Charlotte Ehrman, cat rescuer, zoo volunteer

September 28, 1996|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Charlotte Lind Ehrman, an animal lover who roamed the alleys near her Mount Vernon home in search of stray cats, died of heart failure Sept. 12 at the University of Maryland Medical Center. She was 80.

Known as Sherrie, Miss Ehrman was a familiar sight in the Mount Vernon section of downtown for 30 years. White-haired and typically dressed in clothes sporting an animal pattern, she was often seen looking near trash cans, under cars and in other dark places for cats to bring home.

"The cats were her babies, there was no question or doubt about that," said Jean Harris, a neighbor in the 900 block of N. Calvert St. "And she was a very good mother to them."

Six cats lived with Miss Ehrman at the time of her death, but she cared for many others that gathered outside her home.

Patricia M. Thomas, a friend, remembered the story of an elderly man who tied his cat to the railing outside Miss Ehrman's home as they talked. "He asked if she could keep the cat because they were both old and didn't have long to live. Of course, she said yes."

A volunteer at the Baltimore Zoo since 1975, Miss Ehrman logged 4,700 hours there. Recently, she worked in food preparation and the zoo library.

A Northwest Baltimore native, she was a partner in a local plumbing business from 1941 until her retirement in 1975. Three years ago, she donated her three-story Calvert Street rowhouse, which she had owned since the 1960s, to Young Audiences, a nonprofit arts group.

Miss Ehrman had no known survivors.

A private memorial service is scheduled today.

Pub Date: 9/28/96

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