London: A 55-year-old ‘mad’ woman in the UK has a fetish for cats and lives with 122 felines. Silvana Valentino-Locke has 52 lucky cats to have the four-bedroom house while 40 live at the bottom of her garden with another 30 in a neighbouring field. “It’s an addiction,” she confesses. “It’s like I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder about cats. I feel like it’s my job to look after them all. Every time I get a phone call about an abandoned cat, I can’t say ‘no’.
“My car number plate has ‘mad cat woman’ printed on it.You have to be mad to do what I’m doing,” Silvana was quoted as saying by The Mirror.She forks out 90,000 pounds-a-year to have her pets fed,watered and their every need attended to by four live-in staff at her home and rescue centre. She also spends 4,500 pounds a month on vet bills.
Over the past 12 years Silvana has rescued 600 cats and has rehomed 7,000. “I decided to turn my shed into a foster home for cats,” she says. “They were so ill when they arrived, I worked hard to get them well. But I grew too fond of them and ended up keeping them,” she said.
Silvana is not the traditional cat-loving spinster- she is mum of two with a husband of 32 years, who bravely puts up with hercompulsion and provides nearly half the cash she needs to support her feline family.