Saturday, July 23, 2011

I'm no crazy cat lady... insists the California animal lover who lives with 700 felines


Pioneering: The Cat House on the Kings in Parlier, California is the largest no-kill cat sanctuary in the world

Lynea Lattanzio, of Parlier, California, lives with over 700 felines.

But she insists she's no crazy cat lady.

On the contrary, Ms Lattanzio, the star of a new Nat Geo documentary, runs Cat House on the Kings - a '12-acre no-cage, no-kill cat refuge' where she takes in strays, offers low-cost spaying and neutering referrals and facilitates pet adoptions.

Feeding time: Lynea Lattanzio, owner of The Cat House on the Kings, begins feeding her hundreds of felines early each morning

The show, titled The Lady with 700 Cats, is narrated by Glee actress Jane Lynch as part of the Nat Geo WILD series premiering later this month.

The programme opens with the backstory of The Cat House, founded by Ms Lattanzio just outside of Fresno.

Loving: Ms Lattanzio and volunteer Tammy Barker examine a stray Siamese cat at the SPCA

Ms Lattanzio, who said her mother banned her from having a cat as a child, said she began taking rescues after a divorce.

Now, she takes in rescues from all over the world, and estimates she has saved close to 19,000 felines in almost two decades.

Just a few: A 'small' group of cats gathers at The Cat House on the Kings

She said often cats are flown in from New York, after owners decide their apartments are too small for their pets. Sometimes, locals drop unwanted kittens right on her doorstep.

Her sanctuary, which employees 25 workers, is an around-the-clock operation, and the largest of its kind in the world.

A nursery, an intensive care unit and even a retirement home for elderly cats are housed in its walls, where endless meows echo throughout the day.

'If I were a cat, this is where I'd be. We're a no-cage, no-kill adoption sanctuary,' she explained.

Litter overload: Litter boxes fill a room inside the cat sanctuary

Well, hello: One of the over 700 residents of the Cat House on the Kings no-kill sanctuary, nestled in his favourite resting spot - the cupboard

And as if hundreds of cats were not enough to look after, Ms Lattanzio also has about 15 dogs, which can be seen running around the property in a video trailer.
She says, however, this is just the start.

Ms Lattanzio, who promotes the sanctuary online on Facebook, PetFinder and, expects the series to increase traffic at the refuge. And she has no intention of turning many animals away.

After 19 years working to build the California sanctuary, she is content caring for her hundreds of strays - even if outsiders to call her the crazy cat lady.

'I'm not crazy, what I do is crazy,' she said.

Rescued: In the back of Lynea Lattanzio's van, crates of rescued animals await their new life at the Cat House on the Kings sanctuary

Big world: Just a few of the hundreds of stray kittens and cats rescued by the Cat House team

source: dailymail

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