By Brad Edwards

CHICAGO (CBS) — You probably didn’t hear about Antonio Garcia’s death.

He was homeless man who died in January.

And what happened next, as CBS 2’s Brad Edwards reports, was remarkable.

Somewhere in the city, near million dollar condos…

 

“I walked right past the alley and I saw these four cats looking right up at me,” says Cynthia Doepke. “(That’s when) I met Antonio for the first time.”

The first of many times.

Antonio Garcia, a homeless man, died of hypothermia in a cruel snap of January winter.

He is survived by many feral cats.

“They’re as feral as a coyote or a raccoon. The moment they smell you, they’re gone,” says Doepke.

Antonio is survived by these cats.

“These cats meant everything to him,” says Doepke.”They ate before he ate.”

Today, his friends, take care of the cats.

They trap, neuter and then release them.

They feed them.

And now, nearly $12,000 has been raised by word of internet.

“Now we have a bright future for these cats,” says Doepke.

The location is a secret.

“Antonio never wanted anything for himself in life,” says friend Leona Sepulveda. “All he wanted was for his cats. And thru his death, his cats are being taken care of.”

Three’s a white sign in the alley flanked by crosses and a candle.

“This feral cat colony is registered and maintained by Antonio’s friends.”

Some of the donations for the cats on the YouCaring.com page appear to be international.

There’s a core team of four women take turns taking care of the cats.