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  • Nancy Bathurst

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See How They Grow!

May you and your family have a blessed Easter!

You will notice my post of yesterday no longer appears on the blog.  I want to thank  you for your wonderful comments, concern and interest.  The tears have not stopped flowing as the pet parents wrestled with the decision to give up their beloved Fifi.  In the end, they could not do it.  The beautiful girl in the photos with Fifi is named Karolinka and she was heartbroken that she would lose her constant companion.  I received a note from her mother this morning saying please remove the post; they will make this work!

Usually all I have on my blog are photos of kittens. When I saw how much you enjoyed seeing photos of a “grown-up” kitten, I said to myself “Nancy, why not post some of the photos you have received recently and let your blog fans see how gorgeous those kittens have become!”

Jim and I absolutely love when pet parents send us photos as the kittens grow.  Some of these made us laugh and others brought  tears to our eye – tears of happiness.

 

Jax and Sergei

Jax and Sergei

Leo & Family

Leo & Family

Bronze taking it easy.

Bronze taking it easy.

Maverick and his buddy!

Maverick and his buddy!

Rasputin

Rasputin

Tia and her Mommy!

Tia and her Mommy!

 

Sasha (formerly Charlie)

Sasha (formerly Charlie)

Greta

Greta

Mishka and Talya

Mishka and Talya

 

 

No Lilies For Cats

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Lilies are a sign of spring and are often given as gifts during the Easter  season.  However, these beautiful flowers are toxic and often fatal to cats.   Please read the following article :

 

Eahttp://noliliesforcats.com/site/view/169876_FAQ.pml

Dear Diary

Yesterday I had an appointment with my hairdresser, Sara. She asked me how the cats and kittens were doing. I said just fine but Sophie has not delivered yet and her due date was yesterday. After we had a good laugh about the possibility of Jim calling me in the middle of my hair coloring procedure saying “Come home now!”, Sara says don’t the cats just have babies on their own – do you have to be there?

I started thinking…I believe most people probably think the same so I decided to share this week’s diary with you.

Dear Diary,

Friday:
Pastor Mary Alice left today after sharing some very special days with us during this week. It is now time to turn the guest room into a delivery (birthing) room because Sophie is due on Tuesday. And from the looks of her, she is ready to go now!

 

So big, Sophie just wants to be on her back.

So big, Sophie just wants to be on her back.

Monday:
The past two days were spent getting everything set up in the guest room….birthing box, sanitary gloves, scissors, rubbing alcohol, iodine, sanitizer, flashlight, scale, litter box, wastebasket, water, food, record book and pen, two different colors of nail polish.

Pastor Mary Alice moved out and Sophie and I moved in. We sleep there each night. I need to be close in case babies come early. Sophie checks out the birthing box, messes up the towels, making a nest. But not tonight; just getting a little practice.

Tuesday:
Today is Sophie’s due date . She doesn’t want to leave my side. I am trying to work on my iPad but she comes and stands on it and starts giving me head butts, purring away. Now she decides to lay down, covering the iPad. I place my hands on her sides and feel the joyful movement of kittens.

The rest of the afternoon passes with no indication that labor is near. Sophie even goes out on the lanai to visit Mr. Silver.

After another evening of watching basketball, Sophie and I go off to bed. About 5:00 I wake up with one of my coughing spells and go out to find a cough drop. Sophie follows. Time to go back to bed – no Sophie! I look everywhere. I mean this cat is huge; it’s not like she can crawl under a chair. Just when I think I better wake up Jim to help in my search, Sophie crawls out of a cupboard in the dining area. (I know how she opened the door, but how she closed it is a mystery to me!) She is looking for a safe place to have her kittens – this is a good thing. With optimism, we head back to the bedroom, but morning dawns (10:30 a.m.!) but still no kittens.

Wednesday:
I have a hair appointment today – to go or not to go??? Jim says we’ll be fine. Just put her in her room and I will check on her every hour. I say okay and off I go.

Since no calls from Jim I decided to run some needed errands since I am in the Naples area. Wow, is it late! I better stop at the Publix deli and get something to bring home for supper – I choose Cuban sandwiches. They are so good.

By the time I get home I am starving since I have not had anything since a bowl of cereal at breakfast. I am ashamed to say I don’t even go into check on Sophie before we sit down to eat because Jim said he had just checked her and she is fine.

With a full stomach, I now go into check on Sophie. She immediately comes running to the door and wants out. I sit down on the couch to watch TV and she jumps up on my lap which is normal, but this time, she jumps down after a minute or two. She then goes back to the cupboard, crawls in and crawls right back out.

It is up on my lap again and this time she looks right in my face and starts to pant. I say shall we go to your room Sophie? She comes running. We go into the birthing room at 8:45 and by 9:12, her first kitten is born. It is obvious this whole afternoon and evening she has been waiting for me to get home! I tell this to Jim and I get the look that says “Yeah, right!” Guys just don’t understand how women want their mothers at a time like this and to Sophie, I am her mother!

Jim and I are with her through her entire delivery but this time she really doesn’t need us for little more than moral support. She even delivers a breach baby without our help. Towards the end she is a little tired so we help her cut the cord.

By 10:37 she is all done and is now the proud mother of six kittens. We were expecting eight since that is what she had last time and her pre-birth weight was about the same. But we have only six and they all weighed at least 100 grams which is a very good thing!

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So today we are a little tired, but joyful. We are awestruck once again by the miracle of birth.

Lord, thank you for the love animals bring into our lives. We are blessed!

Excitement: Kittens and Basketball

From the amount of traffic on my blog the last few days, I suspect people are checking it and hoping to see updated pictures of the kittens.

So why have there been no pictures posted since way back in February?

March. What kind of reason is “March” you ask. Oh come on now! March = Basketball.

I love women’s basketball. Okay guys, you say “WOMEN’S?” And I say yes, women’s. If you want to see lots of running and dunking, keep watching the men. If you want to see some REAL basketball, watch the women’s game.

More than I love women’s basketball, I love Lady Vols basketball from the University of Tennessee. Conference championship play has been going on with me glued to the TV. And guess who else watched the games with me? Lily!

Lily roots for the Lady Vols!

Lily roots for the Lady Vols!

Tennessee won the SEC conference title! The score was 71-70!

And who is Tennessee’s biggest rival? Well, actually who is every team’s biggest rival? Connecticut. And who did we move next door to? Probably Connecticut’s most loyal fans! Go figure! So Jim puts up the Lady Vol flag for me at the entrance to our driveway. And what do the neighbors do? They hang up a Connecticut lady basketball sweatshirt! (Charlie and Diana–I know you aren’t going to believe this, but they are very nice people!)

So be forewarned, NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship is from March 22 through April 8. If you hear “sorry I can’t come to the phone right now”, you know where I am!

Okay, that’s enough. Let’s get to the kittens! Izabella’s four beautiful kittens are all reserved and the new pet parents have given them their names. I would like you to meet:

Chloe

Chloe

Fable

Fable

Izzy, Jr.

Izzy, Jr.

Abby

Abby

We love having the kittens in the bedroom with us. They have all been friendly from the very beginning and now are even climbing on the bed to sleep with us. We have a new cat tree ordered for them which is supposed to arrive Monday. They are going to love it!

And I received some very exciting news today. Our Maverick who was from Nadeah’s final litter went to Truly Siberians Cattery in Washington State. Raina messaged me today that Maverick is now a daddy of two beautiful kittens…and one looks just like Maverick!

Maverick, Jr. only a couple hours old

Maverick, Jr. only a couple hours old

Hope you all have a fun Saint Patrick’s Day. We are going to the parade in Naples tomorrow. Oh dear, I better go see if I have anything green to wear!

A Day In The Life of Izabella

I have been wanting to write a blog post with this title for a long time.

Why? Because … in one short sentence … Izabella is a character!

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I couldn’t resist snapping photos of her when she was getting into things and by things I mean: the dryer, the dishwasher, the cupboards, the refrigerator! I’m too embarrassed to tell you what she does when Jim uses the bathroom…suffice it to say, she is very attracted to water!

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We were visiting my daughter and her family in Palatine and Izzy took a strong liking to our son-in-law, Mike. She spent hours with him as he was watching the Cubs game. (To my Girard friends, yes the secret is out…just like Pastor Mary Alice, we are Cubs fans!) She became thirsty and decided to finish Mike’s glass of water.

Where did we get this fun-loving, gorgeous red Siberian? We were fortunate in the beginning of our breeding career to make the acquaintance of Chirpy Wright (Midnite Sun Cattery) and her daughters Barbara and Glenda, and granddaughter Raina. Barbara and Raina live in Olympia, Washington and their cattery name is Truly Siberians. They needed a male Siberian and we wanted a red female so we kept waiting and then it finally happened. I flew to Seattle with Maverick (who didn’t make a peep the entire way) and brought home this little bundle of red fur who talked most of the way! That should have been my first clue!

I am telling you some (and I mean only some!) of the mischievous things Izzy gets into but that is not her whole story. She is the most lovable cat we could have hoped for–loves to sleep between our heads every night.

But then it happened……

Izabella “connected” with Mr. Silver!

So now Izzy is a mom with her first litter of kittens. She isn’t very playful any more because she wants to be with her babies, but she is as stubborn as always possibly even more so.

As we always do, we had the birthing box and all the supplies ready to go in our bedroom (so we can be close to help with the birthing process). Right on schedule she went into labor … at 1:00 in the morning! By 5:15 a.m. she had given birth to four gorgeous kittens.

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By the second day she wanted them out of the birthing box which we anticipated and had another enclosed tent ready. But Ms.Izabella had other ideas. She wanted them under our bed. We then had the idea to put them in our large walk-in closet which we could close off and have a heater to give the necessary warmth. Izzy went along with this for a couple of days but then she proceeded to move her kittens and try to push them under the doorway. It was obvious she wanted them back out in the bedroom. So, of course, we gave in and now she is happily nursing her babies under our bed once again.

One morning I was lying there trying to wake up. She jumped upon the bed with one of the kittens in her mouth and placed the kitten right by my head. She then proceeded to jump down and nurse the other three. It was like she was saying, “I only have room for three, you babysit her while I feed the others!”

The first four people on our waiting list will be making their selections in the next two weeks. And then their fun begins. First they will select a name. Pictures will come to them every week so they can see their kitten’s progress. We will share what we have learned about proper care and feeding, safety issues and how to transition them into their new homes. And then the big day arrives when I get to place this precious gift from God into their loving arms.

Life just doesn’t get any better than this!

Cat House – No Wheels! (Second Attempt)

Last year many of you read about the trials and tribulations of spending our winter vacation with our growing Siberian family in our motor home. We started out full of enthusiasm and a positive mental attitude that we could make it work. By the end of the three months, I was definitely ready to return to the big house on Oak Lane!

My last post in that series ended with “Will there be a sequel in 2014? What’s your guess?” Well, as you well know if you read my blog of January 24 , there is a sequel. But things are quite different this year. Yes, we started out in the cat house on wheels, but from now on the coach will be used for transportation purposes only.

I am happy…no not happy, ecstatic…to report that we have a cat house in Florida – no wheels – providing many more places for the cats to enjoy and still have room for us humans. We bought a home in Fort Myers last March and have been slowly making it cat friendly. We renovated the lanai (that’s porch for us northerners!), insulating it, putting in new windows and air conditioning. It has furniture for the cats to lounge on and even a TV if they get bored. We added a great cat tree, shelving for their food and other supplies, a litter robot and toys. Right now Mr.Silver, Zoe, and Sophie call this home. Since Lily and Jackie need to be out of Mr. Silver’s reach for now, they just gaze from the living room through the sliding glass doors.

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Our rescue cat, Zoe, just relaxing.

Our rescue cat, Zoe, just relaxing.

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Zeke and Lily looking and asking Ms. Nancy if they can go play too.

Zeke and Lily looking and asking Ms. Nancy if they can go play too.

"Mr. Silver, Ms. Nancy won't let me out there with you but she said real soon!"

“Mr. Silver, Ms. Nancy won’t let me out there with you but she said real soon!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, now how many people do you know who buy a house for their cats? It may seem crazy to some but my guess is that all members of the Semper Fi family completely understand!

 

So where is Izabella? She is in our bedroom with her new family! Pictures will follow soon.

Izabella

Izabella

And no this doesn’t mean we are moving here permanently; our main residence will continue to be in Girard.

While taking these pictures, I realized this would be a good opportunity to share with you some of my favorite pet products. I mentioned the Litter Robot before. We have two back home and now one here. If you have as many cats as we do, it provides the easiest way to keep a continuously clean litter box. And if you notice the mat in front of the box, I have found this is great for helping to curtail the tracking of litter all over the floor. I have tried many other mats only to find they are quickly destroyed by the kittens when they are learning to scratch.

Available on Amazon.

Available on Amazon.

This is absolutely the best scratching post for adult cats. Cats like to stretch upwards when they scratch and the little poles are soon knocked over by cats the size of Mr. Silver. Of course, Mr. Silver loves to perch on top so everyone can see how handsome he is!

The King on his perch.

The King on his perch.

There will be more stories from Cat House No. 2 but for now, please know that everyone is living comfortably and enjoying the Florida warmth and sunshine.

As promised I am notifying you of two more pet food recalls. Pro-Pet makers of both dog and cat food have a recall on the following brands: Hubbard Life, Joy Combo and QC plus. PMI Nutrition has recalled their Red Flannel cat food. Both recalls are for possible salmonella contamination.

We use Life’s Abundance – they have never had a recall. If you would like more information on this company, contact me or go to: http://www.lifesabundance.com/semperfisiberians

We offer all our pet parents a $20 gift certificate to use on their first order. We will be happy to offer this to all my blog followers also.

Just confirmed today that our Sophie is expecting!

Our next mama to be.

Our next mama to be.

Family Album

By the time the kittens are ready to go to their forever homes (between 10 and 12 weeks old), I feel so very close to the pet parents.  From the time the kittens are born and in many cases even the weeks preceding the birth, we are in–at a minimum–weekly contact.  So when adoption day rolls around I feel like these families are my family.  I always think to myself, there is no way I will feel as close to the next group of pet parents; but they come along, and wouldn’t you know it, I fall in love with them too!  So here are the additions to our family album:

Christy with Juliet

Christy with Juliet

Katya with Emily and Josh

Emily and Josh with Katya

Jennifer with Ivan

Jennifer with Ivan

Smokey with Tom, Mary Lou and Katherine

Smokey with Tom, Mary Lou and Katherine

Mike, Megan and Ellie

Mike, Megan and Ellie

Zeus with Christine and Vince

Zeus with Christine and Vince

Andrew with Tasha

Andrew with Tasha

John and Amy with Roscoe and Bruno

John and Amy with Roscoe and Bruno

Barbara and Trouble

Barbara and Trouble

Lois and Matthew with children, Lilia, Luke, Rachel and Katherine loving Isabel

Lois and Matthew with children, Lilia, Luke, Rachel and Katherine loving Isabel

Our Semper Fi family is growing, growing, growing.  I believe God made our hearts from spandex because our hearts keep expanding in size with plenty of room for loving and caring about our new family members!

Cat House on Wheels – On The Road Again

 

It is finally time for the Cat House on Wheels to get on the road again for our winter trip to Florida. Packing up in zero degree weather was not fun! For a change we pulled out of the driveway at our scheduled time, not our usual two hours late.

We entered Tennessee yesterday afternoon and stayed the night at a KOA campground…way too cold to do our usual overnight parking at Cracker Barrel. The entire family (Zoe, Jackie, Sophie, Amy,  Izzy, Lily, Mr.Silver, Trouble, Zeke, Jim and Nancy) needed heat!

Got there and satellite activated in time to see the last half of the Tennessee Lady Vol/Florida basketball game. Yes! Beat the Gators by 20 points!

This morning Jim said let’s not take time to make breakfast; let’s get on the road. We’ll stop at a McDonalds for an Egg McMuffin. I just love Tennessee! I go into the McDonalds and am greeted with a smile. I take a while to place my order … I am not sure what I want. The cashier just smiles, no exasperated look of impatience that I experienced last week at Panera. I place the order, pay and take my change and all the while she is smiling and when she says thank you she looks right at me and I know her words are genuine. I wait a few minutes for my order but I don’t mind. I am listening to four men at a nearby table talking over cups of coffee. I have to look twice because they sound just like our friend Charlie. Of course, it isn’t; we are not close to Morristown where Charlie lives. But that familiar Tennessee accent warms my heart. Another pleasant young lady steps to the counter and says “Number 95.” I take my order and she says “have a nice day.” The words are not uncommon but the way she says them is. You just know she actually means it. Memories came flooding back … memories of our four years in Tennessee. There is such a calmness about these people. They are genuinely nice. I have either lived in or visited many southern states and observed the “southern hospitality” that is all gushy and over the top. Tenneseans are different. I don’t know if it is the way they are raised or the water they drink! They don’t go out of their way to make you feel welcome – they don’t have to; it is just part of their nature. I left that McDonalds feeling like I just had a hug. I won’t get to see my friends in Morristown this trip…Diana and Charlie, JL and Patsy, Steve and Kathy, but my trip to McDonalds this morning made me feel like they were close by waiting to welcome us “home” again.

Now we are down the “road a piece” having eaten our bacon and egg biscuits, feeling satisfied from morning hunger. Jim decides to stop for gas before we leave Tennessee (much cheaper) he fills the tank, goes in to pay and comes out with two Krispy Kreme doughnuts! Said he just couldn’t pass them up. Oh dear, it is beginning to look like this year’s trip will add another 5 lbs!

I couldn’t help but think about the time we left Thompson-Boling arena in Knoxville after seeing a Lady Vol game and Charlie pulls into the parking lot of Krispy Kreme. He goes in and brings out a dozen doughnuts still warm and dripping with frosting. Did Charlie, Diana, Jim and I devour all of them? What is your guess?

We are scheduled to meet Barbara in Atlanta to deliver handsome Trouble. Sounds simple, right? Well, it did when we made the original plan. I thought…we will just pick a Cracker Barrel; they always have room for RVs. Would you believe there are no Cracker Barrels in Atlanta, not even on the near outskirts! So I look at the atlas and right on the northwest corner of Atlanta is printed Galleria Mall – all malls have large parking lots, right? Wrong again. Barbara ia already at the mall waiting. Jim finds a strip mall nearby and we call Barbara and say meet us here. We had planned to take her to lunch but since we are taking up half the parking lot, Jim says I think I’ll stay here so somebody doesn’t give us a ticket or tow us away (not a pleasant thought with 7 cats, one kitten and Zeke on board.). So Barbara and I go off to have a nice lunch and talk about the transition process. Sad to see Trouble go (now that I see that in print, it sounds rather strange – when is someone ever sad to see “trouble” go!) but Barbara is very happy and the two of them take off for North Carolina and we start heading south.

After two months of the bitter cold of Illinois, we were beginning to think we would never be warm again but things are looking up. As we are going down the interstate we see an orange traffic sign that says Mower Ahead (not snow plow but mower!). Several more miles down the road we pull into a rest stop so Zeke can get some exercise and go potty. Jim and I are actually talking with each other outside and our breaths are not making frost! Very promising – Florida here we come!

For those of you who have been following me for a couple of years, you may be surprised to learn we are not going back to our favorite RV park in Bonita Springs. This year we are going to Fort Myers. Stay tuned for stories about another cat house!

Brotherly love!

Brotherly love!

It would be a shame to have a blog post without a photo of a kitten so I have a special one for you. The day I was to leave to go to Palatine for kitten delivery, I found Roscoe and Bruno laying in the cat tree with Bruno’s arm around Roscoe. It just melted my heart – especially knowing they were going to the same forever home. My next blog will have photos of all eleven kittens and their families – you will see all the families experiencing absolute joy. Until then, I hope you are experiencing this same joy with your sweet Siberian!

P.S. We still haven’t eaten the Krispy Kremes. How is that for will power!

Roscoe, Zeus, Katya, Juliet, Isabel, Tasha, Smokey, Bruno, Ellie, Trouble and Ivan — Whew, I Remembered All Their Names!

Eleven kittens (the ones you can count are in the tube) on the cat tree with beautiful Sunset Lake in the background.

Eleven kittens (the ones you can’t count are in the tube) on the cat tree with beautiful Sunset Lake in the background.

Six weeks have passed since I posted photos of our current kittens.  They will be going home soon so I thought I better snap some pictures to let my loyal blog followers see how they have grown and let you know the names their new parents have selected for them.

My name is Zeus. Ms. Nancy told me Zeus was a Greek god, in fact he was the father of all the gods.  Wow! That is a big name to live up to but I think I can handle it.

My name is Zeus. Ms. Nancy told me Zeus was a Greek god, in fact he was the father of all the gods. Wow! That is a big name to live up to but I think I can handle it.

My name is Roscoe.  I am very excited to going to my forever home with Bruno.  And then I'm told we will be joining another Siberian, Koshka.  What fun we are going to have!

My name is Roscoe. I am very excited to be going to my forever home with Bruno. And then I’m told we will be joining another Siberian, Koshka. What fun we are going to have!

My name is Bruno and I love to eat!  Ms. Nancy took my picture when I was licking my lips - how silly was that!

My name is Bruno and I love to eat! Ms. Nancy took my picture when I was licking my lips – how silly was that!

My name is Smokey.  Two librarians live in my forever home. I am hoping they will read me bedtime stories!

My name is Smokey. Two librarians live in my forever home. I am hoping they will read me bedtime stories!

My name is Isabel.  I am going to have a big family to love me although Lilia is the one who selected me. Thank you Lilia!

My name is Isabel. I am going to have a big family to love me although Lilia is the one who selected me. Thank you Lilia!

My official name is Katarina but my mommy is going to call me Katya.  I can hardly wait until I see her on Saturday!

My official name is Katarina but my mommy is going to call me Katya. I can hardly wait until I see her on Saturday!

My name is Ivan and I am the big guy of the bunch.  It is my job to take very good care of my sister Tasha.

My name is Ivan and I am the big guy of the bunch. It is my job to take very good care of my sister Tasha.

My foster mom, Nancy, said my parents have named me Ellie.  I think that is a very beautiful name!

My foster mom, Nancy, said my parents have named me Ellie. I think that is a very beautiful name!

My name is Tasha and I feel so happy that my brother Ivan will be joining me in my forever home.

My name is Tasha and I feel so happy that my brother Ivan will be joining me in my forever home. We will be joining another Siberian, Ms. Nancy says one can never have too many Siberians!

My name is Juliet.  I will live in the house but my new mommy also has outside cats.  I wonder if any of their names is Romeo!

My name is Juliet. I will live in the house but my new mommy also has outside cats. I wonder if any of their names is Romeo!

My name is Trouble and I get to travel in the Cat House on Wheels on my trip to North Carolina!

My name is Trouble and I get to travel in the Cat House on Wheels on my trip to North Carolina!

Exceptional!

UPDATE:  We are happy to announce that our sweetheart, Tia, has been reserved and will be going to live with Jamie and Bryan.  Both of them are allergic to cats but after an allergy test, we are happy to report neither of them had any reaction.  They are very excited!

 

Exceptional!  That is the only word I can think to describe our 20 month old Tatiana, affectionately called Tia.  After a great deal of thought, we have decided to retire her so we are looking for a loving home.  She is the sweetest, most loving cat we have ever had.  She doesn’t care who it is, if you are willing to hold her, she will purr up a storm for you.  She has beautiful kittens and is an excellent mother.  So you are probably wondering why then are they retiring her.  As I said she loves people, but she does not love older cats.  In fact, she lives in fear of our other breeding females.  Therefore, we have to confine her to one room instead of giving her the freedom she so richly deserves.  The price for Tia is $575.  We have scheduled her spaying procedure for January 17 so she will be available shortly thereafter.

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