The little calico mom was starving. As she tried to ween her eight-week old kittens, she grew thinner and thinner. It was October and only getting colder; the three cats may not make it through the winter, but momma cat continued searching for food. She stopped in a backyard, and found some kind souls who fed her. Little did she know, she had landed in the yard of cat superheroes.
Wilma and Peter Crisler have always been animal lovers. Because Wilma can never “stand the thought of anything being hungry,” she fed this beautiful calico cat (who they named Sophie) and her kittens. She told her neighbors about the cats in her back yard, and the neighbors offered to raise the two kittens if Wilma could trap them. Within ten days, Wilma had trapped the two kittens for her neighbor and called Alley Cat Advocates to arrange for Sophie to be spayed through a quick fix. She heard about Alley Cat Advocates through word-of-mouth from a friend.
After Sophie healed from her surgery, the Crislers released her into the wilds of their back yard. She took off like a flash but has never gone too far.
“I was so grateful for Alley Cat Advocates help,” Wilma said.
Since Sophie, Wilma has trapped four more cats, each of whom she named: Simba, Headley, Goldie and Handsome. She said that they trap cats and take them to Alley Cat Advocates because they believe they are truly helping these cats not only to live extended lives, but healthier and happier ones.
Both Peter and Wilma have always loved animals. Pete grew up in a family who loved dogs and cats, and Wilma grew up on a farm.
“I grew up with all the farm animals as my pets, even raccoons and lizards. I’ve always loved them all,” Wilma said.
This big heart and passion for animals has extended into their continued care for the cats around them. Pete used Alley Cat Advocates’ website to build a winter shelter for Sophie. He even bought a motion-sensor heating pad that turns on when Sophie lays down in her shelter.
The Crislers continue to be big advocates for Alley Cat Advocates. They recently attended a Big Fix and were amazed at the efficiency and precision of the entire process. They are also advocates of the trap-neuter-return process.
“If you do trap, neuter and return, it keeps down the population and makes you feel good about yourself,” Wilma said. “It feels good to help something that can’t help itself.”
After 47 years of marriage, Wilma still remembers her mother’s advice about finding the right man – “Don’t trust a man who doesn’t like cats.” When she met Pete, she knew she had a keeper because he liked cats. Now the two are cat superheroes and have saved the lives of so many in their neighborhood.
“We love cats, and we love helping Alley Cat Advocates,” Wilma said.