My first meeting with Kris Smith was on a beautiful, clear, crisp spring day in May, 1968. I was serving as Grand Marshall of the Wenatchee Apple Blossom Festival. My wife, Carolyn, and I were riding in an open convertible. The streets were lined with people.
Suddenly I noticed the shining face of a teenager running alongside our slow-moving car waving a sign which proclaimed, “We Love DeForest Kelley.” We managed to make some hurried dialogue with her as our driver kept pace with the other parade vehicles.
Sometime later I received a letter from Kris, along with an essay describing her experience meeting us on that festive occasion. I was so impressed with her writing ability that I sent the essay to a national motion picture magazine—and they wanted to publish it. I wrote to inform her of this, and to express our hope that it might lead to something interesting for her future.
At a later date we learned that Kris has always had a great love for animals (a devotion we share) and we were delighted to find that she has put her talent to use to benefit animal welfare in various national publications. Today, while pursuing her goal to become a screenwriter in Hollywood, she continues her dedication to animals at Shambala, Tippi Hedren’s wildlife preserve near Acton, California, the facility which provided her gorgeous “serval son,” Deaken, a much-needed place to stay during the lengthy transition from Washington State to California.
Carolyn and I have been privileged to meet Deaken, both at
Shambala and at home in North Hollywood. Deaken must have known that “Mom-Cat”Kris approves of us, for he immediately greeted us with enthusiastic head rubs and licks, which Kris says she had never seen him do before to anyone but herself.
I refer to Kris as “the best Mom-Cat I know” for she has a touch of magic with animals,wild and domestic. She is deeply concerned about their welfare in the wild and in captivity, and about our own environment and welfare on this planet.
As you will see within these pages, Kris possesses a real talent for expressing her feelings regarding matters that tug at so many concerned hearts.
But make no mistake about it: Kris has a “wild” sense of humor, as well. She is known among some of us as “Krazy Kris.” She’s crazy, all right—crazy like a fox.