FRESNO, California (KSEE) — Lynea Lattanzio isn’t a crazy cat lady. She’s just crazy for cats – so much so that’s she’s made it her life’s mission to care for them.
Thanks to her efforts, thousands – and we mean thousands – of cats have been saved, and many more now live pampered lives at The Cathouse on the Kings in Parlier.
From top to bottom, everywhere you look it’s a fury of furry felines.
More than 800 of them call The Cathouse on the Kings their home – a 4,200-sq-ft home that was supposed to be Lattanzio’s retirement recluse back in 1992.
“I didn’t set out to have, never said, ‘Hey I’ll go ahead and have 700 cats. What a novel idea,’” Lattanzio said. “There was always room for more if I had the money, I would take them in.”
She not only took them in but let them take over her house.
Close to 30 years ago, she discovered this to be her calling when she got 15 kittens for her dad.
She spent all her retirement and sold everything she could – eventually becoming a nonprofit and gaining notoriety from all over the world.
“We’ve been on Animal Planet twice – Neo Geo Wild, Australian – Japanese TV three times – French, Canadian, British TV.”
Since then, she’s fed, housed, adopted out, and taken care of more than 38,000 cats – sometimes, even bringing them back to life.
“The kitten room will bring me a kitty that’s dying, and I will put all my effort into saving that kitty, and I’ve been brought so many that have been dead. I bring back to life and then they get adopted out. That to me is very special.”
Today, 45 employees, seven techs and dozens of volunteers run the $1.6 million a year 12-acre facility.
Complete with two ICU’s, a senior home, and kitten pen – it is considered the largest no-kill sanctuary in California.
Now, hundreds of them freely roam this cush Cathouse where food abounds, toys are everywhere, warm beds are a must, and laziness is encouraged.
“What I should’ve done was remain the eccentric, crazy cat lady – with my rollers, robe, and shotgun telling people ‘get off my property.’ I would’ve been better off,” she said.
Better off? Maybe for her, but not for the thousands of felines that this remarkable woman has saved.