A retired veteran is on a lifetime mission: feeding stray cats and ensuring they’re beloved and nicely taken care of.
To do that, he needed to accumulate scrap metals and promote them. He has been doing it for the final 28 years and doesn’t have any intention to cease.
82-year-old Willie Ortiz has an distinctive love for cats which began in 1995 when he got here throughout a hungry stray cat begging for meals. Whereas individuals had been ignoring and shoving the cat away, Ortiz immediately acknowledged that it wanted assist.
He began feeding the cat which led him to a surprising discovery that there have been a number of colonies of stray cats all through Hartford in want of meals and correct care.
Since then, Ortiz devoted his life to feeding stray cats and taking care of them. Although not everybody understood his determination, individuals’s unfavorable suggestions didn’t hinder him from doing what he wished.
Ortiz shared that folks requested them why he fed cats day-after-day or that he fed them an excessive amount of. “You eat day-after-day, no? You get three meals; they eat as soon as each 24 hours.” This was what he would reply to them.
Ortiz would additionally entice and launch feral cats and accumulate kittens then place them for adoption. After they had been sick, he would take them to the vet to have them spayed or neutered.
Nevertheless, the price of the cats’ medical care elevated as he collected extra kittens. For practically 70 kittens, he needed to spend $600 on their meals alone.
To proceed his mission, he began amassing scrap metals to promote them and pay for the cats’ meals and medical companies.
He would do it whatever the climate; the one exception was if it was snowing a lot. “If it snows greater than three inches, I don’t go as a result of I don’t need them getting their bellies moist and chilly,” Ortiz mentioned. “However I’ll go the following morning and feed them double.”
Ortiz appeared for scrap steel each single day and likewise had connections with some companies who donated their scrap steel to him. If he might promote them for a better worth, he would do it on Craigslist to make just a little more cash for his feline associates.
Feeding 16 colonies of stray and feral cats was not tough for Ortiz however what made it laborious for him was the price of their meals and medical care.
To assist the type veteran, his buddy Kathleen Schlentz arrange a GoFundMe for Ortiz’s cats. That is additionally to honor the noble work that her buddy has been doing for the animals for a few years.
Schlentz shared that every one of Ortiz’s cats are wholesome, and he has been feeding a few of them for over 15 years. “As you possibly can see, Willie is totally devoted to his cats. Understanding Willie has been a really humbling expertise for me and I’m so grateful to name him my buddy,” Schlentz wrote on Ortiz’s GoFundMe web page.
“Please assist Willie and his cats, if in any respect potential. By donating to this marketing campaign, you haven’t solely helped these harmless cats dwell longer, more healthy lives, however you’ve gotten additionally helped with the answer to a really huge downside within the Hartford and East Hartford Communities,” Schlentz added.
Ortiz is a U.S. Military veteran and has a loving spouse of 62 years, two youngsters, 4 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Although he has a giant and comfortable household, his life grew to become much more significant when he began his mission of feeding stray cats.
“I’ve by no means met a extra dedicated particular person; Willie unknowingly evokes me in so some ways. Understanding him has made my life higher, simply by doing what he does so effortlessly. He’s a loving, caring, and trustworthy man who believes very strongly in God and all of his goodness, regardless of the ache and disappointment he sees,” wrote Schlentz.
Watch Ortiz’s timeless love for cats within the video under: