Ruffings' Menagerie Fund

Help us relocate and care for the colony cats I feed.

Urgent: I've been asked to move the colony I feed every day. They are in an increasingly busy traffic area at a local store, and I have agreed with the store to relocate them as soon possible. I am in agreement that it is best all the way around, for the cats and for everyone. The cats are all seniors, and they trust me. It will be much safer for the cats to be in an enclosure with a shed. Plans are underway to begin moving them this spring, and we've booked a local business to put in a shed for them. We need to raise funds to get their vaccines updated, cover some cat fencing, get some vet care for those who need it, get the cats microchipped if possible, and finish their shed. We always need food. Please help if you are able. Thank you so much, to everyone who has helped so far!


I made an Amazon wish list for kitty food for them, if anyone would like to donate that way: Colony Cat Amazon Wish List 

Thanks to your donations, we have a shed booked, we're on our way to being able to get the cat fence, we covered an emergency eye surgery, and we've gotten six more cats and kittens spayed/neutered, vaccinated, treated for fleas and parasites, and moved indoors. Thank you all so much. 

We recently pulled the sixteenth kitty from this location, Cliffie, above. We got him fully vetted and then he went to a rescue where he was adopted. The kitty who went to that rescue just before him got adopted in only two weeks. Others went directly to homes, to a rescue and then adopted, and to a farm with other kitties. The remaining cats who need to be moved are feral or semi-feral.


We are looking at the Purrfect Cat Fence , as it seems the most economical, and it looks like something I can install myself. We need a minimum of 150 ft, but ideally 200 ft, with 3 doors, to create a second section, as not all of the cats get along. I'm estimating $1,997.95-$2,407.95 for the fencing. I have the minimum set aside. An alternate is the Easy Pet Fence Kitty Corral , which is similarly priced.

The rest of the funds from this fundraiser thus far have been used for vet bills for the cats we have relocated, including an emergency eye surgery, spays and neuters, vaccines, and for food for the colony cats. Someone recently abandoned two or three kittens at the colony, and they will need to be fully vetted. I don't yet know if they are friendly or feral. Another of the cats has some eye issues and will need to see the vet for that to be treated.

This is a sample photo of one of the sheds available from the locally owned business that is going to build the cat shed. The colony cat shed will have a single door, with with glass panes in it, two small windows for ventilation, and two openings for cat doors. We'll still need to purchase cat doors, paint, insulation, and a piece of vinyl flooring.

This is a sample photo of the cat fence. The minimum amount of fencing to make a small enclosure with two doors is currently priced at $1,997.95. We have raised the funds through this fundraiser for the minimum amount of fencing, but we will need some additional fencing, as I need to set up a second enclosed area, with a temporary divider down the middle of the shed.

The fenced area will need landscaping cloth, bushes for shade, some soil, and mulch.

These are some of my colony kitty buddies:


Do you ever feel like Doctor Doolittle? I do. I’m Elizabeth Ruffing, and my mom and I are artists who create and sell whimsical dolls and toys, a menagerie of original cat art dolls, stuffed toy slugs, and bunnies, kitties, wildlife prints of birds and flowers, and, of course, prints of kitties: We've also had a real-life menagerie of rescued kitties and one very cute bunny. Since we moved here, to this somewhat rural area outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, cats and kittens, along with a rabbit, have been arriving in our yard, our neighborhood, and our shopping centers. It happens almost every year that someone turns up, without our even having to leave the house.

In spite of how completely adorable they all are, they were abandoned by people, left to fend for themselves outdoors, or were born into community cat colonies. We have wonderful friends who have worked very hard to spay and neuter and vaccinate the local community cats, but every year, the population of abandoned animals seems to grow in our area.

We have done our best to give loving care to the creatures who have come our way, and find homes for some of the ones we could not keep.

There were three of us here, but on Christmas Eve 2016, we lost my dad. It’s been hard, but I think we’re doing pretty okay. One concern for us is that we want to keep up with our expenses for our furry family. After he passed, and while we were still paying off medical bills, in 2017, two more special-delivery cats arrived at our door, needing extensive dental work, which we got for them. They are now part of our family and are very sweet boys.

In 2018, with the help of donations from this page, we took in two kittens who were dropped off at the community cat colony, where I was helping feed the cats. Your donations helped pay for their vaccines and a friend donated their spay and neuter surgeries. Thanks so much. They are all living a happy life now.

We have continued to help with feeding and caring for the cats at that colony. Every day I go to feed them and spend  time with them. They have become my buddies.

This year, 2019, we took in another kitten, who was dropped off near the colony. She had a couple of emergencies, from a high fever, and again the vet bills added up. She is doing very well now, as are the others we took in. Your donations helped pay for her booster shots and a kind friend donated her spay surgery.

In 2019, while we were trying to relocate another cat, who has been living in a dangerous location nearby, someone dropped off more cats and kittens. Another lovely friend took in four of them, and we ended up taking in one more. He came running up to me, yelling, in a panic, wearing a collar he had outgrown. I couldn't leave him there. He had terrible separation anxiety, but he is also doing well now. Your donations helped pay for Revolution for him, and tests for worms and parasites (which were negative). A friend donated a leukemia test for him (also negative, yay!) and booster shots, and his neutering. Thank you all so much!

In 2020, thanks to your help, one of the colony cats, who was badly injured, had eye surgery and is living indoors now. The vet was unable to save his eye, but he's had no problems adjusting. He is super happy to be inside and is getting along really well with his new kitty brothers and sisters. He has been doing great, living inside, but he may need a second eye surgery, as he has had some unexpected swelling. He also had a long bone in his leg that was previously broken and healed improperly. He may need another surgery later, to smooth the end of the bone, if it causes irritation. It doesn't seem to bother him right now, but he is a little tippy. He is so much better off indoors! 

Every day, I need food for the colony cats, in addition to our house cats, and we continue to have more vet bills to cover. I would like to move the colony cats who get along with each other here. Thanks to your donations, I am close to being able to afford cat fencing to put off our deck. I still need a small shed so they have shelter. They would also need vaccines and vet care. The area where they are living has become busier with more traffic, and they have become very obvious to the people coming to shop there. The area is becoming more developed, as it is becoming more dangerous there, in addition to the store not wanting them to be there. I would like to get the main group to a safe place here, but they would need to be fenced in for their safety. We have had some predatory animals where we live, and we would need to keep the cats away from traffic and neighbors. They'll need a shed so they can get indoors to be safe.

At least one needs a dental, Grandpa Grant, the orange-and-white cat pictured below. He is an older fellow. He has had recurrent mouth issues.


In early 2020, I rescued a younger, little black female cat from the area. Someone dropped her off and she was very sweet. I took her home and waited for a local rescue to have room for her. She went up for adoption and was adopted soon after.

For now, the remaining colony cats are living outdoors, with Styrofoam houses and feeding stations that we maintain daily. 

How you can help:

We would love for people to contribute by buying a toy or a doll or a print. That would be wonderful. I have set up an online store our website. I am moving our work from Etsy over to and will keep adding more. Some of our available original art dolls that haven't been posted on that page yet are listed here: . Custom Hug Me Slugs are still available in my Etsy toy shop . 

Friends suggested I put up a GoFundMe page, because our animal expenses are ongoing, and people have expressed an interest in contributing. We would very much appreciate that too.

The colony cats have ongoing needs as well, and we have to keep up with everyone's food. The cats go through a lot of food each day. I take eight small cans of wet food, plus about ten cups of dry food with me each day, just to feed the colony cats.  We've estimated that their food costs about $10 per day.

We would very much appreciate any contribution of any size that anyone would like to make. Any amount will be used directly for the cats. We are not a charity or a rescue, and so gifts are not tax deductible. If you would like to make a purchase instead, that would be fantastic. If you don't see something you are looking for up on our website yet, please feel free to ask me about it. I haven't gotten everything posted yet.


1) Keep up with everyone’s food. Between our home and the colony, we have a lot of mouths to feed.

2) Keep up with vet care. Everyone needs to be vaccinated regularly, and needs always arise that require vet care.

3) Fund and install an enclosed area with a small shed and a cat fence for the colony cats.

I will need to cover the GoFundMe fees, and any required taxes on this fundraiser as well.

This fundraiser is entirely for animal care, and more is always needed and appreciated. Please spay and neuter your pets and your community cats, even if they don’t belong to anyone but themselves. Let’s help stop the continued homelessness of companion animals. Thanks so much.


  • Wendy Paige 
    • $25 
    • 7 d
  • Cole Stockstill 
    • $50 
    • 25 d
    • $35 
    • 2 mos
  • Scott Fortenberry 
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
  • Kevin Croitz 
    • $20 
    • 3 mos
See all


Elizabeth Ruffing 
Raleigh, NC
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