PORT ST. LUCIE PEOPLE
The CAT RESCUER
At the sound of “roll call,’’ dozens of cats awake
from their slumber or cease their play and scamper
from all directions for their hand out of treats and
affection from Cindy Whistler, owner of Nanny’s
Fur Kids Cat Rescue, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization.
One by one, she addresses each cat by name and strokes it
affectionately. The cats lovingly purr and rub against her as if
saying thank you.
Most of the cats are housed in large comfortable cages that
fill the room like a labyrinth. Others are gleefully cavorting
with other felines in communal kennels equipped with climbing
trees and resting hammocks. At least a dozen are roaming
free, balancing on the tops of cages, greeting visitors and
helping create floral arrangements in the back of the shop
where Whistler still runs Abagail’s Florist.
It all started about five years ago when Whistler was visiting
her mother in Queens, New York. Whistler’s mother
begged her daughter to bring one of her cat ‘babies’ so she
could hold it and love on it until she passed. Knowing that
there might not be enough time for another trip from Florida,
Whistler made a promise to her dying mother that she would
continue her mission of rescuing unwanted cats and fostering
them for as long as it took to adopt them out. As fate would
have it, her mother died before she could bring her a cat but
she has kept her promise.
“Some people may think I’m crazy,” Whistler said, “but I
still communicate with my mother and she told me that in
heaven she had a house big enough for all the cats, so when
I lose one of mine to just send it up to her. Ever since then,
when one of my ‘babies’ dies, I write a note to my mother
about him so that when his soul goes to heaven, my mom
will know his name and his history.”
Knowing that her deceased rescue is being taken care of by
her mother helps Whistler overcome the grief of losing one of
Some of the cats arrive at the shelter injured and trauma-
50 Port St. Lucie Magazine
BY KERRY FIRTH
KERRY FIRTH PHOTOS
Cindy Whistler owns a florist shop on Selvitz Road where she also operates Nanny’s Fur Kids Cat Rescue. The rescued cats often keep her company as she works.