When Dominique Amerosa, president of the Rags to Riches Animal Rescue, got a call about a stray Persian cat in her Tampa, Florida, neighborhood, she thought it was business as usual with a neutered male.
The veterinarian even confirmed the sex of the cat at a vaccination appointment. But then three weeks later, the cat — now known as Gertrude — “had a little Wisp.”
Wisp, a nearly 10-week-old Persian cat who is known for her unique appearance and chatty personality, has gained almost 800,000 followers and over 50 million likes on TikTok.
Some have referred to her as “scrungly.” Others, a used napkin. “She looks like she just woke up or like she’s a mad scientist,” Amerosa adds. “Which is pretty typical of Persians around that age.”
However, Wisp’s adorably disheveled appearance gets some help from her diet. “She’s only able to have a watered down slurry, so she’s constantly shoving her face in food,” Amerosa tells explains, resulting in Wisp’s white fur being stained orange around her mouth.
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@ragstorichesanimalrescu I dont even know why i asked #fyp #rescue #foryou #foryoupage #followus #follow #rescuecat #rescuedkittens #wisp #rescuekittensoftik #rescuekitten #kitten #kittenlove ♬ original sound – Rags to Riches Animal Rescue
Wisp spends her days enjoying bottled water and relaxing in Amerosa’s care at the Rags to Riches Animal Rescue alongside six foster dogs and a few fostered kittens (In total the rescue oversees over 60 cats and close to 30 dogs).
While Gertrude “doesn’t socialize too much with Wisp,” Lilac, a cat the rescue saved from an interstate, who usually “hates cats,” has taken a liking to Wisp. “I catch her going into Wisp’s little enclosure and grooming her.”
Amerosa recalled that others at the rescue encouraged her to make a TikTok dedicated to the organization. “I made it, and then I posted Wisp screaming for food, and I went to sleep,” she explains. “I woke up and I had, like, over 200,000 followers. All these comments, all these new followers on Instagram.”
“All of our animals are very cute, but she is hilarious,” Amerosa says of the talkative kitten. “I’m happy to share how she is. How spunky and sassy.”
Wisp’s big personality helps her in the face of challenges, like an intestinal stricture which “closes the proper way to poop, so she has a really hard time getting poop out of her.”
While she struggles with this medical condition, the Rags to Riches Animal Rescue takes Wisp to veterinarians to help care for the kitten.
Amerosa explains she’s received a ballooning, a procedure which stretches out the colon, and will probably continue to need a few more throughout her life. Amerosa adds that she will likely not need greater medical interventions, such as surgery.
“A lot of people don’t understand disabled animals,” Amerosa explains. “If you’re in it for the long haul and you feel passionate about saving an animal, there’s plenty of resources to get the care you need.”
Wisp, she adds, “was definitely a fighter.”