In 1992, Lynea Lattanzio’s father asked for her help in finding a new cat. She came home with 15 kittens.
Since that day, 67-year-old Lattanzio has been surrounded by feline friends. “I’m gonna say that I’m at the top of the list of the eccentric, crazy cat ladies,” she says.
“I’ve taken in and lived with 28,000 cats. That’s probably a record.”
The Cat House On The Kings is currently home to 800 adult cats and 300 kittens, which have all been taken in as either feral or abandoned animals.
Based in California, the sanctuary allows its residents to roam freely around the 12 acre land.
The sheer quantity of felines on the property forced Lattanzio to leave her five-bed house to the cats and set herself up in a mobile home. “There wasn’t room for me anymore. I ended up with 60 some cats in my bedroom with dogs and I just said that’s it and I moved out,” she recalls.
The cost of housing so many moggies is substantial, even after having trained as a vet herself to keep bills down. Including staffing, food, litter, maintenance and medical fees, the sanctuary runs up a bill of roughly $1.6 million a year.
“When I first started this endeavour I was out my own pocket for 7 years. I spent my retirement, I sold my car, I sold my wedding ring,” she explains, as if nothing would be worth keeping over the cats.