Willie Ortiz is a 76-year-old man, a veteran and a scrap metal collector from Hartford, Connecticut. He has been feeding stray cats in his area for 22 years, not missing a single day. Despite rain, snow or freezing cold, he still goes out, collects scrap metal to pay for the food and cat supplies. Willie cares for them, feeding them each night as well as spraying and neutering them so the stray population doesn’t grow out of control.
He started feeding for the stray cats after he saw people ignoring a hungry kitten begging for food. “People were pushing it away, and I could see it needed help,” Willie said. “I know these cats can’t understand my accent, but I need to do something.” From that day, he decided that caring for stray cats was his life’s mission.
Every morning Willie drives around collecting scraps to sell, and every evening he leaves his home with tins of sardines and cat food, feeds the cats, and checks on their health. The cats that he cares for are very healthy and well fed.
Not only does Willie feed the cats every day, he cares for the injured or sick cats and bring them in to get the medical care they need. Although his job is very difficult, Willie says that it is his life and it makes him truly happy. Willie says he will continue feeding the cats for as long as he can.
Last year a woman named Kathleen Schlentz created a gofundme page to help Willie buy more food for the cats. Not surprising, it surpassed its target, but you can still donate money towards this mission. We hope people that believe in Willie’s cause will keep donating.
“Presently he feeds 16 colonies of stray and feral cats, a total of 68 cats, every night, 365 days a year and has never missed a night in 22 years,” Kathleen Schlentz said via GoFundMe. “He makes sure they get what they need to have as good a life as possible.”
The world needs more people like Willie – people whose daily good deeds are making the world a little better. However, not everyone understands his decision. “People ask me why I feed them every day, or tell me I feed them too much,” Ortiz said. “You eat every day, no? You get three meals; they eat once every 24 hours.”
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