Saturday, January 21, 2017



Ohhhh I've got a sad so BIG .... so so BIG .... so so so BIG ...... Duke .... sobs into fur .... Duke ..... we've played arch nemesis-es for years ... but together, at home, when nobody is looking, we've been best of friends and really working together to run Rikki's .... even though I HAD to win Cats vs Dogs every year ... I love you .... I respected you ... I valued your knowledge and your wisdom .... and Duke ... you were always so totally unfailingly kind and gentle .... even when I wanted to scratch somebody's eyes out .... you were the voice of reason .... how oh how can I go on without you at my side ...... Oh Duke ....... I've been watching your face turn white ..... and one of these years I was gonna let you win Cats vs Dogs .... can you come back and I'll let you win for 2017 ? Oh Duke ...... I'll always love you, Opie.

and advocate for the blind.  He taught many children and adults over the years that being disabled does not mean you cannot make a difference.

About 10 years ago, Duke appeared out of nowhere. He was about 7-months old, wearing a collar and a leash and bumbling about aimlessly. Nobody stepped forward and claimed to be his friend. He was born with undeveloped eyes making him virtually blind. As the majority of the world is sighted, it was decided that one who was not, had no value to society, and did not deserve even the chance of finding a home and someone to love him.

Thankfully, someone intervened, and he came to Rikki's Refuge. Loving, trusting, the sweetest, most gentle personality you will ever meet, Duke joined our program to help others appreciate the disabled.

He loved to go on walks, and would keep his head close to your knee to know which direction to turn. Blindness wasn't the only challenge handed out to Duke, he also has a bleeding disorder, something similar to hemophelia and must be very careful how hard would play, as well as a seizure disorder which required homeopathic medication twice a day.

In a nutshell, this boy of ours was amazing.

Rest in peace, Duke.
Your donation in Memory of Beloved Duke will help other dogs like Duke have a second chance at life.

COME ON ... 

We have so much fun when you visit ... no mater what the weather is doing !!!!

The cows are happy to be the first stop ... they hope they get the MOST produce !!!

Next we visit Bub the donkey and his bonded mate Goose ....

Goose won't come close enough to take nums from you ...  but no problem ... Bub is happy to eat what ever you brought !!!!

Is that a WOLF ?

No !!  That's Beauty, she's a maremma, and she's our chief guard dog, she's always a little leery of visitors she hasn't met many times and knows well.  She takes her job of protecting everyone at Rikki's very seriously.

Meet Obie.  He's new on the scene and he's earned his running rights !!!

You'll see cats hanging around all over the place ....

Oh !!!  Visitors !!!   Nums !!!!   Here come the goats .....

Obie keeps everybody in line .....  and he'll assist as your tour guide today.

Once you've been spotted with food .... you'll have constant goat companions ...

One of the mostest wonderful things you can do for the animals is to become a Monthly Sponsor.  It's such a feeling of security knowing YOU are going to feed somebody each and every month !!!  You can sign up at and just tell us WHO you want to feed !!!!  Your support means the world to every one of us.   Thank you so much. 

Patrick and Preston are ready for their share of fruits and veggies ...

Smoky Joe grows the most lovely winter coat .....  and he loves playing in the snow

Petunia HATES the snow and won't go out on ground that is covered in snow ....

She knows she's cute enough you'll go under cover to give her treats ...

Everybody loves feeding the emus ....

cept for hoomans scared of birds ad big as they are ....

..... a dear friend who's been gone 10 years now. 
Rob Darby would have been 46 this January 5th.  How could it be ten years already?  Especially when it snows at Rikki's, we feel Rob here with us.  He loved visiting Rikki's, he loved the woods and the wildlife, and he especially loved visiting in the snow.  Happy Birthday Rob.

Donations in memory of Rob support the wildlife and wild areas of Rikki's Refuge.  We currently have 350 acres of woods, wilderness and wetlands .....  and we are always ready to expand.  Large donations in Rob's memory are used for purchasing adjoining land ... I think Rob would approve.

Now back to our regularly scheduled tour ..


Lo cats who expect you to bend over to pat them ...

medium elevation cats who like to climb up on things to be at face height .....

and hi cats who like to be up high and out of reach ...

Baaaahhhhhh ....... 

Got nums for ME ?

Honors LOVES carrots and apples !

Hope you enjoyed your tour ....  now you all come back real soon .. ok ? 

             WHO'S LIVES YOU SAVED !!!

Nibs and Murphy! Their mom passed late last year and these two brothers came to live with us. We adore them and they have become absolute sweethearts and charmers!   They were so sad at first, but everybody gave them lots of love and helped them thru their grieving and now they are happy and making new friends at our Life Center.

This little beauty is or I should say WAS Lil' Miss Priss.  Not long after arrival we found out HE's really Mr Priss !!!!  

He is about 8 weeks old and is Feluk+. He's just the friendliest little guy ever.

He'd been found wandering a country road and when he tested positive for Feline Leukemia, the vet wanted to immediately euthanize this poor little baby.  Luckily, the nice person who'd rescued him said no way and took him back till they could find a safe home. 

And that's how Mr Priss made it to Rikki's !!

We have special houses for kitties with leukemia. They can run and play and have friends and fun .... Sometimes they don’t have lives as long as kitties without leukemia ... but even if they don’t ... it makes us really happy to know that everyday they are on this earth, it is fun in the sun and they weren’t just killed because they are not perfect or are considered unadoptable.

We are able to help cats like Lil' Mr Priss because YOU support us !!!

These cuties pictured here - 8 ducks (4 girls/4 boys - bonded pairings) came to us cus they were "accidents". 
They were born in May "accidentally" as the parents hid the eggs until they hatch. LOL They are a breed called Khaki Campbell. The folks who brought them were super nice but not set up for this many birds. The gang are in quarantine right now but will be out and about soon.

THANK YOU for your support. Because you always say yes to our mission, we are able to say YES to animals in need!

Me n Bowtie are taking real good care of GGP too.

Flash back to his 90th Birthday Party in September !!


I'll give you a hint. Volvo had been hit by one and had a brain injury - and recovered well at Rikki's. Silver Bullet had been shot with one, lost a leg and recovered well. 
Ford .... paws crossed, will recover too. 

He was hit by a truck and left for dead in the road ....  a Rikki's person on the way into work stopped to pick up the poor kitty to bury him ....  and found he was still alive.

He has a broken leg and a broken shoulder and he lost many of his teeth.  He's a real young boy, so has a very good chance of healing.  The breaks are bad and there could be complications.  He still might loose a leg.  But THANKS TO YOU .... I'm pretty sure we've saved his life !!!!

OK .... so that is out of place ......

But I want to share something with you that mom discovered.  VEGAN MAYO that is really really yummy !!  She says it's as good as the real thing, maybe better, and by far the best vegan mayo she's ever had ..... and it's mainstream !!!!   WOW .... wonderful when mainstream manufacturers turn towards vegan products !!!!!  

This summer and fall about 300 acres bordering us to the east have been clear cut.  Three hundred acres of wildlife have lost their homes ... or their lives. 

Over the years so much land around us has been cut and the animals have ended up with less and less space to live ..... and many have moved in with us. 

Protecting our animals has become more and more time consuming and expensive.  Enclosures are having to get strong as the wildlife tries harder and harder to eat at what they see a great big all you can eat buffet ..... 

The mesh roofs are being replaced with metal after seeing some critters trying to chew in for dinner.  In the almost 20 years we've been here this has never happened before.  It's the stress for space being put on these poor animals. 

There is value in trees  ... value in selling them to be cut down .... yet even more value in them as homes for thousands of animals.  There is always land available for sale, and we so wish we could buy it to protect it for the animals forever. 

If you love animals, domestic and wild, and would love to see land protected for them in perpetuity, you can make a large gift to Rikki's that will allow us to buy more land and place it into protection forever.  Contact us if you'd like to talk about it.  The animals will be gratefully to you till the end of time.

Right now there's a property of only 20 acres that is surrounded by refuge land that is for sale.  It's small and has a house on it too.  But it's an important piece of land because we share wetlands with this property.  The owners kill the beavers and other wildlife.  People hate the poor beavers cus they cut trees and flood land so they have a home.  But hoomans think they should be the only ones who get land .... they don't want to share.  Even with the animals that were there first. 

It sure would be nice if we could raise the money to buy this land and add it on to the refuge so we could protect the wet lands for ever and ever and never see another member of the beaver family killed. 

The property also has a great big huge nice barn that we'd like to use to expand Doggy Downs .....  oh the dreams we could make come to life if this property could be annexed on to Rikki's !!!! 

It's a big project, but if YOU want to be a part of the team that can make it happen, please let me know ...


We believe that no matter where they are, one of the best gifts we can give animals the world over is that of SPEUTER.  One trip to the speuter clinic is all you need for life !!!  By sterilizing just ONE animal you have stopped hundreds, possibly thousands from being born homeless and suffering a life of hunger and worse. 

Rikki's Refuge began their Speuter Commuter program in Pana, Guatemala in 2008.  Working with Mayan Families' Hope for the Animals, we helped to establish a Speuter Clinic, and with our vet, spent two weeks there training vets and vet students in quick assembly line speutering.  We continue to help thru fundraising to provide free speutering for the Mayan people of this remote region. 

We are now proud to include Paqari's Safe Place Cat Rescue in Temuco, Chile in our Speuter Commuter program. 

As everywhere in the world, the cats in Temuco, Chile need speutering help.  They just won't line up and go to the clinic themselves !!!  Lauri Woods, has devoted her life to helping the animals in Temuco and runs Paqari's Safe Place Cat Rescue. 

Please help us make a difference to animals at the far reaches of the globe as well as animals at home.  100% of funds donated specifically for a member of Rikki's Speuter Commuter program is passed thru to that organization.  January is for Paquari's ....  help us help them and be sure to mention Paquari's in the comments of your donation.  ONLY donations that are designated for our Speuter Commuter Partners are spent on those programs.

      THIS IS MINE !!!!! 

We have a great friend who is holding a Tupperware Fundraiser for us! Why not buy yourself a New Years present or get rid of some of your old kitchen stuff and buy new! Tupperware is awesome!

Just check out those colors .... that ain't your mom's Tupperware !!!

Too Rikki With Tupper Love 2017  get YOURS right here:

Are YOU ready ? 

Saturday, May 13th will be here before you know it !!!! 

From 11 am to 3 pm you'll gather with friends, new and old.  Bring YOUR craft or learn a new one.  Meet new friends who share your passion.  So many of you from so many craft avenues joined us last year.  I hope even more of you will come this year !!!!

But HURRY .....  let Nora know you'd like to come and to keep you informed on WHERE it will be held this year (Fredericksburg, but we haven't settled on the venue yet)

If you know a great location that "rents" space for free or very inexpensively to non-profits for events, or you'd like to volunteer putting on this event, or you'd like to provide some quiet background musical entertainment, just let Nora know ...

But what ever you do ----  put May 13th on your calendar NOW !!!!


They went pretty fast .....  I had to tell a lot of you .... sorry, all gone ..... 

So I ordered another great big box full ....    most of those are gone now too ....

BUT I have a pawful left and I'm giving them away for better than HALF PRICE .....  actually the price of a case of Fancy Feast $11.99 ...... 

YOU give me the NUMS .....  I give you my pin up calendar !!!  Den youz can look at my picture every month and remember that you feed-ed me and that I LOVE YOU   !!!!

HURRY HURRY ......  I'll ship a calendar to you for FREE, like no extra shipping charge, in the USA for a donation of $11.99 or more .....  just say in the comments "I'm trading a case of Fancy Feast for an Opie Calendar."   and I'll have your calendar on the way faster than you can say FANCY FEAST !!!!



Don’t forget to SAVE A LIFE TODAY !
Rikki’s Refuge
PO Box 1357
Orange VA 22960

And please come see me soon !!

In the mean time, Keep up with us on Facebook and you'll get the minute to minute details about what's going on at Rikki's Refuge .... you'll be the first to see the new residents .... and the first to know about up coming events !!!

Rikki's Refuge

Opie and Vincent's Page

Duke's Page

Re-Tail Thrift Store in Fredericksburg

The Duke Thomas Peabody Antique and Collectables Shoppe in Culpeper

Opie's and Mom's Purrsonal Profile

Opie's Edibles for Fun Animal Friendly Recipes and Cooking Tips:

Vincent D. Cat's Gathering Place, a place to hang out, chat, and have fun

Kitty Litter-Ature

Rikki's Crazy Cat Person Club

For the Love of Black Cats

Our Website
which needs help getting up to date .... if you "do" WordPress and would like to help, let us know

Rikki's Refuge is owned and operated by Life Unlimited of Virginia, Inc., an IRS 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Virginia Corporation. Federal Tax-ID 54-1911042. Your donations provide direct support. A financial statement is available upon written request from the Virginia State Office of Consumer Affairs.