Thursday, June 8, 2023

Naomi’s Flea Woes



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 our website, and click on the link on the bottom left of the home page.

Speaking of pictures, my annual “Glamor Puss” calendar photo contest started on April 1 and runs through midnight on June 21. So get busy taking those prize-winning photos. For the best results, take photos in natural light. This does not mean Lad and Lady should prowl the golf course during their photo shoots. It is far safer to take photos on the lanai, preferably without a gecko vise-gripped in your little darling’s mouth.

We had 125 entries last year, and are expecting even more this year. I can’t tell you who the judges are because I fear that you and your staffs (remember, cats have staffs; dogs have owners) will exert “undue influence” by exchanging catnip and treats for votes.

The entry fee is $25 per photo (so go for those group shots), and you can submit as many entries as you want through our web site contest link. Our co-founder, Jan Rich, asked me to point out that: “The real winners are of course, all of our rescued cats and kittens who benefit from the sales of the calendar and the photo contest.” Make sure your staff has one of those confounding smart phones with them at all times. That way they can snap those irresistible moments during which we exhibit poise, sophistication and decorum, as defined by Emily Paws (’tis true, look it up for yourselves).

Speaking of cats and kittens, I have several openings for new staff members, a.k.a. “volunteers.” We’d be nowhere without



these invaluable folks. What’s involved, you ask? It’s pretty straightforward. We run 21 shifts a week, and each 90-minute shift is staffed by three volunteers. And yes, your math is correct. Each week, it takes 63 volunteers to keep our shelter felines happy and well fed. I encourage you to check out my video of shelter operations on our web site to see exactly what functions my able staff performs. I make only a cameo appearance in the video so as not to hog the spotlight. So get busy, help a girl out, and complete a “volunteer application.” It will be nice to see some new faces around the place.

I hate to bore you with this one, but with your best interests in mind, I must warn your staffs that fleas are proving especially aggressive and abundant this year. How to get rid of the little buggers? Easy, according to my Flea Infestation Emergency Response Team, the secret is to stay one paw ahead of these annoying pests. Keep your kitty on a once-a-month, twelve-months-a-year topical flea medication, like Advantage (over the counter) or Revolution (vet only). The latter is also great for heart worm prevention.

One of the dangers of leaving flea infestation untreated is that your kitty can get tapeworms and skin infections, which only compound his or her suffering. If our staffs haven’t kept up with flea prevention and we continue to spend unprotected days stalking geckoes on the lanai, we run the risk of becoming that most dreaded of feline entities — the “flea bag.” This is obviously unacceptable. We won’t command as much respect and adoration as we did as flea-free creatures because our moms and dads will find themselves so taxed with an arduous flea annihilation program that they’ll have no energy left for you and me.

B20-CBN-4-4-14-4In addition to ridding Morris of fleas, you need to treat the whole homestead. Knock Out spray is very effective, as is vacuuming your carpets, furniture, and drapes every other day for a month. One last thing, Jan says that there is “an urban



myth about using Borax on carpeting, but it doesn’t work.”

Oops! Mr. Kitty has a question: How do we get fleas since we are indoor cats with limited lanai privileges? From those horrible, obnoxious raccoons who openly roam the island. They’re the real culprits. As said raccoons strut their stuff patrolling the perimeter of our lanais, the wingless flea with its super strong legs can jump as far as seven feet.

I hate to rain on this parade of joyous news, but I must tell you about our poor girl “Buddy.” She is a feral with a compound fracture of her right rear leg and several life threatening abscesses. One of our feral trappers spent a month trying to capture her in the Marco Cemetery, but by then, Buddy had a serious infection and had to have her leg amputated before gangrene set in.

We’re not sure how Buddy injured her leg, but once she finishes my rehabilitation program, I am placing her in a cat sanctuary in Immokolee rather than returning her to the wild. We suspect she was someone’s pet before being abandoned. In the interest of survival, displaced cats such as Buddy often turn feral and are not adoptable.

The best and most exciting news this month is that I now have a fan club! I’ve gotten several letters from astute kitties and their staffs. These flattering letters praise my virtues and tortitude, and ask for appointments to come see me. Isn’t that just so cool?

Well, I sure think so. I even have a name for my expanding group of savvy admirers: “Most-Esteemed Tortie Fan Club.” You don’t have to be a tortie to join. Even calicoes are welcome since all calicoes are torties. For non-torties, membership is still possible, if you are willing to declare (under oath) forever respect and honor for any tortie with whom you cross paths.

Just drop me a line.

Until then, love, purrs, and nips, Naomi!


Namoi is a 5 1/2-year-old Tortie and a permanent resident at FLC. She is the shelter supervisor and takes her salary in food. She would love for you to learn more about For the Love of Cats at its website,

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