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For the Love of Cats

Meow Girls

Jan Rich feeding Ranger.

FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape Dear Fellow Felines: The day dawned dark and stormy on Sunday, October 4, but – unruffled – my Meow Power team slinked through the course of the Marco Island Fitness Challenge Triathlon and made me and my staff (remember, cats have staff; dogs have owners) here at For the Love of Cats proud. Not only did they obliterate their target finishing time, but they also raised $2,095 for all the cats and kittens here at Marco’s no-kill cat shelter. This was a respectable 42% of their $5,000 fundraising goal. Despite the threatening ... Read More »

Naomi’s Tennessee Ten


FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape Dear Fellow Felines: Please send help! I’m drowning in kittens! I have kittens from as far away as Tennessee – our first-ever snowbird felines, to as near as the closest Walmart. Things had been pretty slow for awhile here at For the Love of Cats – the island’s no-kill cat shelter, so my staff of 80 volunteers (remember – cats have staff, dogs have owners) had, understandably, grown bored. For my part, and as shelter supervisor extraordinaire, I made the executive decision to go on vacation before the season began; I ... Read More »

Naomi’s Teenage Moms


FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape Dear Fellow Felines: Just as I was packing for my annual six-week vacation to the rain forests of Hawaii, I found my paws full, yet again, with new kittens who, in most cases, were born to “teenage moms.” In 99% of these cases, the new moms are less than one-year-old. Because their humans failed to have them spayed, these teenagers (in human years) can, and usually do, get pregnant the first time they go into heat (usually somewhere around six months old). Once their humans notice their swelling bellies, their once beloved ... Read More »

Naomi’s August Doldrums


FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi the cat and Karina Paape Dear Fellow Felines: The rescue story of the year is the incredible, seven month, 16-mile long journey taken by a curious tabby from Bayshore Drive in Naples to Hideaway Beach on Marco. Late one evening, as I was finishing my nightcap and watching the end of “Lassie Come Home,” the phone rang. It was one of the guards from Hideaway’s gatehouse who reported that a large stray cat had taken to sitting in their laps and making sure they didn’t fall asleep in the darkest hours of their ... Read More »

Naomi’s Training Table

Team Meow Power in front of a quilt of mascot, Mr. Kitt. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi the cat and Karina Paape Dear Fellow Felines: On Sunday, October 4, the island will be aswarm with spandex-clad athletes competing in the Marco Island Fitness Challenge Triathlon. As supervisor here at For the Love of Cats, I have thrown our whiskers into the ring with my team “Meow Power”. The three-discipline event is comprised of a quarter-mile open-water swim in the toasty waters of the Gulf, a 15-mile bike ride through the island’s few hills and fewer dales, and a 3.1-mile run on the steaming hot white-sand beach. Survivors are awarded medals. I ... Read More »

Naomi’s “Meow Power”

Coach Naomi, thinking about the job ahead.

FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi &Karina Paape Dear Fellow Felines: It’s official! My triathlon team has a name – “Meow Power.” A big thanks to all of you who answered last month’s call for team name submissions. The winning name was submitted by Claire Baumler, one of my volunteers. What do you, dear readers, think of a minor team name modification, something along the lines of “Naomi’s Meow Power?” I think this is only fair since I am responsible for thinking this whole endeavor up in the first place. Moreover, I have to whip my team of three into ... Read More »

Naomi’s Kittens and Triathlon Coach

Duchess (Port au Prince rescue)

FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape Dear Fellow Felines: I need to clear up any confusion among new readers who have come late to my wisdom-packed columns. I am, in fact, a cat, a one-time dumpster diving stray turned full-time resident here at For the Love of Cats, Marco Island’s no-kill cat shelter. I am, however, by no means your average house cat. For starters, I have my own newspaper column. Secondly, I am the shelter supervisor and manage a staff (remember, dogs have owners, cats have staff) of 70-80 volunteers who must heed my every request. And ... Read More »

Naomi’s April Woes


By Naomi & Karina Paape Dear Fellow Felines: Spring has pounced, we’re still in the paw-grip of kitten season, and sherpas packing fleas are pitching tents in our warm and radiant fur coats. Now let’s talk bikini season. Most felines, such as ourselves, eat way too many carbohydrates in the form of dry food. I don’t care how much your staff (as you may recall only dogs have owners; we felines have staff) pays for a bag of the good stuff, even if it’s $175 for an eight -pound bag. Cats don’t need to carbo-load like amateur athletes in ... Read More »

Naomi’s Up to Her Ears in Kittens!


For the Love of Cats Naomi & Karina Paape Dear Fellow Felines: I’m up to my tortie ears in kittens! I’m talking lots and lots of kittens! Just the other day I was making my morning rounds – taking inventory if you will, and thought surely my eyes were deceiving me; so much so that I had to dig out my calculator. The numbers weren’t lying. Sometime in the early hours of a placid March morning, nine kittens appeared as if out of thin air. We – For the Love of Cats, Marco Island’s no-kill cat shelter – had recently ... Read More »

No Biting

Misty is all grey.

FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape Dear Fellow Felines: I hope you all had a terrific Valentine’s Day. I sure did. I was besieged with cards, treats, cat grass, treats, toys, treats, a fancy cat bed, treats, a designer cat tree, treats, and more treats. Mixed in with the hundreds of love letters, however, I ran across a few disturbing emails (yes, cats have email accounts; we just choose not to “reply”). It sounds to me like some of you have been biting your staff, the very hands that feed you, and without provocation. I’m not talking love ... Read More »

Naomi’s Christmas Fun


FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Did all you boys and girls get what you wanted from Santa Claws, or did you forget to leave the milk and yummy treaties out on the hearth? Remember, Santa Claws is a true-blooded tortie like me who loves his treats. I had a very Merry Christmas with the kitty elves, the shelter kittens and shelter founders Jan and Jim Rich. I supervised Jan for days while she decorated the place. My job was to test Jim’s lionel train set, but I got pretty dizzy watching ... Read More »

Naomi Christmas 2014


FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape Dear Fellow Felines, Now that I have — literally — Thanksgiving under my belt (boy, was that turkey and green bean casserole tasty), it’s time to talk about Santa Claws, elves, Christmas cookies (yummy smelling, but deadly for cats), stockings, tinsel, fake snow (what is snow by the way?), glass ornaments, those awful scented candles and, of course, that silly mistletoe your staff stands under in expectation that someone will kiss him or her. For you newbie felines experiencing your first Christmas, the joys of the day are many: dangling ... Read More »

Naomi’s Black Cat Lores


FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape Dear Fellow Felines: Happy Halloween! This is my favorite day of the year because I get to race and slither through the shelter like a wild cat, wielding my tiger-sized goody bag and collecting the annual toll I exact from my staff of 80 volunteers. It matters not whether it be people food or top-end cat food (none of that dry stuff, yuck!), just so long as it isn’t that dreadful tasting junk food dogs eat with such gusto. It goes without saying, but obviously I’m going to say it ... Read More »

Naomi’s Identity Crisis

Marissa and her kittens. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape Dear Fellow Felines: My little tortie heart is crushed and broken. There is not a photo to be found of me in our 2015 Glamour Puss Calendar — for the second year in a row, I might add. Did someone forget to tell me I’ve been placed in the Witness Protection Program? There is, of course, the remotest of possibilities (very remote I might add) that I’m wrong, so here’s the deal. Anyone who’s been to Disney World knows there’s a great game whereby visitors are challenged to find “hidden ... Read More »

Naomi’s Summer Vacation

Armani.  SUBMITTED photoS

FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape Dear Fellow Felines: I feel the love. I know I was missed, that my absence was noticed. I even know that I missed my last deadline, but — for the first time in my life — I took a vacation! Imagine! Me, your most esteemed tortie and chief supervisor over here at For the Love of Cats, got into cars and boarded airplanes. I travelled as far south as Key West, an island where cats are revered, and as far north as Boston, where dogs rule. And yes, as one ... Read More »

Summer Grooming per Naomi


FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape Dear fellow felines: Well, here we are in the midst of summer, and you know what that means: flip flops and bikinis for your staff (remember, cats have staff, dogs have owners), plus lots of noise and water fights around the pool. And let’s not forget that unappetizing scent of sun tan lotion. How is a fragile feline to cope? How are we to get our daily 18 hours of sleep amidst such mischief and mayhem? I say let’s enjoy the entertainment and join the folks poolside. You know what ... Read More »

Naomi’s July 4th


FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape Dear Fellow Felines We are on the threshold of yet another Fourth of July celebration, the most frightening day of my life thanks to the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air and my own raw fear. As I write this, my nights are haunted by nightmares of “Caddyshack” level proportions. Like those poor, unsuspecting gophers, blown out of their subterranean, golf course housing, I head for shelter under a bed, abandoning my stake-out of the fridge. As if this weren’t enough to traumatize an unsuspecting feline, we have ... Read More »

Naomi’s Get Out of Town Cheat Sheet


FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape Dear Fellow Felines:  So my furry friends, it’s that time of year again — the time when our staffs hyper ventilate and reach for their glasses of wine at the Weather Channel’s merest utterance of any or all of the following words/phrases: tropical storm, hurricane watch, category 3,4 or 5 monster storm, cone of danger, predicted path of travel, and target landfall. And thus is launched what can only be described as “hurricane mania,” that heart rate inducing frenzy that compels our staffs (remember, cats have staff, dogs have owners) ... Read More »

Naomi’s Kitten Duties

Shyla’s brood of kittens looking as cute as can be. PHOTOS BY NADINE OUILLETTE

FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape   Dear Fellow Felines: I am up to my whiskers in kittens! I’m not too good with numbers, but it looks to me like there are hundreds of them. They’re swinging from the rafters, climbing the walls, running, jumping, tackling, stalking, tumbling, sliding, pouncing and either standing in or knocking over their food and water dishes. And yet, For the Love of Cats co-founder Jan Rich assures me that there are only about 20 of these rambunctious creatures in residence. “Only,” she says! Can you imagine how much work this ... Read More »

Naomi’s Flea Woes


FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape Dear Fellow Felines: Kittens, kittens, everywhere kittens! We are in the midst of yet another kitten season, so my paws are full with these loving bundles of fur and fun. Several happy litters are hanging out in my kitty condos and wreaking havoc in my two romper rooms. And guess what? You too can get in on the action thanks to Naomi’s Broadcasting Network. My much anticipated “kitten cam” has gone live. That’s right. For the Love of Cats is now in the reality T.V. business. To check it out, go to ... Read More »