Man Feeds Feral Cats at Work for Years – But When He Retires, He Does Something Really Amazing
Joe Fonseca had been feeding about 20 feral cats outside of his office in Napa, California for over 20 years. But then Joe decided it was time to retire…so who would continuing to feed them after? Joe decided he would and made the trek to the parking log near his former office, driving to Napa from Vallejo, every day to continue feeding the cats. However, one day a nearby apartment complex owner confronted him about the cats. “If you don’t do something about your cats, I will,” Fonseca remembered him saying and he knew he needed to find a permanent solution for his beloved felines.
Joe began calling various shelters but none could help him. “I’d gotten some of the cats to begin to trust me. A few would actually come up to me to get fed,” Joe explained to Napa Valley Register. He was getting very discouraged as he thinking about their potential fate.
But then a call with St. Helena’s We Care Animal Rescue and everything changed. We Care is a full service “no kill” rescue shelter and a sanctuary where the feral cats could live in a larger community.
So the next obstacle would be transporting the 20 cats to the feral cat community.
It wasn’t an easy process but Joe managed to capture all 20 of the cats to bring them to their new home at We Care. There were scratches and biting but in the end Joe was successful.
But this is just the beginning of Joe’s story. He noticed some repairs needed to be made at We Care and because of their tight budget, they were unable to get around to them. For instance, there were non-working exterior lights, which meant that in the evenings volunteers needed to carry flashlights to walk between buildings to care for the cats.
Joe decided he needed to help and started repairing and replacing broken fixtures. “I figured that I owed them (We Care) a lot for taking in those cats, so I offered to help.”
Joe selflessly volunteers his time to helping out around We Care whenever and wherever needed. He even managed to rebuild an area within the facility for sick cats so that they could still have access to the outer compound and enjoy the fresh air. How awesome is that!?
Joe also began making cat furniture for We Care fundraisers. Some of the items included beds made out of old drawers, wooden wine cases, and even suitcases. Joe and his wife also began creating ceramic garden stones with humorous embedded pictures of cats.
The items are made at his workshop at home and then he sells them at the shelter’s fundraisers with all proceeds going to the organization. What a great creative way to help animals in need!
And of course, Joe still spends time with the feral cats as they live out their lives safe at We Care. After three years, Joe still drives up to the We Care shelter three days a week to volunteer. “I didn’t used to be a cat person, I was more of a dog person. But now…” Joe said. We totally get it Joe!
Share the amazing compassion and creativity of Joe with others. Thank you Joe for your commitment to animals in need.