The Rayburns: Harry, Christine, Celie and Thomas. Christine grew up in Oxford and the family now calls Oxford home despite professional ties to other Mississippi communities. Lucy was the first fur baby to join this busy family when a neighbor rescued a litter of feral kittens from his barn and one got away. Harry joined the chase and was able to catch the last little black kitten. Arriving home with his prize, he woke the sleeping Celie to introduce her to the newest family member. She immediately christened him ‘Troy’ for a favorite TC show character. Then he turned out to be a she, and her name was more appropriately updated to Lucy (although Lucy occasionally morphs into ‘Lucifer’). Although she sports a very girly pink collar these days, her feral roots surface with her tricky habit of laying in wait under the couch to pounce on the family’s feet like mice! She seems to love to jump out from nowhere and nip a bit. But she receives unconditional love from the whole family and shows no favorites — she’s everyone’s cat.
Riley’s story begins in a shelter where, then known as Bill, he was part of a larger group of animals donated to live a life of service to an area school for the study of veterinary medicine. The students fell in love with the sweet little mixed breed with the big expressive eyes and changed his name to Riley. One of the veterinary students was a family friend of the Rayburn’s and knew they were considering adopting a dog. She introduced them to Riley and his life was forever changed (and saved!). Today Riley happily patrols the yard protecting his family with a loud bark. In between moving from one family member’s lap to another for belly rubs, Riley enjoys jumping for for his treats. He jumps for cheese. And bacon. And left over steak. Celie and Thomas say Riley can jump so high because of his “rabbit like feet”. At the end of a busy day Riley gets to sleep in the bed with his people, sometimes with his head on the pillow just like the other family members!
Lucy and Riley enjoy a game of chase in the back yard; the family says Riley runs so fast that a dust cloud follows him just like in the cartoons. You know, some folks consider black cats to be a sign of bad luck … but Lucy and canine pal Riley? These lucky pets are the very definition of the phrase ‘Living the life of Riley!