This story starts with a homeless man named Antonio Garcia, who lived in an alley in West Loop, Chicago. Having no family of his own, Antonio cared for several dozens of local cats. Although he couldn’t give them all necessary medical treatment, Antonio still did his best to provide the cats with decent living conditions.
Two years ago, back in 2016, Cynthia Doepke was walking home from her work in the West Loop, when she noticed some feral cats staring at her. Interested, Cynthia tried to take a closer look at them, but the cats immediately ran away.
Over the course of the next several weeks, she regularly returned to that place to give the felines some food and care. Soon she learned about Antonio Garcia, who lived in the alley nearby and had more than 30 cats living with him.
When Antonio died in January 2018, Cynthia realized it was now up to her to take care of the cats he left behind. She talked to locals, seeking any support she could find, and eventually found a common cause with Liz Houtz, Janet O’Brian, and Leona Sepulveda. Those four compassionate women are now trying to improve Antonio’s cats’ lives, and while there is still much work left to be done, the local felines’ future already seems brighter.