LYNEA LATTANZIO: I’m gonna say that I’m at the top of the list of the eccentric crazy
cat ladies! LYNEA LATTANZIO: I like cats because they’re independent, they’re beautiful, they
are just graceful, and I enjoy watching them. I have taken in and lived with 28,000 cats.
That’s probably a record! COMM: The Cat House on the Kings is California’s largest no-cage sanctuary for feral and abandoned
cats. Founded by Lynea Lattanzio in her home, the sanctuary currently houses around 800
adult cats and 300 kittens, and the sheer numbers have forced Lynea to move out of the
main house. LYNEA LATTANZIO: This is my boy. There wasn’t room for me anymore. I ended up with 60-something
cats in my bedroom, with dogs, and I just said that’s it, and I moved out. We had
a rental on the property, and I moved to that rental. I went from a 4,200-square-foot 5-bedroom
home with a pool, and a wet bar and a view of the river to a 1,600-1,800 sq foot mobile
home with a view of a rusty metal shed. I’ve come up in the world. This is my cat free
zone. Ha! Ha! COMM: In 1992, Lynea’s father had asked her to help him find some new cats. She went
to an animal shelter and bought home 15 kittens. By the end of the year she’d rescued and
re-homed 96 cats. It was then that she realised she’d found her calling. LYNEA LATTANZIO: When I first started this endeavour, I was out of my own pocket for
seven years. I spent my retirement, I sold my car, I sold my wedding ring. LYNEA LATTANZIO: He is so fat. COMM: In 1993, she became a veterinary technician to help keep the animals’ medical costs
down, and the number of cats continue to grow. The sanctuary is now so big that Lynea has
staff and a team of volunteers to help run it. LYNEA LATTANZIO: Currently for food, litter, maintenance, staffing, vet, medical, we are
at 1.6 million US dollars a year. TERESA ANGEL: We come in about 4 o’clock in the morning and you know, we start by feeding.
It usually takes us, like maybe like thirty minutes to an hour to feed everyone. FRANK LAVERS: When I first started here, I wasn’t really a cat person but after that you know,
you work with them five days a week, you get attached to them. Everybody has different
characteristics, and you get to know them, and they get to know you. They kind of wait
for you when you walk in the gate. It’s pretty cool, man. LYNEA LATTANZIO: This is our ICU. We have a hospital, an ICU, a kitten quarantine,
a senior quarantine, but that is where our critically ill cats stay. We have a vet that
comes once a week to check our animals. We take animals into him every day for check.
And we have seven vet techs on staff. COMM: When a generous donor left Lynea her estate in 2004, the profits from the sale
allowed her to buy the neighbouring land and expand the grounds to twelve acres and install
cat-proof fencing round the perimeter, meaning all the cats could roam freely. LYNEA LATTANZIO: See, under the trees, all those are cats over there. There is one on
the straw. There is, that’s their feeding station, and their bedding, and their heater
back there but, see there is a cat over there. COMM: As much as Lynea loves the cats, her aim is to find them new homes; not to keep
them for herself. LYNEA LATTANZIO: If you are interested in adopting, you would go to our website and
fill out the adoption form. There is five hundred up for adoption that are friendly
and ready to go. LYNEA LATTANZIO: (sneezes) I must be alergic to cats. Bless you. LYNEA LATTANZIO: Thank you.