For the love of cats, Lynea Lattanzio, a 67 year old Californian spent all her retirement money, sold her car and even her engagement ring. This woman also gave up her large villa to buy an empty three hectare plot of land where she lives, in addition to her mobile home, about 1100 cats.
The sexagenarian, who campaigns against the caging and euthanasia of abandoned or stray cats, founded the Cat House On The Kings association, which runs the largest cat sanctuary and adoption center in California. It currently houses approximately 800 adult cats and 300 kittens, who live there in total freedom and indefinitely, not to mention a few dogs and goats.
It all began in 1992 when Lattanzio went to bring the two cats of his father who had just died to a shelter. Instead of leaving empty-handed, she came back with 15 kittens! That same year, she continued to save some, to the point of collecting 96 cats at home, beating the record for the most cats owned, which she still holds to this day.
She manages this cat sanctuary with a team of 45 employees and volunteers, all of whom start their day at 4:00 am to feed the many permanent guests of the owner. The place also has its own hospital and intensive care unit. The American is a veterinary technician herself. However, her goal is not to keep all the cats for herself. Indeed, this sanctuary also serves as an adoption center.
According to the association’s website, more than 24,000 cats have been rescued to date, and 40,000 cats (and dogs) have been sterilized. “I love cats because they are independent, beautiful, graceful and I like to look at them. I have collected and lived with 28000 cats. That’s probably a record,” enthuses Lynea Lattanzio.