Maria Torero may take care of sick humans as a profession, but she also treats cats at home.
The 45-year-old Peruvian nurse picks up hundreds of terminally ill cats from Lima’s city streets and brings them home, where she feeds and cleans them. She even sterilizes the cats and checks for parasites every two months.
Most of these animals are infected with feline leukemia, which is not contagious to humans or other species.
Torero believes it is her job as a nurse to take care of the cats.
“People don’t adopt adult cats, especially if they are terminally ill,” she said, adding that she only takes in adult cats in order to avoid infecting any kittens.
The nurse also has three children, who gladly play and cuddle with the cats. Although their home has a strong smell of urine that never seems to go away, Torero stated that she hasn’t received complaints from neighbors yet.
Monthly expenses can be as high as $1,785, which are partially covered by donations. Torero pays for everything else herself.
The lifespan of cats with leukemia is significantly shorter than healthy ones, and the nurse does everything she can to keep them alive for several more years.
The sick animals eventually die naturally, but there are no ceremonies for them.
Torero stated that, “my best gift of love and respect [is what] I give them in life.”More Like This: Inspirational & Spiritual, Real People