January 13, 1981, a Balinese kitten was born. Twelve weeks
later he met his new family and lived happily with them for
15 years. They named him Rikki after the darting mongoose
in Rudyard Kipling's "Rikki Tikki Tavi."
the beginning, Rikki was a special cat who gracefully assumed
the role of companion, confidant, counselor, and friend.
He was quick to please and always loyal. Rikki lived his
life to love and be loved.
among his family's cat hierarchy, Rikki gladly accepted
the role of "bottom cat" although everyone knew he could
be "top cat" in an instant. But power and prestige were
not what Rikki was about. The only status he needed was
to be a valued member of his family, and he was.
seems fitting then, that years later the way Rikki lived
his life would inspire the establishment of a sanctuary
based on the same values that exemplified Rikki's life.
Rikki died of kidney failure in September, 1996, his family
was heartbroken. Two years after his death, still grieving,
they heard about plans to establish a no-kill, all species
sanctuary. The land was there, the problem was money. Rikki's
family quickly decided that the best way to honor their
cat, always so full of love and kindness, was to enable
homeless, sick, and unwanted animals to find comfort and
compassion in a safe place. In August, 1998 they made a
substantial donation that was used to purchase 330 acres
of land in Orange, Virginia. Rikki's Refuge was now a reality.