The Goathouse Refuge has many incredible cats in need of loving homes.

Behind the Scene

Special Stories of Special Cats Your Support Helps


Tax deductible donations and gifts of goods to help run the refuge are always welcome.

Meet the Team

I have worked for many years with many great people who helped out as much as they could and I am working now with a wonderful group of dedicated people who are the core of Goathouse. 


Evie – Staff

Hello. I am one of the veterinary technicians at the Goathouse. I have been here since December, 2019. I find my job very rewarding. I thrive on making a difference in a life and there is plenty of opportunities for that here. One of our goals is of course to find loving homes for each one of our kitties. They all deserve that. I have fallen in love with so many of the cats here like Jorge who is very vocal in his request to be loved (and of course be fed), Miss Piggy who knows her name and comes to me every time I speak her name. There are others like Desmond who gave you his silent love through his eyes. Unfortunately, not all of our friends will find loving homes but it is our goal to give them the best care and all the love we can at this loving home, the Goathouse Refuge.

I help take care of over 200 kitties here and that requires a lot of medical care. Whether it is a baby kitten, a senior cat or the many in between, there is much care needed. I am not the only one either. We have a wonderful ?family ? here. I sense the same caring attitude and goal by everyone at the Goathouse. Siglinda is the most caring person I have ever met when it comes to her love of animals. She has taught me so much and I just appreciate her. I am so happy to have this opportunity to work for this wonderful Refuge.


Esther Adopted from Goathouse

Suzette Adopted from Goathouse

Tasha -Volunteer

I have been volunteering at the Goathouse since 2009. The refuge has had so many struggles, primarily financial, but keeps pulling through because people recognize what an extraordinary and vital place it is. It deserves to be known far more than it is and needs all of our support. A free range cat rescue with over 200 cats in its care is a place worth having in NC, where we have a serious overpopulation of both cats and dogs and where shelters regularly euthanize over 50% of their animals.

Esther & Suzette were originally Goathouse fosters, along w their brother Punch who died of heart disease in 2012. Suzette was sickly and Esther had what we thought was an eye infection, but the vet said it was an ulcer which had healed. We don?t know how much vision she has in that eye, maybe none at all, but it does not hamper her in the least. Suzette, who was incontinent as a kitten, was discovered to have a rectal stricture when she was spayed. Both girls are very skittish, though Esther has developed into an affectionate, lively cat, but only with us. They?re both afraid of strangers and Suzette?s just antisocial; we cannot pet her, she does not snuggle with us and she spends most of her time on the porch. She will yell for her dinner, though!  We love them both dearly. I?m really grateful that Siglinda accepted them as fosters.

Please support this rescue dedicated to letting cats live their best lives!

Punch (RIP)
Adopted from Goathouse








Meredith  -Volunteer

Smokey and Bandit Adopted from Goathouse

Adopting our two cats from The Goathouse Refuge in 2015 was honestly the best decision our family has ever made! We have since become involved in volunteering with the refuge, and the ability to make a difference in the lives of so many Goathouse cats has been a deeply rewarding experience. By nature, every animal rescue faces its fare share of challenges, and the Goathouse is no exception. But the dedicated team of volunteers and staff persons work tirelessly to ensure each and every Goathouse cat receives unparalleled love and care.

The owner and founder, Siglinda Scarpa, has a truly magical way with animals- especially cats- and has devoted her life to providing a refuge to cats from all walks of life, including and especially those who might otherwise be forced to live on the margins. Operating under the guiding philosophy that every cat has a right to a life free from both danger and indifference, The Goathouse Refuge, aims to serve two important roles: a stopover for cats on their way to permanent homes, and a permanent shelter for cats that just need a place they can call their own. It is a most unique place that one absolutely must visit in order to fully understand and appreciate all they do!


Susan  -Volunteer

Bailey                      Adopted from Goathouse

The Goathouse Refuge is truly an amazing place and a small piece of kitty heaven for the special needs or semi-feral cats who will live their forever. It is a no-kill cat sanctuary where the cats are free to come and go from their own building to an outdoor cat-fenced area where they can lounge in the sun, rest in the shade, and run and play with their cat friends. Visitors can sit in the garden and many cats will come jump in any available lap so they can get brushed or petted. It’s a great way to de-stress for an hour and get your kitty fix! Cats are taken in no matter of age, needs, or disposition and given a second chance to be happy and live the life they deserve. The volunteers do their best to help match up cats personalities with qualities people are looking for and as a result hundreds of cats have found their forever homes with wonderful adopters. The refuge also provides well socialized and very sweet kitties to the Cat Tails Cat Cafe, which has had an amazing adoption rate since opening February 2019.

I’ve been volunteering at the Goathouse since 2008 and absolutely love making a difference, not only for the cats but also for the families whose lives have been changed by adopting a new forever friend. Bailey was a starving semi-feral stray in my yard that wouldn’t let me get near him. So I trapped him and took him to the Goathouse, where I worked for a year to gain his trust enough that he would come when I called him and rub around my ankles. When someone wanted to adopt him I realized how attached I was and decided to foster him to see how it would go. Over time he became one of the most loving cats I have every had and even won over my other cat by grooming her. He follows me around everywhere and absolutely loves to be in my lap or riding on my shoulder. He has truly come a long way an I am so grateful to the Goathouse for giving him that chance to have a wonderful life.

If you are a cat lover, I highly recommend visiting the Goathouse Refuge. You may not want to leave!


Julie  -Volunteer, Board Member

Pee Wee
Adopted from Goathouse

Gabe Adopted from Goathouse

The Goathouse Refuge is  truly a magical place that is dedicated to providing cage-free care for cats regardless of age, medical issues or disposition until a permanent loving adoptive home can be found, if no home of their own can be found, the refuge will take care of them. The cats do not live in cages, they have an acre and a half that is fenced in so they can move about and there are buildings that they can go in if they prefer.

I love to go and sit outside with the kitties and wait for them to come and sit in my lap or rub against my legs for pets. I go often so I have my favorites that I seek out for pets or just a hello and it’s so wonderful when you find out they have been adopted. I love volunteering there and hope every cat lover can visit and find out how lovely it is!


Randy  – Volunteer, Board Member

Yuri                        Adopted from Goathouse

The Goathouse Refuge is a special place, some would even say magical, that helped over 180 cats find a loving home in 2018. With the new partnership with Cat Tales Cat Café in Chapel Hill that began in February, 2019 will likely see even more adoptions. Many of these cats would have faced euthanasia, like my cat Yuri, who was saved by The Goathouse Refuge right before his time was about to expire at a County shelter. I am sure the joy Yuri has brought to our household is similarly experienced by the many Goathouse Refuge adopters, and this is why I volunteer there. You should plan to visit even if you don?t plan to adopt!




Jacquie  – Volunteer, Board Member

The Goathouse is a magical place. Yes, it has goats. They’re not up for adoption, but you can talk to them and they will probably answer. But the wonderland of cats! Acres of Carolina woodland have been safely cordoned off and cultivated for felines. Infirmaries, feral shelters and other cottages accompany the main house where the cats can wander in and out at will.

You don’t have to be a prospective adopter. You can visit the Goathouse for cat cuddles and the experience will soothe your soul. Moreover, you will be socializing cats who seek furever homes, and they will become more engaging towards humans. So you are helping to build families and increase the world’s endorphins just by visiting!

Volunteers are also always welcome. My experience with the Goathouse includes cat mama (I have two Goathouse brothers and they are adorable); volunteer; cuddler; sustaining contributer, and now board member. Is this a conflict of interests? Nope. I’m interested in loving cats and in their rescue and well-being…. and all of what I do contributes to a single result.

Won’t you join me? It’s great for your health!


Helena – Board Member

The grace of wonder in the midst of crisis. 

Most children are fortunate. They have the grace to see places in the world filled with wonder. The Goathouse Refuge is a very special place, where not just children, but adults also immediately step into a world where wonder abounds. Even on cloudy days, the sun seems to be shining through. First there are cats everywhere: following you on the other side of the fence as you enter, on top of cat houses, lying about lazily, eyeing you curiously. There are goats too, with their spotlessly white and brown coats and majestic manner. There are even a few very large dogs; one of whom, Charlie, played with his two favorite cat friends so happily in the mud one day that they all went home looking for all the world like frisky mud pies. And guess what the Goathouse?s biggest Mama cat did with them!??! But that is for another letter… There are also the other visitors you see, with their wide-open eyes and happy smiles. One man walked about with a cat around his neck. He said be just picked her up, but that she insisted on wearing him. Oddly, not understanding that all had already been decided, he said he just wanted to look at a few more kitties … 

If it is spring or summer, you will also notice the gardens. And if you can draw your attention away from the cats that are everywhere, you may notice the ponds and frogs and sculptures. In every season you may also notice the dedicated staff moving quietly and purposefully among the buildings. This is part of the wonder; for you know that all the cats that are fortunate to have come here are safe and happy, with their every need met. These needs sometimes remind my adult mind that the resources to fund this wonderful place often arrive as the sea; sometimes rolling in aplenty and then rushing out leaving things alarmingly bare. But that too is for another letter … 

Let us hope that this sheltering ends soon and you can return again soon to this place of wonder. And if you are reading this and have not yet been, you have something very special in store. The Goathouse Refuge will be waiting, and all will be very happy to see you.                                    





Jeff- Volunteer

Goathouse Reflections on 2020

With all the turmoil 2020 has presented all us, it is nice to hear about happy stories. Recently, an adopter shared an update on their cat whom they adopted from the Goathouse Refuge. Their story was so touching and heartfelt to know the joy this cat has brought into their home and adventures. I hope as we all get ready to celebrate holidays socially distant from our loved ones and ring in the new year; this story will bring a smile and some joy to you.

The Goathouse has been adopting cats for over 20 years. Adoption may not be the best term. More often than not, just like the Harry Potter story where the wand selects the wizard, the cat selects those who it wants to wait upon them! Many of us cat servants may wonder if our cat has magical properties to know when to come and sit our keyboard, track mud into the house, throw the litter out and other uncanny behaviors. Cats can also tell when we are down and come to soothe us with their gentle purring. I find them quite magical and entertaining and thank them for the privilege of letting me care for them.

Through November 2020, The Goathouse Refuge our cats and kittens chose 327 human households to grace their homes and allow these human families to care for them. That?s quite an accomplishment! This is all made possible by the generosity of our donors, volunteers and friends. With this incredible level of support, we would not be able to do what we do and enable stories like Pewter?s, listed below to occur. We thank you.

To continue to fulfill this magic and find humans for our other cats here now and those to come, we need your support. During this holiday season, we would appreciate your generosity to help us keep the cats warm, fed and get ready to welcome their new families.

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