Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Good Morning Good News !!!! June 21, 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

Today is Dedicated to my mom’s friend 
Kathy Russell and her family.

I’m going to let mom tell the story.

A very dear friend of mine lost her mother yesterday.  Moms are hard to lose.  We only get one.   I guess it happens to all of us sooner or later.  And it's still tough.  Real tough.  Lots of love and prayers to my friend Kathy today.  Please include her family in your prayers.

Meeting my dear friend Kathy, 30+ years ago, involved one of the most humiliating experiences of my live.  Fortunately, what could have been a ruination to a new friendship probably helped cement the deal. 

Teddy the Cactus Pooper (I'm using polite terms since this is family reading) lived with me at the time.  He’d come to spend his last few months, which turned into years, after being returned to the group I worked with because he developed thyroid cancer.  A skinny old man who now needed surgery, the folks who’d adopted him years before no longer wanted him, the organization didn’t have the money to cover the surgery and he wasn’t supposed to live long after it anyway, so was his life worth saving?   His destiny was sealed - his life doomed.

I saw life in his eyes and I knew he wanted another chance.  And so Teddy came to live with Fred and me.  He had surgery, did very well, and despite a few oddities - probably not caused by the surgery - he lived several very happy years.

Teddy had a thing about cactuses.  He loved to poop on them.  At the time, I was young, and relatively new into rescue, and I still had plants all over my house, great big potted plants, hanging plants, you name it, my house was full of plants.  As the population of cats increased, the population of healthy living plants decreased.  Cats would dig in the big potted plants, chew off the leaves, swing from the macramé hangers.  

Remember the days when anybody who was anybody made macramé plant hangers in their spare time?  Remember the days when anybody had spare time?  Though my life as cat (and other animal) rescuer is much more hectic than my life as basket weaver was, I have to say I’m much happier and much more fulfilled knowing I’m saving lives every day.  Though there are some days I'd like to revert to basket weaving.

This frail old gray and white kitty, Teddy, would climb up into 4 inch pots in macramé hangers and dangle over them to poop on the cactus spines.  I’m sure I had the only house in America, maybe the world, gee probably the universe, with cactuses in little pots hanging all over my house, with cat poo on top!!!!   I never did figure out how he could do this over and over without getting spines in his butt.

If only little video cameras and YouTube had been around back then!

Teddy was also a vegetarian.  He hated cat food.  He loved things like cheese and tomato sauce and corn.  Teddy loved Pizza.  When my son was a young teenager he’d be so embarrassed to bring his friends home.  We’d call out for a pizza for the boys and Teddy got first dibbs to eat all the cheese and lick off all the pizza sauce he wanted first.  My son got a reputation around school, “see if you can get an invite to Jimmy's house, you gotta meet his crazy parents.”  

Remember that time in your life when there is nothing more embarrassing than having anybody know who your parents are?  Even if they are quite normal.  Poor Jimmy, what he had to grow up with!

Teddy spent 98.7% of his life in front of the refrigerator screaming at the top of his lungs.  We kept an assortment of sliced cheese for him to eat.  Very seriously, he would not eat meat.  No cat food, no tuna, not even Fancy Feast. 

You’re probably thinking that the first day Kathy came over we called out for pizza.  But no, I didn’t even know her that well.  She was bringing a kitty over that she’d rescued and I was going to foster it for the group I (soon it would become we) worked with.   Kathy and I were sitting in the family room chatting, we were about the same age, had many of the same likes and dislikes and had a lot in common.  We were hitting it off real nice. 

When, in strolls Teddy, who assesses the situation, says MEROOOWWW, looks Kathy in the eye, says Merooowww, lifts his tail and pees right into her open purse sitting on the floor next to her.  I mean hosed, he totally unloaded.  He never sniffed it once first.  How he even knew he was in place for the hit I’ll never know.  It seemed he totally ignored the purse.  Caught her full attention.  And then wham or psssssss I should say.

I about died, how could Teddy have done this!  Teddy wasn’t a sprayer.  Only on rare occasions would he do such a thing.  Maybe Teddy was claiming Kathy as his fast and forever friend.  She sure became mine.

As I was stumbling with apologizes and so upset, Kathy began to laugh.  She went to the sink and dumped out her purse and rinsed off what she could.  It always gave us something to laugh about when folks would say, so where’d you meet????

You know those few and far between friends you have in your life, the really special ones, the ones that you may be out of touch with for a few years and then when you talk again, it’s like you were just sitting around chatting last week?   That’s the kind of friend Kathy is.

I remember one Christmas, one great big huge Christmas at my house.  Back then we did a big thing for Christmas.  Jimmy was little and still enchanted by Christmas and by wrapping and opening presents.  All the family came to our house - despite the growing number of cats who kept climbing Christmas trees and knocking them over.  We’d have several Christmas trees (from the days Fred and I loved auctions, definitely not enough cats to keep us busy in those days) and each tree would have a theme, like, for example, something like Cats.  Did you guess?  Then all presents under that tree would have to be cat related.  Sometimes even cats!  There’d be a house tree and all presents relating to house stuff, fix ‘em up things and so on.  And the Sailing and Scuba Diving tree, and so on.  

Gosh I must regress.  This animal thing is a serious inherited disease that runs in my family.  For my son's graduation from 8th grade we bought him a little sailboat all his own.  He could  tow it behind my dad's boat in the summer and then go off and explore deserted islands all by himself.  We also adopted a foster cat, Jake, a big fat bobtail boy who nobody else wanted.  He'd been a foster for months and it was going no where.  Jimmy was begging us to adopt him.  And so for graduation we made him close his eyes and took him out to see his new sail boat with a big red ribbon tied around it.  Jake was sitting in the cockpit with a big red bow around his neck.  

When Jimmy opened his eyes he screamed in delight and ran to Jake and said "oh you're mine you're mine I love you!"  After a bit Fred said, "Jimmy, did you see what Jake was sitting on?"  OH !!!!  Then he noticed his sailboat!!!

One year before Christmas Kathy’s behavior got very odd.  She’d come over to visit and love hanging out half way under the couch getting to know my real skittish kitties Elizabeth and Pumpkin.  She’d always loved my kitties but this was getting a bit nutty.  Trust me, just a bit nutty.  She was like family and came and went as she please and several times I came home to find half of her sticking out from under the couch.  Oh well ...  we all have our eccentricities don’t we?

On Christmas day that year, Kathy apologized for not having much money and for “only” being able to give me a painting of my cats.  All thirteen of my cats on a canvas looking just like themselves.  From mean slapping Kasha to skinny Teddy.  Of all the gifts I got that Christmas and maybe any Christmas ever, that was the most touching and most meaningful ever.  Kathy is a fabulous artist and really captured everybody’s purrsonality purrfectly.  And that’s why she’d spent so much time getting to know Elizabeth and Pumpkin under the couch!

Well Fred, I bet you’re glad I’ve got to get back to work and turn this back over to Vincent before I tell the Christmas story about the 89 gifts.  If you have a chance take a picture of Kathy’s painting of our kitties and zap it to me.  I’ll put it in here tomorrow.

Kathy took this photo of Mom and her brother patting Josephine, shortly before Josephine swallowed mom’s arm, camera and flashlight.  All were recovered with no injury to Josephine.  While the spectators were laughing so hard their masks filled with water, mom vanished.  Their next thought was, “Oh my did Josephine go back for seconds?” and they got worried and started searching.  It was a long time before anybody came to the surface, assuming mom was gone forever, to find her sitting in the dinghy.  She’d shot out of the water so fast nobody saw her go.  Diving in salt water was very painful for the next several days till the wounds that were like kitten claws raked up and down her arm, had healed over.  Mom has since learned to leave wild animals alone!  That was what she called her Summer of Wild Animals when she just had to pat a puma, a morray eel and then Josephine.  I’m glad Josephine stopped her from going on the Pat the Wolf Sled Adventure.  Maybe it’s a good thing mommey has no more money (we used it all up) to go on her so called “exciting adventures”!!!

Ok we’re on for the show!!!!  We’ll be there, just east of Lake of the Woods on Route 3, 8 am till 3 pm.  And I’ll be there for kisses and hugs from 10 am - 12 pm.  Please help us!!!   Got things to donate?  Come and buy!  Come and kiss me!!!!   Mom will be on hand with her camera.  A $20 donation will get your picture with me, an 8 x 10 full color copy mailed to you!!!!

More from Rabbit Rotunda II!!!!
Mickey and Maverick move in
And go Swimming

Yesterday you saw how Miss Pitty Pat was a bit flustered in her new home.  Well now she’s loving those deep pools and is swimming and swimming!!!!


Help me keep this wonderful Refuge running! 

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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.

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