76-year-old Willie Ortiz is not letting time nor age stop him from being dedicated to over two decades of providing for stray cats in his community. A veteran, the Hartford, Connecticut senior is also a scrap metal collector.
He started feeding the stray cats after he saw people ɪɢɴᴏʀɪɴɢ 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 strays cats was his life’s mission.
Absolutely nothing stops him or interferes with his mission, least of all inclement weather. Rain, snow, or sunshine, Ortiz goes out and about every single day to collect scrap metal. He then sells the scrap metal to pay for the food and cat supplies that the local stray population needs to survive.
Every morning, Willie starts his day by driving around collecting scraps to sell. Then, every evening he leaves his home with tins of sardines and cat food to feed the cats, and while he is there he checks on their health.
The cats that Ortiz cares for in his community are all very healthy and well-fed! But that’s not all. Not only does he make sure they’re spayed or neutered, but ɪɴjᴜʀᴇᴅ or sɪᴄᴋ cats are collected and given ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀʟ ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ on Ortiz’s dime.
The work is difficult, but Willie has said many times that it is his “life,” and it makes him, “very happy.”
For the last 22 years, Ortiz has been feeding local stray cats every single day.
“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. “He makes sure they get what they need to have as good a life as possible.”