One Thousand Cats and One Woman
Writers Workshop 8E
There are 70 million stray cats in the United States of America. Lynea Lattanzio has found homes for thousands of those millions, making a difference one purr at a time. Lynea Lattanzio is a role model change maker because she has helped find homes for over 20,000 cats, inspired many people, and continues to rescue cats every single day.
Lynea Lattanzio was born on February 19,1949 in Madera, California. She was one of five children, and was the exact middle child. Growing up in her household, she had a family dog. This was the beginning of her love for animals. She went to Parochial Elementary School, Madera High School, and Fresno State College. In college, she majored in real estate and decided to make a business with her future husband. She got married in 1973, but later got a divorce in 1981 due to an unhealthy, and abusive relationship. She never had kids, and never got married again. After her divorce, in 1992, she volunteered to foster kittens, and soon became passionate about saving animals. She kept on saving cats until her house was overcome with the felines. Once her house became to populated with cats; she moved to a trailer at the edge of her property, and now she works every day at her house.
Lattanzio has found homes for many cats, and has rescued even more. At The Cat House on the Kings, people often take tours and meet cats. It’s not just a sanctuary where cats can live out their lives, but a place where cats can find a forever home somewhere else. There are cats ranging from kittens to extremely old cats. “As long as you can get them here, we take them,” she says in a interview. She’s found homes for over 20,000 cats, and continues to do so every day.
Lynea Lattanzio has motivated many other people through being involved in the community, and sharing her story. She anywhere between 100 to 200 volunteers every year who she has convinced to work with her and help the cats. Not to mention that she has inspired everyone who comes across her. She’s also galvanized vets to come and give low cost surgeries, andd together they have spayed and neutered over 40,000 cats.
Even though Lattanzio is retired, she continues to save cats every day. Often, cats will be dropped off at the edge of her property and she never turns them away. Her day starts at 5:30 in the morning every day of the week. She then takes care of, and feeds the cats. The money for the food is provided mainly through donations. She answers shelter calls, takes care of business in general, and supervises workers and volunteers. Often in the afternoons she will answer emails, and calls. She helps care for sick cats, kittens, and strays. She then continues to do so until 7:00 PM. She checks the property and makes sure everything is working, and lastly she is in bed by 9:00 PM. “When I moved to the trailer I swore it would be a cat free zone, but I currently have 20 kittens and four puppies in there,” she says in an interview. It’s amazing that she continues to take care of the cats no matter what the cost is.
By helping find homes for cats, inspiring people, and giving up everything else, Lynea Lattanzio is a role model changemaker. She takes in every stray that appears on her doorstep without question. She gave up her car and her wedding ring to help pay for the costs, and tries her very best to make sure that the cats find forever homes too. Not only did she help these cats herself, but has helped others to do so too. Whether it’s donating, fostering, or volunteering; she encourages the community to help, and at 68 years old, she is still working everyday from 5:30 AM - 9:00 PM with only the care for cats to motivate her. Some may call her “crazy”, some may call her a “cat lady”, some may call her a “crazy cat lady”, but we should all call her a hero.
“The Cat House on the Kings.” The Cat House on the Kings. 2018. January 28, 2018. <http://www.cathouseonthekings.com/index.php>.
“Lynea Lattanzio: The woman who shares her home with 1,100 cats.” Independent. 2016. January 2nd, 2016. <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/US/lynea-lattanzio-the-woman-who-shares-her-home-with-1100-cats-a6825656.html>
“The Cat House on the Kings.” Kings River Life Magazine. 2010. <http://kingsriverlife.com/08/07/the-cat-house-on-the-kings/>
“The woman who lives with 1,000 cats: Divorcee moves into a trailer after turning her five-bedroom home into a refuge for feral.” Cat House on the Kings. 2016. January 19, 2016. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3406467/The-woman-lives-1-000-cats-Divorcee-moves-trailer-turning-five-bedroom-home-refuge-feral-felines.html>