Every day, 77-year-old Willie Ortiz scours his town for scrap metal, loads up his truck, and sells it — for cat food.
From that day on, Willie became a guardian angel for feral cats.
He started small—taking cans of food to cat colonies in the darkness of night, when they’re more likely to roam.
But he also realized that without population control, the cats would continue to multiply. So Willie started catching them one by one to get spayed or neutered and vaccinated.
Over time, Willie added more stops to his nightly rounds as he discovered new cat colonies in and around Hartford. And with that came more expenses.
To cover costs, Willie began collecting scrap metal to sell during the day when he wasn’t working as a welder at Hartford Hospital.
Years passed, and Willie continued his nightly rounds—only skipping nights when conditions would endanger the cats. “If it snows more than three inches, I don’t go because I don’t want them getting their bellies wet and cold,” he says. “But I’ll go the next night and feed them double.”
“I tell God he has to give me not nine but ten lives so that I can keep doing this.”