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The Cat House on the Kings: The Sanctuary that Stole my Heart

Whenever I hear about the work that no-kill animal shelters staff and volunteers do to help needy pets
find permanent loving homes, my faith in humanity gets restored. My respect for folks who become
pet foster parents to help no-kill shelters make room for more homeless pets is tremendous. But in all
the years I’ve lived with cats and have written about them, I can't remember being as excited as I was
when I learned about Lynea Lattanzio, the “crazy cat lady”. Lynea lives in Parlier, California, and is the
founder of The Cat House on the Kings.

You may be wondering how the Cat House on the Kings came to be. You see, even though she had all
the possessions and financial comfort she could ever want, she was unhappy. She felt miserable and
unfulfilled. So she divorced her multi-millionaire husband, sold or traded most of her expensive jewelry
and cars, and began saving cats; the animals who had stolen her heart.

Photo credit: Flickr User: Jen-the-librarian

As a result of her passion for felines, cats abound no matter where you may look around the property.
Her fabulous 4200 square foot, five-bedroom home “on the Kings river” that Lynea and her multi-
millionaire, now ex-husband had once shared, is now occupied only by felines. Lynea turned her house
over to a clowder of cats, and now she lives elsewhere.

Lynea started saving the lives of countless unwanted cats and kittens, dogs, puppies, and many other
critters in 1992. Determined to give these animals a proper, loving home, she opened the Cat House of
the Kings; an extremely remarkable Sanctuary. The facility is a no-cage, no-kill, lifetime care sanctuary,
and adoption center built on 12 beautifully sprawling acres. This extraordinary haven for unwanted pets
is located close to Fresno, in Parlier, California. Presently, the Cat House on the Kings is home to more
than 1,000 cats and kittens, a growing number of dogs and puppies, and an assortment of peacocks.

The Cat House on the Kings begins its daily routine early in the morning, shortly before the sun rises.
Their routine is often described as “organized chaos”. This “chaos” includes feeding, cleaning litter
boxes, inspecting the animals, monitoring their health and weight, clipping claws, doing laundry, and
administering any necessary medications. Naturally it also incorporates bestowing all the tender love on
the animals that time allows. Their work is only over whenever all is finished for the day.

You may wonder what might be on the menu that could possibly assuage the ravenous appetites of
these hungry felines. Each week Cat House on the Kings feeds over 1,000 pounds of dry kibble, more
than 27 cases of 13-ounce moist food every week at an overwhelming cost.

I shudder when I contemplate the cost of the litter and the litter boxes that would keep all the feline
residents happy. Lynea and her staff and volunteers stay on top of cleaning up after them. Their
ultimate goal is having no kitty “odor” present.

The sanctuary employs approximately 50 kitty loving staff and a host of volunteers. Additionally, there is
a veterinary hospital on site, so Lynea is able to provide the highest quality care that these kitties
deserve. However this exceptional care these kitties get doesn’t come cheaply. The annual cost of
running the facility is a staggering. If it weren’t for the generous donations of caring cat food companies,
the sanctuary could not operate. The Cat House is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit corporation. It receives no
government or public funding, and to carry out its missions, relies entirely on donations from the public.

Lynea doesn’t care that some people call her the “crazy cat lady”. She responsibly, methodically and
carefully gives these cats a second chance in life. And Lynea is one smart “cookie” when it comes to
giving kitties that are too old or infirm to get a permanent, loving home. To assure that these elderly
cats will be cared for life, she swaps some of her younger, healthy cats for the older cats with rescue
groups since young, healthy cats are easily placed into permanent loving homes. This is a win- win
situation for all the cats concerned.

The Cat House on the Kings welcomes donations and volunteers to help them continue the amazing
work they are doing. More information about adopting, volunteering and donating is available on their
website. The Cat House on the Kings. Check them out!

You are invited to have a virtual tour of the Cat House on the Kings and to spend a day “visiting” the Cat
House on the Kings sitting at your computer. It’s an experience you won’t forget..

 

 

Article By: Jo Singer, MSW, CSW, LCSW (Ret.)

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