Lifelong animal lover left last wish for her cats
Teresa Fluhr forged a lifelong bond with animals one that seemed impenetrable.
She volunteered at the CROW Wildlife Clinic on Sanibel and adopted pets left homeless after Hurricane Charley ripped through the islands in August of 2004.
Two of these pets are sister cats Fluhr named Stormy and Charley after the monster storm.
But then in November she got sick. Doctors diagnosed her with cancer. By the end of February the vibrant 58-year-old was dead and the very pets she worked to save are now homeless.
Now the two affectionate cats are in a kennel together waiting for someone to adopt them, said Fluhr’s son Greg Fluhr.
“She was worried about the cats, we found a place for her dog,” he said.
Greg’s voice cracks a bit when he talks about his mom’s love and devotion to animals. The 38-year-old writer/entertainer said he and his mother both share a love of animals. He has already taken in a number of pets and cannot have any more in his California home. Greg said he flew to see his mother as soon as he knew she took ill and has been here since. He must return home to work and can no longer afford the $30 a day kennel fee for Stormy and Charlie. And Greg is distraught over not only losing his mother but what mattered most to her – the four-legged critters.
“The hardest thing is that she entrusted me to give them a home,” he said. “It would be a shame for them to have to go back to the shelter.”
Charlie is a brown tabby cat and Stormy is a grey domestic medium hair cat. Both female cats are friendly, affectionate and get along fine with dogs, according to Diane Barr, a PAWS representative. PAWS, an island non-profit group devoted to caring for stray animals is trying to help the cats find a home.
“There’s no reason not to adopt them,” Barr said. “There really sweet cats.”
Fluhr was only left with a short period of time – under much duress -to try and find homes for her beloved pets. by
This is why animal caretakers stress the importance of having a will in place designating a home for pets in the event of one’s death.
Ria Brown, the public information officer for Lee County Domestic Animal Services, said if a caretaker is not arranged in a will, someone else will have to make that decision.
“So many people consider their pets family,” Brown said. “You certainly would provide custody for your children.”
Brown recommends talking with family and friends to determine a suitable caretaker for your pet should you die.
“You get to pick the owner,” Brown said.
Kathy Boone, the treasurer for PAWS said she put her dog in her will.
“I want to make sure that if I go before her that she is provided for,” Boone said.
To adopt Charlie and Stormy, call Greg Fluhr at 818-625-6382.
Foster parents are also needed for other homeless island pets at PAWS. PAWS has been around for around 20 years. Foster parents only care for pets, all expenses are paid for by PAWS. For more information, call Pam Sullivan, the PAWS president at 472-