Monday, 22 June 2015

VIDEO: Woman Spends £90,000 A Year Looking After 122 Abandoned Cats

A mother-of-two has revealed how she spends £90,000-a-year looking after more than 120 rescue cats.

Silvana Valentino-Locke, 55, even employs two live-in 'cat nannies' to look after her pet posse at her home in Downe in Bromley, Kent.

Even more surprising than the dozens of cats and jaw-dropping care costs, Mrs Valentino-Locke, who has been married to Tony for 32 years, says her spouse does not mind her cat obsession.

'Every man who comes to adopt a cat always asks, "have you got a husband?" They can't believe anyone would tolerate all these cats,' she told The Mirror.
'Luckily Tony works long hours so he doesn't see all the work of caring for them.'
Mrs Valentino-Locke began turning their marital home into a rescue centre more than 20 years ago, adding that it 'reached full potential' in 1998 and became the Romney House Cat Rescue.

She now has 52 cats living with her and Tony in their four-bedroom home, with some 30-40 waiting to find new homes, housed in a number of garden sheds which have been converted into cat houses.

Mrs Valentino-Locke, who has two sons with Tony - Daniel, 30 and Tony Jnr, 27 - has also taken in some 30 'feral' cats, who all live and roam free in a neighbouring field.

Caring for the 122 cats - a number which is in constant flux as kittens are born and cats adopted - is a full-time job and a costly one at that.

The mother-of-two spends £500 per week on the thrice-daily feeds, and with 12 litter trays to change every day, the cost of litter alone is £30 per day.

Mrs Valentino-Locke employs two live-in 'cat nannies', who are paid £250 a week plus food and board, and spend £4,500-a-month on veterinary bills.

Silvana herself is devoted to the cause of caring for the cats, and gets up at 6.30am every day to look after them, sometimes not returning to bed until after midnight.

The annual total of £90,000 is funded 50 per cent by Tony, who runs a courier film, with the rest covered by donations, fundraising drives and Mrs Valentino-Locke's charity shop.

Despite the 52 cats sharing a home with her and Tony, Mrs Valentino-Locke refuses to let her obsession affect her standards.

With the help of her staff, the couple's Kent home is cleaned from top to bottom, twice a day.  

'It takes about an hour and a half. We hoover and mop every bit of floor and furniture,' Mrs Valentino-Locke told The Mirror.

'It's a long, exhausting job. All the time the phone is going with people with cats that need to be rescued.'

Mrs Valentino-Locke's life with her 122 cats has now become the subject of a Channel 5 documentary, called 90 Cats & Counting: Cat Crazies, set to air on Wednesday, July 1.   

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