Meet Our July Hudson Valley Hero: Layla Morgan Wilde
This local cat advocate is changing the world, one purr at a time.
A cat consultant, three-time Muse Medallion Award winner, and founder of Cat Wisdom 101, Hartsdale citizen Layla Morgan Wilde is a true hero, having devoting the past 20 years toward cat rescue and advocacy.
Wilde launched a cat-centric organization, Cat Wisdom 101 in 2011. Through her website and social media pages, Wilde puts her experience as a holistic cat expert, writer, and advocate to public use. Her goal is to educate and entertain people with the latest news and products for cats and their families with a range of professional and nonprofit services like consulting.
One of Wilde’s key accomplishments is volunteering at the Westchester County’s Humane Society Where she helped rehab 80 cats after they were discovered in a horrific hoarding incident in 2014.
“The shocking video evidence of dozens of cats crammed into cages in a dark, fly infested, urine, and feces soaked room propelled me into action, says Wilde. “We live in a beautiful community and I found it mind-boggling that hoarding with telltale signs, sound, and smells raised no suspicions by neighbors. I called the shelter the next day to volunteer.”
Many of the cats were traumatized, required veterinary treatment, and socialization. Wilde interacted with as many cats as possible with one-on-one cage enrichment, interactive play, and communication, as well as behavioral assessment in order for the cats to be eligible for adoption.
Wilde founded the Toronto-based organization Annex Cat back in 1997. She specifically has a soft sport for black, elder, and special needs cats.
“Black cats are about half as likely to be adopted than other colors. They stand out because there are more of them.”
Last year Wilde felt it was the right time to concentrate on promoting black cat awareness and adoption. She launched a book titled Black Cats Tell All, which focuses on the positive aspects of black cats in order to deflate commonly-held myths. The book also includes over 100 photos of black cats from around the globe. Pre-orders of the book will be available early this month and will officially be published on August 17.
Even though Wilde is often described as being a “cat whisperer” Wilde does not agree with that title. She truly believes her gift lies more along the lines of simply just connecting with felines.
“I do not call myself a cat whisperer. It’s my gift as an empath, which allows me to observe, tune in, and connect with cats.”
Wilde has also worked with celebrity cats such as Lil Bub, Cole, Marmalade, as well as many Instagram influencers and consultants within the pet industry.
Some recommendations that Wilde has given in order to advocate for the welfare of cats is Alley Cat Allies, which helps with abandoned/feral cats. Wilde is a volunteer and is listed on their Feral Friends Network.