La Maisonnette des Chats - The Little House of Cats
Our colony cat relocation project - Please help us keep up with the care of the cats.
The latest: In March of 2023, we added a little ginger boy to the group. His name is Tobias. He was taken in as a stray by animal control and was too shy to go up for adoption. I saw he was already a day past the last day they were intending to hold onto him, and they sent out a plea asking, "ANYONE?" Well, now he is here! He still needs three vaccines and some Profender. The cats always need vaccines and vet care. If anyone would like to donate directly to their vet, we take them to VCA Triangle Tower Animal Hospital: https://vcahospitals.com/triangle-tower Please select the option for appointments to speak to the receptionist. The account is under Elizabeth Ruffing.
Meanwhile, Jojo has what appears to be IBD, but could be lymphoma. We have been ordering special food for her, giving her fluids, and applying transdermal Prednisolone, since she was throwing up. She is finally doing better. Fingers and paws crossed! The food is very expensive and we always appreciate help. We always need help with cat food! I made an Amazon wish list for kitty food for the cats, if anyone would like to donate that way: La Maisonnette des Chats Amazon Wish List.
The colony cats are in their new home, "La Maisonnette des Chats," safe! They have a lovely enclosed yard and an insulated house, with two cat doors leading into their yard. Freddie was the first of the colony kitties to move into La Maisonnette.
The remaining colony kitty from the store area, Mickey, moved in just before Christmas 2021, and Ellie moved in from the library in February 2021. I am so relieved to have everyone away from those busy locations. The traffic was crazy there as we approached the holiday and the lot on the other side of where they lived was sold and cleared.
In July 2022, I picked up two surprise stragglers at one of the old locations, Juniper Berry and her baby, Ellijah Violet, who got their vetting done.
On August 23, 2022, I was on my way home from the vet with Ellijah Violet, when I saw a tabby kitten tumble out from under the large vehicle to my left. At first, I thought she was a piece of fabric, but then I saw her tiny head. She crawled through three lanes of a busy nine-lane highway to the curb, and fortunately, the person behind me let me get over to the curb, where I could cover her with Elliah's blanket and carefully place her on the front seat. Then, we turned around and headed right back to the vet!
Our vet saved her leg and she is doing great. He and the staff at the vet hospital named her Good Samantha. You would never know she had a broken leg when she was a little baby of seven weeks old!
In November of 2022, I took in Zelda, Emily, and Otie, from the library area after there was a health scare with one of the cats. They all got their vaccines updated and Zelda had a big dental. They have all adjusted well. Thank you so very much to everyone who helped!
The cats have ongoing needs for food, Revolution Plus, vaccines, and medical care. "La Maisonnette," their little house, will need paint and flooring, and their yard will need some garden beds with wheat straw and pine neeldle straw for digging in. Donations will be used to keep up with the cats' care. Their food alone is a significant expense. They need monthly Revolution Plus because one of the cats, Gabriella, tested positive for heartworm. It is also costly. Please continue to donate to help us care for the cats.
Thanks so much.
Origins: I was asked to move the cat colony I fed daily for several years. They were in an increasingly busy traffic area at a local store, and I agreed with the store to relocate them as soon as possible. I decided that was best all the way around, for the cats and everyone. Thanks to your generous donations, the cats have been moved into their new home, which a dear friend dubbed "La Maisonnette des Chats," or "The Little House of Cats." We installed their Purrfect Fence enclosure. As they relocated, we needed to cover their vet care, vaccines, dewormer, Revolution, and microchips. We also needed to cover several spay/neuters. We always need food, and the cats will need to stay on Revolution Plus, as one of them tested positive for heartworm. We also need a floor we can clean, paint, and some bushes for shade. Please help if you are able. Any donation of any size is very much appreciated. Thank you so much to everyone who has helped so far!
Thanks to your donations, we covered an emergency eye surgery, and we got several more cats and kittens spayed/neutered, vaccinated, treated for fleas and parasites, and moved indoors. Thank you all so much.
We pulled the sixteenth kitty from this location, Cliffie, above. We got him fully vetted. Then he went to a rescue where he was adopted. The kitty who went to that rescue just before him, Patty Pan, got adopted in only two weeks, and the kitty who went from the store to that rescue before him, Frosted Petal, got adopted by one of their adoption counselors. Others went directly to homes, to rescue and then adopted, and to a farm with other kitties. The remaining cats who needed to be moved were feral or semi-feral.
We installed a Purrfect Cat Fence, so the cats have a nice safe yard.
The rest of the funds from this fundraiser thus far have been used for vet bills for the cats we have relocated, including emergency eye surgery, spays and neuters, vaccines, and food for the colony cats. The abandoned kittens who were left at the colony had their vetting done. Another of the cats had some eye issues and went to the vet to be treated. I also rounded up the several cats and kittens a friend was feeding on the other side of the woods from the store colony. They got their vet care done and joined the group.
This is the house we had built for the cats. Joe from Carolina Yard Barns built it from the ground up, on-site. He was wonderful. He was very thoughtful and conscientious. It came out perfectly. Scott Fortenberry came over, insulated it, and put up walls and shelves. He did a beautiful job. A friend said it was too much like a cottage to call a shed and dubbed it "La Maisonnette des Chats" - The Little House of Cats. We'll still need to purchase paint, caulk, and flooring.
This is their Purrfect Fence enclosure. We need some additional welded wire fencing to finish the end.
The fenced area will need garden beds, 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, bunnies, and kitties in our online shop, Ruffing's. We've also had a real-life menagerie of rescued kitties and one adorable 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, neighborhood, and nearby shopping centers. It happens almost every year that someone turns up without our even having to leave the house.
Despite their utterly adorable appearance, 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, neuter, and vaccinate the local community cats. Still, every year, our area's population of abandoned animals seems to grow.
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 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 feeding the cats. Your contributions helped pay for their vaccines, and a friend donated their spay and neuter surgeries. Thanks so much. They are all living happy lives now.
We continued to feed and care for the cats at that colony. Every day I went to feed them and spend time with them. They became my buddies.
In 2019, we took in another kitten dropped off near the colony. She had a few emergencies, from a high fever, and the vet bills added up again. 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 living in a dangerous location nearby, someone dropped off more cats and kittens. Another kind friend took in four of them, and we took 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). In addition, a friend donated a leukemia test for him (also negative, yay!), booster shots, and 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 could not save his eye, but he's had no problems adjusting. He is pleased to be inside and gets along with his kitty brothers and sisters. He also had a long bone in his leg that was previously broken and healed improperly. It doesn't seem to bother him, but he is a little tippy. He is so much better off indoors!
Every day, I need food for the colony cats and our house cats, and we continue to have more vet bills to cover. I needed to move the colony cats here. The area where they lived became busier with more traffic, and the cats became very obvious to the people who shop there. The site kept getting more developed and dangerous for cats, and the store did not want them to be there. Thanks to a very generous donation, they now have their own house and a cat fence. Thanks to this GoFundMe, the colony cats have been able to have their vaccines updated and moved to a safe place here, with a fenced yard for their safety. We have had some predatory animals where we live, and the cats must be kept away from traffic and neighbors.
In early 2020, I rescued a younger, little black female cat from the shopping 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. They named her Frosted Petal. She went up for adoption and was adopted soon after.
When they lived at the store, the colony cats lived outdoors, with Styrofoam houses and feeding stations that I maintained daily.
How you can help:
We would love for people to contribute by buying a toy or a doll. That would be wonderful. I have set up an online store on our website. I am moving our work from Etsy over to ruffings.com and will keep adding more. Some of our available original art dolls that haven't been posted on that page yet are listed here: https://ruffings.com/our-art/about-our-dolls/available-art-dolls . 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, and we must keep up with everyone's food. The cats go through a lot of food each day. We got through 16-17 cans of wet food and about ten cups of dry food daily.
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 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 house cats and the La Maisonnette kitties, 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. (Accomplished! Thank you!)
I will also need to cover the GoFundMe fees and any required taxes on this fundraiser.
This fundraiser is entirely for animal care; more is always needed and appreciated. Please spay and neuter your pets and 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.