A mother-of-two has said how she spends ￡90,000-a-year looking after more than 120 rescue cats. Silvana Valentino-Locke, 55, even employs two to look after her pet posse at her home in Downe in Bromley, Kent. Even more surprising than the dozens of cats and care costs, Mrs Valentino-Locke, who has been married to Tony for 32 years, says her spouse does not mind her cats.
“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 said. Luckily Tony works long hours so he doesn't see all the work of caring for them. Mrs Valentino-Locke, who has two sons with Tony - Daniel, 30 and Tony Jnr, 27 - has also taken in some 30 cats, who all live and wander in a neighbouring field.
The mother-of-two spends ￡500 per week on the 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, 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 film, with the rest covered by donations, fund-raising 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 cats 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 clean every bit of floor and furniture,” Mrs Valentino-Locke said. “It's a long, exhausting job.”