The Duke students started an online fundraiser in the "interest of keeping [Peaches the cat] healthy so she can live a long life."

By Amy Jamieson
Updated January 17, 2017 10:50 PM
Go Fund Me

A pair of Duke University students are doing something really sweet for Peaches.

Anna Matthews and Anna Li set up a fundraiser for the feline — a beloved local stray — who seemed a little worse for wear after a recent snowstorm, according to the Duke Chronicle, which first reported the story.

“In the interest of keeping her healthy so she can live a long life (and also for the safety of students who interact with her), we would like to take her to the veterinarian to get rabies vaccinated, a physical exam, among other things (there have been concerns that she may also have stomach worms),” says a message on a GoFundMe page created on Jan. 11. “This fund is to cover her veterinary bills and any potential medications we may have to give her. No contribution is too small, and any extra money will go towards her insurance for the future. Thank you so much!”

The page has raised more than $100 of a $300 goal, which will make the vet visit happen. They’re also hoping to raise enough funds to take a second campus stray, named MammaBean, to the vet, too.

“What you end up worrying about is an amalgamation of factors — cold weather, disease, worms, other animals — and if the cats eat rotting food, they can get parasites,” Matthews told the Chronicle, adding that another campus cat died last year “probably due to a mix of disease and worms and just stress of cold weather.”

Li, who created a private Facebook group called Caretakers of Peaches (The Calico Cat) after she couldn’t find the cat following the recent snowstorm, told PEOPLE in an email on Tuesday that Peaches is quite the fixture there.

“You’d be hard-pressed to find a Duke student who hasn’t met or heard of Peaches, the friendly calico cat that lives behind Few Quadrangle, one of the Duke dormitories,” she says. “For students who are stressed out from school and missing their pets back home, this provides so much needed therapy and stress relief. Sometimes it’s even hard for me to get a minute with her because there’s always someone out there petting her!”

The Facebook group, which shares updates about Peaches as well as other campus strays, now has over 260 members, which has surprised and energized Li, a junior at the school.

“This group has really blown up in a way that I couldn’t have predicted!” she says. “I’m really glad Peaches has so much support and hopefully this will be a way for me to keep getting updates on Peaches after I graduate.”

To help the students care for the campus cats, visit their GoFundMe page.