Published: Aug 10, 2008 10:18 AM
Modified: Aug 10, 2008 10:18 AM
Chatham artist a friend to felines
Siglinda Scarpa's Goathouse Refuge is a haven for homeless cats
PITTSBORO -- Siglinda Scarpa could not bear the thought of cats getting euthanized twice a week at the Chatham County animal shelter. So she decided to take the direct approach: she went to the shelter and adopted 17 cats."I had a lot of land here," she said. "I had to do something about it." Scarpa, founder of the Goathouse Refuge for homeless cats, lives on a sprawling, wooded plot of land six miles northwest of Pittsboro. There, dozens of cats nap and stalk insects inside a caged open-air enclosure. At night, volunteers put the cats in smaller cages in an adjoining building. Volunteers also disinfect the cages and play with the cats twice a day. In addition to the nearly 100 cats now living at the refuge, the property is a haven for guinea hens, dogs, geese, goats and a rescued turkey. Scarpa, a potter and sculptor, said she communicates better with animals than with people. "Most of my memory and my function is visual," she said. "I can see the animals, what they mean and what they say." Scarpa earns money to provide for the cats by selling her art. "I eat from my vegetable garden, the eggs of the chickens," she said. "I buy my clothes at the thrift store, so I don't need to spend a lot of money for me. I spend the money on the cats."
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed in any manner.