cage for a few days or weeks till you got a forever home.  But at Rikki’s Refuge most of our animals will live the rest of their natural lives.  So they have to have lots or comfortable space so they stay healthy and happy.

When we can afford to build more housing and we have the money to take care of the new housing and the animals that will live in it - we will.  It’s sad that it all comes down to money.  We have room to build lots and lots more housing.  Before we can build it, we must know that we have enough money coming in every day, this year and next and forever to feed, and medicate and provide care to it’s residents.  It we be a really bad disaster to build houses, let critters move in and then find out there was no money to feed them or care for them when they were sick. 

We do have a lot of land.  And a lot of space to run around in.  Yet everybody who’s allowed to run around, also has a housing area.  They can’t just come here and then be off to the woods to take care of themselves.  So there has to be room for them too.  And they have to be fed and taken care of, and if they get sick we have to pay their bills. 

The intake committee of hoomans decide how many of what species can come.  They want to let everybody in too, but they know if they do, it would eventually mean no food or care for any of us and then we’d all die.  And so when somebody wants to come, they look at space first and say, “where will they live?”  Then they look at the budget real carefully, dividing up for everybody, and seeing if there’s enough left over to pay the bills for a new resident.  And when there is - somebody gets to come!!

Upcoming Events

11 am - 3 pm   LEE / JACKSON / KING DAY, the animals come first!  Bring yummy winter treats and help fluff up warm winter bedding

I Love YOU,

Click on the star to show your support!

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