Pittsboro, NC is the home of an alternative type of cat shelter. Goat House Refuge is run by Siglinda Scarpa, originally from Italy.
Siglinda moved to NC in 1997 and purchased a 16 acre property. Shortly after settling in, people asked her if she would take in a cat or two.
As reported on News 14 Carolina on February 21, Siglinda never really intended to start an animal refuge, but she couldn't refuse to help the cats.
Each cat has a name fitting their personality such as "Malaika" who came to her small and sick. The song playing on the radio mentioned that Malaika means "little angel" in Swahili. Siglinda knew that this name was perfect for the special little cat.
Siglinda believes in an alternative shelter unlike traditional shelters which euthanize many animals. "To me, what human beings do to animals, it's exactly the same as the Nazis did, did to, to Jewish people and it's unbearable," said Scarpa.
The refuge allows cats to have room to roam outside, interact with each other, and just be cats. When people come around, the cats come around and usually pick the people they want to be around.
Cost to run the alternative shelter is around $20k a month, raised by donations and the pottery sold which is handmade by Siglinda.
Siglinda does maintain a pleasant environment for her cats but readily admits that it is not the best place for them. "We can provide, you know, a good community, but they need a good family." said Siglinda.
The bottom line is that the cats need Siglinda and she needs them as well.