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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Welcome to the Cat House

where room costs $5,700 per night and you share with 700 other
She lives with 700 furry felines and is dubbed the crazy cat lady but Lynea Lattanzio has insisted: 'I'm not mad!'
With hundreds of the cute creatures scratching, sleeping and jumping around the Cat House, she said: 'If I were a cat, this is where I'd be.'
Ms Lattanzio, who was banned by her mother from having cats as a child, started to take in rescue animals and strays after her divorce in 1981.
Carring: Lynea Lattanzio, who was banned by her mother from having cats as a child, started to take in rescue animals and strays after her divorce in 1981
Grub's up: The gated sanctuary supports eight specialised cat homes and boasts felines of all breeds and sizes
New arrival: An hours-old kitten is brought into the facility for medical attention at The Cat House
And in the following 30 years she has welcomed a staggering 19,000 moggies onto her 12 acre estate in Parlier, California . The Cat House, which she founded just outside Fresno , also offers low-cost spaying and neutering referrals and facilitates pet adoptions. Costing her a hefty $40,260 (£26,000) per week - or $5729.31 (£3,714) per day - to maintain, she relies on donations and a dedicated team of volunteers to help her carry out the work. She said cats are often 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. 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.
 

Down time: Cats are often flown in from New York , after owners decide their apartments are too small for their pets
Dinner time: It costs almost $40,260 per month to buy the cat food and medical supplies
Help around the house: A team of dedicated volunteers chip in with much-needed work around the estate
She said: 'We're a no-cage, no-kill adoption sanctuary. I'm not crazy, what I do is crazy. I prefer to say I'm eccentric or masochistic. It's the same thing, only nicer.
'I'm sure there are other places that do what I do. I just don't know where they are. And obviously they are few and far between. What I say is - if they don't have a home, at least they have a life.'
And as if hundreds of cats were not enough to look after, Ms Lattanzio also has 15 dogs. She says, however, this is just the start.
Ms Lattanzio, who promotes the sanctuary online on Facebook, PetFinder and YouTube.com, 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 do continue to call her the crazy cat lady.

Everyone is welcome: The estate is also home to 15 dogs
Yard time: Cats of all shapes, colours and sizes make hundreds of new friends when they arrive on the estate