Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Good Morning Good News !!!! January 18, 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!  Vincent@RikkisRefuge.org

http://bit.ly/VoteVincent   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!

We’re holding steady at 7th on the Planet
with .85% of all votes
COME ON - Let’s move Team Vincent to 6th place !!!
Holding the state of Virginia with
27.39% of the votes
now 5% ahead of the ones hot on our heels
we’ve made the leap
don’t slack up and let us slip into their jaws!

Voting for Vincent is Face Rubbing Good!

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

972 votes as of this morning!
Come on - today is last day of voting
Let’s break 1,000 and make Zoe Queen!

Click Zoe to Vote for Zoe

My Favorite Quote, Today
Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though chequered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory or defeat.            
---Theodore Roosevelt

How you respond to the challenge in the second half will determine what you become after the game, whether you are a winner or a loser.   
---Lou Holtz

If you think you are beaten, you are. If you think you dare not, you don't. If you'd like to win, but think you can't It's almost a cinch you won t. Life's battles don't always go To the stronger or faster man; But soon or late the man who wins is the one who thinks he can.     
---Origin Unknown

Most people give up just when they're about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown.       
---Ross Perot

Non-violence is not inaction. It is not discussion. It is not for the timid or weak... Non-violence is hard work. It is the willingness to sacrifice. It is the patience to win.     
---Cesar Chavez

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.       

Winners never quit and quitters never win!         
----Vince Lombardi


Refuge News
We’re under a light coat of ice this morning. When it melts off a bit more we’ll go pull Valerie’s car away from the tree at the far end of the drive way!  She thinks the only damage is to the license plate.  Paws crossed!

Yesterday, Cindy and Walker came out to volunteer all day and feed and clean everybody at Doggy Downs. 

Bill and Bill worked all day on the Quarantine Building, getting us a step closer to being able to use it.

Christiann donated a dryer, and Dennis and Crystal picked it up and delivered it to Rikki's Refuge.

Oh! This is really funny! Wayne just cleaned and refilled the water bowl in the office. We use one of those self waters, because some of the kitties like to swat the water with their paws and this way they usually don't spill it all out and there's plenty left for everybody.  When it's first put into place, it sort of bubbles and gurgles.  Maybe beauty has never seen this before, but she is attacking the big water bottle and smacking it every time gurgles!

Update on Pegasus
Beth writes in: I was very touched reading about Pegasus from this weekend's VFA spay/neuter clinic.  I have volunteered at the clinic many times.  I was out of town this weekend, so I did not work this clinic. I did not meet Pegasus.  After reading his story, I donated $100 to Rikki's to help with his recovery.  I really hope the poor guy makes it.  It sounds like he's been through a lot in his short life and deserves a chance.  I really wanted to thank you for giving guys like Pegasus a chance.  While I have to tell myself all the time that I can't save them all, it's nice to know there are places like Rikki's that can help save more of them. I'll look forward to reading about his recovery.  Even if he doesn't make it, at least his last days were filled with compassion and a full belly.

Thanks for all you do--
Beth and Louie and Peanut

Tina from Revival Animal Health is sending Pegasus some high calorie nutritional supplements to help with his weight gain.

Beth, Tina, and everybody - we have GOOD NEWS!

Pegasus is doing great so far.  His cold seemed just a minor thing, and though he was and still is being treated with antibiotics, he seems over it.  He's got horrible poos.  It's very soft now instead of liquid.  Probably a load of every worm on the planet.  We'll address that when he's just a bit stronger.  He's eating everything in sight.  Hissing at us but I think will be friendly.  If not, we'll have to decide if he goes back to his colony or stays here in one of our cat houses.  A lot will depend on how rapidly he gains his weight back.  He can't be off the streets very long and keep his winter coat.  He'll start to lose it after two weeks and would need climate control for the rest of winter. 

Mom says: Pegasus reminds me of a guy, Timmy, I once had who'd be 30 this May.  Some of them just stick in your heart forever.  Timmy was one of the very gentle sweet kind never stop purring guys.  I had his brother Danny for only 16 years, he'd been plagued with an unknown health problem from the time he was a year old.  He's the one who I had to learn all about alternative medicine so he could have a good life.  Their sister Rebecca was china doll beautiful, and the worst sprayer you ever met.  I loved her dearly!  She lived to be 20 and Timmy to almost 21.

Pegusus has an almost healed injury to a hind leg.  He may have been so sick with that, it had obviously been horribly infected, that he couldn’t get out to find food for several days or a week.  This may be why he was so emaciated.  As the doctor at the clinic said, “I hope it’s just lack of groceries that caused his emaciated look.” 

Pegasus looking worried, wondering if there are enough groceries for him.

Thanks to Beth, he’s getting lots of groceries now!

Be Pegasus’ HERO and click to help buy him groceries and medicine.   http://www.rikkisrefuge.org/donate.php


For Donations of $25 or more to help Pegasus, I’ll send you an official Pegasus Pill Popper!!!  Just make a comment on your donation and be sure to include your address!  Beth, let me know where to send yours!

Ting Ting Plans an Escape
Ting Ting is a high cat.  High cats like to be as high as they can get.  They are the ones on top of the kitchen cabinets and on top of the refrigerator.  They are the ones always seeking the highest point they can find no matter how precarious. 

Ting Ting loves to climb to the top of shelves, to the top of cages, and perch on the top of doors.

Valerie came in the other day with all kinds of burrs stuck in her hair and all over her sweater.  And carrying Ting Ting on her shoulders.  What happened?

Katarina ran up to close the gate, well, she really drove up. The gate is more than half a mile away from the 9th Life Retirement, Assisted Living and Psychiatric Center.  Ting Ting must've snuck in her car, because when she opened the door at the gate, Ting Tang jumped out.  Katarina could catch her.  So she called Valerie on her cell phone.  Valerie is Rikki's Refuge is very own Cat Whisperer.  Valerie immediately ran up to the gate. 

Ting Ting thought it was a great game and kept running through the woods, up one tree and down another, through the brambles.  Valerie kept up with her and finally convinced her to come jump on her shoulder.

Baby Face Gets a Home

You may remember a couple of weeks ago I mentioned a feral kitty who came from a Speuter Clinic that does side spays, and that they shaved almost half the cat just so they could cut an itty bitty one-inch hole.  We were concerned about what to do, because this is like taking away half of your long underwear, and still expecting you to play outside. 

She was supposed to move into one of our Cat Runs, which has a lot of protection, but does not have additional climate control.  You have to have your winter coat live there.  She did, until so much of it was shaved off.  Now what to do?

A feral kitty would be terribly miserable having to live in a cage until spring.  But letting her go out to a cat run with other feral friends, might make her sick with so much for missing.  Decisions, decisions, decisions.

But she solved the problem all by herself. She's not feral after all!.  She was just a poor scared kitty who walked into a trap.  And now she loves to be held and snuggled.  She's a little girl, probably only six or seven months old. 

Anne comes to wash dishes at least one day a week, and she loves to play with the kitties in the quarantine room, which is where dishes get washed.  She started playing with Baby Face, and they both fell in love.

Very soon, Baby Face will be going home to live with Anne.

Live from Vincent Video
Swimming in an Icy Pool

Meet Helen and Adam

Tails of Trivia
Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian coat of arms for that reason.

Did you know that you can see emus, but not kangaroos, on a tour of Rikki's Refuge? Did you know that during 2011 we are having a tour every Sunday at noon?

Ivory bar soap floating was a mistake. They had been overmixing the soap formula causing excess air bubbles that made it float. Customers wrote and told how much they loved that it floated, and it has floated ever since.

Lots of things that started as a mistake at Rikki's Refuge, turned into great ideas to.  It's been an experiment from day one, learning how to take care of so many different animals of so many different species.  Our visitors are always surprised at how well everybody gets along with each other and how happy everyone is here.

On this Day in
1778 Capt James Cook stumbles over Hawaiian Sandwich Islands.  I wonder if it's any warmer there than it is here. Maybe we better move this Refuge to a nice tropical island!

Music and Motion

Good Times in the News
An important bill is making its way through the Virginia House and Senate. This is a short session so may be rushed through. I am asking all Virginia residents to write their reps about the following:

HB2195 will make devocalization of dogs and cats a felony:

G. Any person, including a licensed veterinarian, who performs a surgical devocalization on a cat or dog when such procedure is not necessary to treat or relieve an illness, disease, or injury or to correct a congenital abnormality that is causing or may cause the animal physical pain or harm, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

H. Any person convicted of violating this section may be prohibited by the court from possession or ownership of companion animals.

§ 54.1-3812.2. Records of devocalization procedures; audit.

Any licensed veterinarian who performs a surgical devocalization on a cat or dog shall keep a record of such procedure for a period of four years, as prescribed by the Board. Such records shall be subject to audit by the Board.

Please email in SUPPORT of this change!

Can a Domestic Cat Be Trained As Well As a Dog?
by April Holladay, HappyNews Columnist
Q: Can a domestic cat be trained as well as a dog? Because, I've tried to train mine without much success...

A: It depends... Certainly we can train some cats as easily as dogs to do certain things, for example, fetch. Some cat breeds (Bengals, Siamese and Burmese) naturally carry objects (like kittens) in their mouths, so they're easy to train. But I know of no breed of cat that leads the blind. Or herds sheep. We have trained and bred dogs for useful work and as companions, so both dogs and humans have adapted to each other. Cats — not so much.

Domestication of dogs
Recent Swedish and Chinese studies suggest humans domesticated dogs about 16,000 years ago in southeastern Asia south of Yangtze River. By "domesticated," I mean the DNA of dogs has changed to adapt to human purposes. Geneticists analyzed genes in the food-to-energy conversion part of animal cells (the mitochondria) of dogs to determine their origin. The researchers studied the genes of about 1,500 dogs from across the Old World. They found that dogs descended from 51 female wolf founders — and discovered clues about ancient human activity.

"The place and time of canine domestication," writes Zhang, "coincide approximately with the origin of rice agriculture, suggesting that the dogs may have originated among sedentary hunter-gatherers or early farmers." Otis, the boxer, for instance, comes from a line of hunting dogs used for centuries in Germany in the pursuit of bear, boar and deer. A boxer's job is to seize the prey in its massive jaws and hold it until the hunters arrive to kill the animal. Over the years, humans selected the best dogs for hunting and those dogs prospered under human care. Thus, a breed with genes programmed for hunting developed.

Domestication of cats
In 2007, researchers examined the mitochondrial genes of about 980 domestic cats and five subspecies of wildcats from three continents to determine when and where humans domesticated cats. The studies showed human association with cats began much more recently than dogs, probably about 9000 years ago as the earliest farmers of the Fertile Crescent [approximately where modern-day Iraq is] domesticated grains and cereals as well as livestock animals.

Cats helped early farmers by killing rodent pests infesting stored grains. You might think people domesticated cats because cats kept the rodent population down. It's more likely, however, we didn't bring cats into our homes, they brought themselves in. Cats like to chase mice; it's instinctive behavior. We never trained cats to hunt rodents. But we did provide a profitable place to hunt: many mice and few predators. So cats domesticated themselves merely by evolving a tolerance for people. "And — voila! — they had adapted to their new niche."

Human communication
Thus, humans have had twice as long to train and communicate with dogs (16,000 years) as cats (9,000 years), so dogs train easier. Moreover, cats started associating with humans doing what they wanted to do — hunt and kill rodents. Whereas, dogs emerged from wolf family packs that hunted together. Dogs have been strongly selected for "an innate ability to learn complicated tasks", such as shepherding, retrieving and guarding, which often require communication with humans, Driscoll says. In contrast, domestic cats do not "intuit the intentions of others" (either human or feline) to the extent that dogs do and that hinders a cat's ability to follow directions.

But cats can communicate with humans just as effectively as dogs, in some situations. If a human points to food, cats can find the food as easily as dogs, for example. In 2005, animal behaviorists studied 24 cats and 21 dogs to see how well the two species could use human cues to find food. Each cat trotted into a bare room containing two pots — one to the left of the animal and one to the right. The human tester kneeled on the floor in front of the cat and pointed to the pot with the food in it. The cat immediately walked to the correct pot and started eating. The same thing happened with each dog. No problem. Miklósi found no significant difference between how the cat and dog groups responded as the humans pointed to the pot containing food.

So next the experimenters hid the food under a stool and tied the food to the stool so the animal could not pull the food out to eat it. The animal's owner stood nearby but did not help. The experimenters did not help either. Instead they watched what the cat or dog did in the presence of his or her owner. They found no significant difference in the time a cat or a dog spent sitting or standing next to hidden food or gazing at it without trying to get the food. But they did notice that cats spent significantly longer times poking at the food, trying to solve the problem, and dogs started looking at their owners for help sooner than cats did and gazed at their owners for longer durations. Also, dogs looked at the inaccessible food and then at the owner and back at the food more frequently than cats did. It was as if the dog was saying, "The food's there, pal, but I can't get it; help me." Whereas, the cat, used to hunting by itself in the wild, tried to solve the problem not expecting help from the human.

This is not to say cats don't bond with humans. They do. Bengal cats often follow their human companions around from room to room. Miklósi thinks the dog eye-contact is a reason people find dogs easier to train than cats. On the other hand, cats rarely look at people for help in solving a problem. "Although both species show evidence of flexible learning, in general dogs seem to be much easier to train," Miklósi says. Because training animals involves many communicative signals (gazing, verbalization, etc.) and relies on a similar type of "feedback", dogs have a "natural advantage" by using frequent eye contacts, Miklósi says. Otis, the boxer, finally went after the stick in deep water after a backward gaze to his owner. He knew then, he was on the right track.

Duke and Vincent’s Trip to Cod
Cod is a whimisical town where the animals of facebook who’ve taken on hooman personas live.  Wayne Morris is your artist and architect of Cod.  And now .....  your log awaited trip ....  we take you to Cod .....   I hope you enjoy your journey!

Duke: This seems Nice, Where are WE?
Vincent: Duke, This is Cod. Fantastic Little Town!

Duke: NICE!
Vincent: Animals Rule here, Like our Refuge..

Duke: This is a pretty Cool Place, I’m HUNGRY!
Vincent: So am I Duke, But first We must try to get Votes.

Oh Daddy, Mr. Computer Genius, how can I get the resolution good enough so you can see the print?  Check flickr it's good there.

Remember: Votes DO save lives!
Rikkis Refuge, Orange, VA, USA

Peace and Love to You

Help me run the refuge! 

PS You tell me what you want!  Email me at Vincent@RikkisRefuge.org 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 http://bit.ly/Give-a-gift-to-Rikkis 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.