For 22 Years, This Veteran Has Been Feeding Stray Cats With The Money He Earns Selling Scrap Metal
There are different kinds of people on the planet, ones who care for animals, but not enough to really care for them, those who don’t bother with animals, and some who’d go the extra mile to truly care for them, no matter what. You don’t have to have a million dollars in your account to care for animals; you need a million-dollar heart and I’m sure most of you will agree with this.
When there’s a will, there’s always a way, and if you don’t find a way, your will (desire) will help you make the way forward. I strongly believe this. Of course, people who help feed strays always need help, but they’re too humble to ask for it. If you want to do your part and know you can’t fully dedicate yourself to feeding strays, the least you can do is help those who do.
The beautiful feeling you get after feeding a stray is like no other, honestly. A different kind of gratitude fills your inner being, opening your heart to more such experiences.
People who feed strays are nothing short of heroes. While some part of the world eats together on a table surrounded by family, the heroes are out there feeding those who no one else would feed.
They consider stray animals part of their family and treat them like they would a loved one. This is a story of retired soldier Willie Ortiz, and his love for feeding the stray.
Meet Willie Ortiz.
Meet Willie Ortiz, a retired soldier, school bus driver, mechanic, and welder at Connecticut’s Hartford Hospital.
Every night, for the past 22 years, Ortiz has diligently fed and cared for stray cats. This humble man did not miss a single day feeding his feline friends, who also depend on him for their survival.
Every night, Ortiz would pack his mini-van with cat food and make a total of 16 stops across the city to feed 68 stray cats.
How it all began…
His love for feeding stray cats began in 1995 when he saw a hungry cat begging for food just outside his friend’s auto body shop. He was shocked when he saw how some people ignored the hungry cat, while others tried to scare it away.
He wasn’t going to stand there and see how people refused to help feed a cat. He decided to feed the cat and soon noticed that there were many other stray cats around Hartford who needed help.
Every month, this hero spends about $600 to feed all the stray cats across the city. Not only does he feed them, he also traps and releases feral cats, gets them the medical attention they need, makes sure they’re vaccinated and spayed or neutered.
He also rescues kittens and gets them fostered or adopted. It’s important to understand that $600 is only spent on food for stray cat. The cost is a lot more than that, keeping in mind everything else he does to care for the strays.
How he affords everything…
In order to continue feeding and caring for strays, 80-year-old Ortiz spends morning hours collecting and selling scrap metal, regardless of the weather. He earns between $20 and $60 per day selling scraps to recycling plants.
People who know Ortiz often give him metal donations so he doesn’t have to work hard during the day collecting them.
You can help him too.
After his story went viral, people began asking how to donate to his cause. As a result, Ortiz’s good friend, Kathleen Schlentz, set up a GoFundMe page where people could donate and learn more about Ortiz and his mission.
While Ortiz would humbly accept donations for cat food and care, he won’t accept even a penny towards himself or the gas he uses to drive his van across the city to feed the strays
People like Ortiz are rare and hard to come by. He truly cares for the strays and would do anything to ensure they’re safe and fed.
This proves the fact that not all heroes wear capes! Ortiz is among those heroes who don’t blow their own trumpet and who silently teach humans how to be more caring and more loving towards those who don’t speak our language.
God bless, Ortiz.