Willie Ortez is a 76-year-old man from Hartford, Connecticut who has a huge heart of gold. For the past 22 years, he has been feeding stray cats without missing a single day.
He funds his mission by collecting scrap metal, which helps buy cat food, supplies, and provides some medical care. He can be seen collecting in the rain, sleet, and snow-nothing stops him from caring for the cats.
In addition to feeding the homeless kitties, he pays for them to be spayed and neutered. He also provides medical care for sick or injured cats. The self appointed cat guardian says the job is hard but also makes him very happy.
Feeding the cats became his life mission after seeing a starving kitten denied food.
He said, “People were pushing it away, and I could see it needed help. I know these cats can’t understand my accent, but I need to do something.”
Each morning Ortez heads out to collects scrap metal to sell. Each evening, he feeds the cats and checks on their health. Their diet includes cat food and sardines so the strays are very healthy.
Thankfully, he has received some help taking care of the cats. A year ago Kathleen Schlentz created a gofundme page to help him buy food and pay for medical expenses. The fundraiser is ongoing so people can still donate to the cause. Kathleen wrote:
“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. He makes sure they get what they need to have as good a life as possible.”
Ortez says that despite all the good he is doing; people still ask him why he does it. He said, “People ask me why I feed them every day, or tell me I feed them too much.” His response, “You eat every day, no?’ You get three meals; they eat once every 24 hours.”
We think the world needs more people like Willie Ortez and we’re sure the cats agree. Not only is he helping the cats, he is helping society by preventing unwanted litters and disease.