BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Agnes Zhelesnik, of Watchung, New Jersey, teaches Home Ec. in Sundance School, located in Bridgewater, a few miles away. She currently works 35 hours a week and has been teaching for the past 21 years. Agnes teaches elementary children how to cook, bake, and sew, among other things. She loves her job and does not expect to retire anytime soon. She also is America's oldest teacher. How old? 102! That's right... 102 years old, or should I say 102 years young! She just had her birthday on January 12. And she has only been teaching for 21 years? Yes, because Agnes started teaching when she was 81, and she hasn't looked back yet. She just keeps on going. Her daughter, who teaches art at the same school, picks her up every school day. Agnes hardly misses a day because she rarely calls in sick. When asked what her secret is, she said that you just have to be happy in what you do. Everyone calls her "Granny", including the teachers, and she doesn't mind because she has outlived all her peers. To her, the 70 and 80-year-olds are youngsters!
FRESNO, CA - Lynea Lattanzio, 67, bought a 4,200-square-foot 5-bedroom home in the early 90's when she was single and without any children. She loved the 6-acre property near the Kings River. She started taking in cats in 1992 and by the end of that year, the total was 96. Lynea found homes for all 96 cats. She became a vet tech in 1993, and received even more cats. Lynea says today, "I'm going to say that I'm at the top of the list of the eccentric crazy cat ladies."
Just how "crazy" is Lynea? She currently has over 1,000 cats living in her house, along with some dogs. She had to move out of her big beautiful house, since the cats have taken ownership. Wanting a cat-free zone, she moved into a small mobile home on the same property. The cats have free roaming in the house and property, which is now called "Cat House On The Kings", California's largest no-cage, no-kill sanctuary for feral and abandoned cats. What about her mobile home? It houses another two dozen cats and dogs. So much for the cat-free zone. But Lynea doesn't mind at all.
What about the cost? The expenses to run the Cat House, which include food, litter, mainte-nance, payroll, vet and medical supplies, total over $1.5 million a year! She currently has 7 vet techs on staff and a cat hospital and ICU on the property. In the beginning, Lynea paid for everything, even selling her car and jewelry. Now she receives outside financial help. Without it, she would have to close. In the 24 years that she has lived there, Lynea has taken in and lived with over 28,000 cats! Wow, now that is crazy!