For a single person, experiencing the love and touch of 28,000 cats in a single lifetime, is wee bit on the higher side. But, strange and staggering as these numbers are, that is the number of cats Lynea Lattanzio has interacted with in the past two decades or so.
This whole cat love of magnanimous proportions started in 1992 when Lynea’s father asked her to help him find new cats. This simple request ended with the then young woman bringing home 15 kittens. Strange she needed to rescue almost another hundred cats to realize that she was a cat person. Eventually, she crowned her love for felines when she started what is now The Cat House on the Kings, the largest no-cage sanctuary in California for feral as well as abandoned cats.
And, as passions go, the eccentric and a little crazy cat lady started off with only her savings. In fact, she had to sell some of her very personal items to keep the shelter afloat. Her car, retirement benefits and wedding ring are just a few of the personal effects she exchanged for money just to fund her hobby and passion. Heck! She even became a veterinary technician all in a bid to try cut down the costs.
The sanctuary now houses 1100 cats; 800 of these are adults while the remaining 300, kittens. This renowned cat constituency now has a 7-figure annual budget that stands at US$ 1.6 million; pretty humongous but then again, maintaining a thousand cats should not come cheap. Moreover, the sanctuary covers quite an extensive ground for a private feline sanctuary. The Cat House on the Kings now owns a total of 12 acres.
This crazy love has had Lynea move a couple of times; first, from her 42,000 square foot luxury 5-bedroom home to an 18,000 square foot mobile home and from her last bedroom to a rental in her property.
Despite the obvious love for cats, Lynea says the animals are actually out for adoption. About 500 are friendly and ready to go now.