It was a moment that changed Willie Ortiz’s life. He was walking home in his Hartford, Connecticut, neighborhood when he saw an emaciated kitten begging for food on the side of the road. He watched as other people either shooed the cat away or ignored it altogether.
It was then that Ortiz, a 76-year-old U.S. Army veteran and husband of 55 years, decided to devote his days to helping the homeless felines.
Ortiz provides 16 colonies — a total of 68 cats — with food and head scratches every day. It’s been 22 years since he started. His family says he hasn’t missed a day yet.