Willie Ortiz has big plans for the five-figure sum donated to him.
Namely cat food, and trips to a vet to help reduce the number of mouths he’ll have to feed.
Ortiz, 75, is Hartford’s resident stray-cat savior, a retiree who takes nightly trips around the city to care for the animals, feeding them and gathering ones who need to be spayed or neutered.
An online fundraiser set up for him through the website GoFundMe last week eclipsed $26,000 – more than five times his stated goal of $5,000.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” Ortiz said Thursday as he, what else, prepared for his nightly run to visit Hartford’s cat colonies. “It’s wonderful that so many people care so much about the animals.”
Ortiz’s charity came to light last February, thanks in part to a profile in The Courant. But he’s not new to the game: He’s been dealing in cat food for 21 years, …