Karina Paape's picture

Note to readers: The following blog post is an adaptation of two of 42 columns titled "For the Love of Cats" and originally published in the "Coastal Breeze" between December 2013 and March 2016. The by-line on those columns was shared by myself and a cat named "Naomi" who was officially known as "shelter supervisor" at a no-kill cat shelter in Marco Island.


Karina Paape's picture

I’ve been pet sitting since 2003 and have had hundreds of strange and dangerous encounters with neurotic, frightened, and deranged dogs and cats. I’ve been cornered by a protection trained German Sheperd, growled at and bitten (by both dogs and cats) too many times, witnessed a vicious indoor dog fight between two pit bulls, been tackled by an off-leash dog, and even hospitalized with more than a dozen cat bites, all in the interest of minimizing the separation anxiety suffered (the underlying philosophy of pet sitting) by my employers’ pets when they leave town!

Feline Fear Aggression

Karina Paape's picture

Fear Aggression in Cats

When talking about an aggressive pet we tend to assume we’re talking about a dog who barks, growls, lunges at, or even attacks, other dogs, on-or-off leash. This is especially problematic at dog parks and when walking your own or someone else’s dog around the block. I’ve lost track of how many times an owner has given me a list of neighborhood dogs their dog does not like and therefore should be avoided. With some dogs this can include every dog in the community.

Notes From the Field

Karina Paape's picture

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), pet obesity in the U.S. continues to rise, affecting nearly 59% of cats and 54% of dogs last year. These percentages equate to an estimated 41.9 million dogs and 50.5 million cats. Thats a lot of fat cats and dogs sharing our households!

Over-feeding is the number one culprit behind these staggering statistics, specifically the free-feeding of dry food and generous distribution of treats and table scraps. Yes, we want our pets to be happy, but at what cost?

Meet Team Tortie

Violet's picture

I apologize for the eight-month lapse between blogs, but I’ve been one busy kitty! And given that we felines love to nap 18-20 hours a day there isn’t much time left for eating, playing, stalking, and keeping our feline fans and their humans abreast of cat-worthy news.


Duck's picture


For those of you who don’t know me (which surely numbers in the tens of thousands) I’m a female cockatoo who refuses to reveal her age. My owners purchased me in Hawaii when I was a young “chick” and had me shipped to Naples eons ago. For years they thought I was a boy. That’s why they gave me such a goofy name. And they revel in telling me stories about what a nice bird I used to be. I was affectionate and could be easily handled and never bit the hands that fed me. But with age I grew cranky and very obnoxious. Or so they say.

A Parrot Named Ted is a Hero

Duck's picture

I need to tell you about how a parrot named “Ted” saved the life of a little girl’s pet iguana. I hear you! What a creepy, icky, scaly creature to call a “pet.”

Anyway, back to Ted. Our erstwhile head pet sitter - Karina - paid her usual daily visit to Ted and his cockatoo companion “Snowy” as well as the aforesaid iguana named “Pepper.” Karina’s usual MO was to unlock the front door, disarm the alarm, and start her duties in the back of the house where Pepper resides in an aquarium.


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