Meet Lynea Lattanzio. She is the cat lady of all cat ladies and has no qualms about it.
“I’m gonna say that I’m the top of the list of the eccentric, crazy cat ladies,” she told Barcroft TV.
Lattanzio, who is in her late 60s, lives with around 1,100 cats.
“I like cats because they’re independent, they’re beautiful, they’re just graceful and I enjoy watching them,” she says.
It all started in 1992 when her father asked if she could help him find a new cat. She kind of went overboard with his request and brought home 15 kittens.
And from there, Lattanzio never turned back from her cat obsession.
“I’ve taken in and lived with 28,000 cats,” she said. “That’s probably a record.”
Lattanzio is the founder of The Cat House on the Kings, California’s largest no-cage, no-kill, lifetime cat sanctuary, and adoption center.
The Cat House on the Kings is currently home to 800 adult cats and about 300 kittens that were taken in as feral or abandoned.
Cats roam freely around the 12-acre sanctuary. Lattanzio is so dedicated to her felines that they now inhabit her five bedroom house.
“There wasn’t room for me anyone,” she explains. “I ended up with 60 some cats in my bedroom with dogs and I just said that’s it and I moved out.”
There was a rental property on her home and she moved into that property to accommodate the cats.
“I went from 42,00 sq.ft., five bedroom home with a pool and a wet bar and a view of the river,” Lattanzio explains. ” And I went to a 1600-1800 mobile home with a view of a rusty shed. I’ve come up in the world.”
That’s some serious dedication! Lattanzio even trained to become a vet so she could take care of the cats while keeping costs down.
The Cat House on the Kings costs about $1.6 million a year to cover the costs of staffing, food, kitty litter, maintenance, medical fees, and running the sanctuary, which includes a hospital, intensive care unit and cat quarantines.
“When I first started this endeavor I was out of my own pocket for 7 years,” she explains. “I spent my retirement, I sold my car, I sold my wedding ring.”
Lattanzio says it’s all worth it if the 500 cats who are currently up for adoption at the sanctuary find loving homes.
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