Today Show: Goathouse Refuge In North Carolina
Being called the cat lady isn’t usually the kind of nickname someone wants to have unless that person is Siglinda Scarpai. She is the true cat lady, a real life cat crusader. The five-foot, 100-pound 72-year-old runs Goathouse Refuge in North Carolina, a no-kill animal santuary for dogs, cats, goats, chickens and almost any other animal Scarpai can take in. Since opening the doors to her 16 acre farm, Scarpai said she has rehomed over 900 cats to good families, but there are always more that need someone to take care of them.
Scarpai’s farm is home to hundreds of cats all the time. She has a no cage policy with all the animals, meaning they have a run of the yard and the house. Every nook and cranny in the home housed a cat, from the ceiling to the stairs to the trees outside, cats are everywhere. She said all her animals get together quite well for not being in cages. They know the rules they need to follow.
Scarpai definitely has an unusual affinity towards felines, an affinity she has had since the first day she had a cat. Scarpai told the Today Show when she was a little girl living in Italy she “couldn’t deal with anyone.” She was unable to communicate with people. She didn’t understand them. But when her father brought home a small kitten one day, Scarpai finally found something she could communicate with, that she could connect with. “I understood it and it understood me,” Scarpai said. “It became the most important thing in my life.”
Today Show: Goathouse Refuge Running In the Red
Scarpai also works as an artist to help pay the $20,000 bill that comes along with running the refuge. She told the Today Show she puts the bills on a credit card and pays them back little by little, hoping to not get shot down.
Although raising the money every month can be daunting, Scarpai said the joy she gets from the refuge is overwhelming.