1,100 Cats, 1 Home and 1 ‘Crazy Cat Lady’
Lynea Lattanzio has no problem calling herself a crazy cat lady. With more than 1,000 cats living with her, there’s really no denying it.
“I’m gonna say that I’m at the top of the list of the eccentric, crazy cat ladies,” Lattanzio says.
She says she has taken in and lived with, at some point, 28,000 cats total. At the moment, she has a mere 800 adult cats and 300 kittens. (Click here for a slideshow.)
Lattanzio runs – and lives at – the Cat House on the Kings, California’s largest cage-free, no-kill sanctuary for abandoned and feral cats: 12 fenced-in acres near Fresno on the Kings River.
When she was first starting out, she lived in the big main house. But with 60 cats in her bedroom, not to mention dogs, she decided that was too much; “there wasn’t room for me anymore.” The sheer volume of cat forced Lattanzio into a mobile home on the property.
(Click here for a slideshow of the Cat House on the Kings.)
“I went from a 4,200-square-foot, five-bedroom home with a pool and a wet bar and a view of the river to a 1,600-, 1,800-square-foot mobile home with a view of a rusty metal shed,” she says. “I’ve come up in the world.”
Of course, even that home is full of cats (and a few dogs). They sleep on benches, eat on tables and wander around the carpeted floors. They even mill about on the long driveway leading to her property, sunning themselves on the asphalt.
It costs about $1.6 million a year to run her home of cats, an endeavor she was able to expand thanks to a supporter who bequeathed her estate to the Cat House. To help keep costs low, Lattanzio trained to be a veterinary technician. Staffers and volunteers help with feeding and cleaning.
But Lattanzio doesn’t hoard the cats for herself. Most of them are available for adoption, including several dozen on her website: Gardenia; Bunny Cat; Pez; Jekyll; Snickerdoodle; the striking-looking Kiki; the eyeless Radar and his best friend, the “patriotic” Chief Chelsea …
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