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  • Nancy Bathurst

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Liliya’s Babies Go To Their New Homes

Liliya (Lily) and Izabella (Izzy) are our two mischief makers – what one doesn’t think of, the other does.  Play should have been their middle name because that is what they love to do. So when Lily became pregnant, Jim and I would often discuss whether we felt she would make a good mother or would she forsake her duties and wander off to find her friend, Izzy.  When we were naming her, we read about the Russian meaning for Liliya: “Where her heart is concerned, she is much more tender, loving and affectionate than she appears to be.”  And this description proved to be true.  Liliya was the perfect mother! And what is even better, her kittens inherited the traits of love and affection as proven by the emails we are receiving from their pet parents.

First to go home was Nikolai.  Randy and Michael drove to our home from Indiana, visited with us for a while and then drove all the way back home with their precious cargo.  A long day, but worth every minute.

 

First Meeting

First Meeting

Nikolai is perfectly content in his new home!

Nikolai is perfectly content in his new home!

 

We received this email the next day:  “Niko is transitioning very well to his new home. We’re pretty sure he’ll be ready to start exploring beyond the bedroom tomorrow, but as you said, he’ll let us know when he’s ready. Niko took turns cuddling with each of us. He slept a fair amount between all the purring and kisses he wanted to give. He’s playing well and eating and using the litter box without issues.”  And this is in just one day! 

The following Thursday, I headed north to my daughter’s home in Palatine with Lincoln, Zoey and Kazimir.  Lincoln’s family was the first to arrive.

 

Lincoln's Forever Family

Lincoln’s Forever Family

 

A note from Amy:  “It was so nice speaking with you this evening.  Lincoln is the best. He just is. It is so heart warming having him here in our family…
As I mentioned in our conversation Link likes to fit in with the dogs here at our house. For example the picture I attached made me giggle as he was sunbathing today he was “playing dead”. Silly kitty!!”

 

Isn't he handsome!

Isn’t he handsome!

Lincoln playing dead!

Lincoln playing dead!

 

Three of the kittens from this litter went to homes that already had a Siberian kitten previously adopted from Semper Fi.  We offer all of our pet parents guidance during the weeks preceding the day they take their kitten home, but when the kitten is going to a home where there is already another cat, special guidance is required to make sure the introductions go smoothly.  And I am happy to report, that all three cats and their new kitten friends adjusted in record time.

On Thursday evening, Zoey was picked up by her loving family and went home to meet Izzy (not our Izzy but her daughter!):

 

Friends Forever!

Friends Forever!

Zoey's Forever Family - Daddy is not in the photo but truly enjoying the happiness he sees.

Zoey’s Forever Family – Daddy is not in the photo but truly enjoying the happiness he sees.

This note was received the following Sunday: “Zoey is completely content in the bedroom and has been playing, eating, sleeping, and using the litter box in there with no issue. She’s slept with us every night and the kids go in there to play with her. In time we’ll let her come out more and she and Izzy are still getting used to each other’s smells. Zoey seems so tiny that we’re fine with keeping her in one room as long as she’s content…I feel like if we let her out into the big house we’ll lose her!!”

 

Siberian sisters in action!

Siberian sisters in action!

“Just a few pictures from Zoey’s first week. A week later and she and Izzy are best buds (that didn’t take long!), she doesn’t mind the dog (gives him a few whacks to put him in his place every day just like Izzy does), and seems right at home. Our family is complete!”

 

On Friday morning Kazimir and I drove over to John’s home so he could meet his new friend, Gracie.  John wanted me to come there so I could see how he had things arranged and to assist with the introduction.  There was a little hissing on Kazimir’s part which frightened Gracie a little so John, Kazimir and I went to his safe room to begin his adjustment period.  If you would ask John, he would tell you he was very worried about Gracie.  He has had such a special, loving relationship with her and he was concerned this may be threatened with the appearance of Kazimir.  I told John that Gracie will be fine but I am not sure he believed me!

DSC_0033

A short time later, we received this email: “Active” Understatement!  This guy is on the go and absolutely loves Gracie.  Feelings seem to be mutual as Gracie will sit outside of his door in the morning waiting for me to let him out. They interact wonderfully and there has never been one hiss or growl. Both seem both playful and tolerant.  Last night the wrestling began for the first time with Gracie pinning him on his back but being gentle – he then wriggles free and comes back at her immediately with both paws wrapped around her neck – he has actually done a few take-downs of her! They are nearly inseparable – he even goes under the bed in my room with her to nap in mid-mornings.”
Big Sis Gracie with Little Brother Kaz

Big Sis Gracie with Little Brother Kaz

And then: “This has been an overall great year highlighted by the acquisition of Kazimir and the wonderful and almost immediate bonding. These two are inseparable and already some mutual grooming is occurring! I’d say that speaks volumes!”

When I headed north to Palatine, Jim headed south to Florida.  Jim had been asked to be guest speaker at two events in the Naples/Fort Myers area – one at the Marine Corps Ball and the second at a Veteran’s Day celebration in our Jamaica Bay neighborhood. Since he was heading south anyway, he offered to meet Barbara in Atlanta to deliver Mischief so she wouldn’t have to fly into Chicago.  We had done this for her last year when we delivered Trouble.  Yes, you read correctly, her Siberians are Trouble and Mischief!  Jim forgot to take a photo that day but Barbara has sent several photos of her two children!

 

Trouble and Mischief

Trouble and Mischief

I would say the introduction was a huge success!

I would say the introduction was a huge success!

 

“They are getting along so well and it’s like have a couple of children going wild through the house.   Trouble gets all the Mischief time he wants, I get limited as Trouble runs and gets her to go play with him.  I can’t wait to see what they will do next. I may have paid for Mischief, but she obviously belongs to Trouble. “

 

All in all, five very successful transitions!

 

Jim and I send our very best wishes to each of you and your families for a blessed Thanksgiving.  We are so very thankful for all the members of our Semper Fi family.

 

 

Zhaklin’s and Sophia’s Baby Boys and Their Little Sister

Boys, boys, boys! Sophia and Zhaklin decided we needed to even out the numbers so gave us an abundance of boys this time. Zhaklin had two boys  and Sophia had six boys, but Sophia decided to add one little girl to the group! All kittens have been reserved and now have been given names by their future families.

Mama Sophie and her gang!

Mama Sophie and her gang!

We are proud to present Sophia and her kittens who are now eight weeks old.

Ollie

Ollie

Pepper

Pepper

Mishka

Mishka

Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky

Favorite Toy

Favorite Toy

Not much room to feed seven babies. Nursing almost over.

Not much room to feed seven babies. Nursing almost over.

Lambeau

Lambeau

SnowBall

SnowBall

Halo

Halo

Zhaklin decided to slow it down a little this time and presented us with only two.  They are now seven weeks old.

Mama Zhaklin

Mama Zhaklin

Leo

Leo

Leo's and Dax's favorite cat tree

Leo’s and Dax’s favorite cat tree

Dax

Dax

The mamas are weaning their babies and we are feeding them the very best food – Life’s Abundance both canned and kibble – so they get a great start in life.  They are all completely litter trained.  We are working on socialization and introducing them to house noises and letting them meet Zeke and Carly, our dogs.  During the first two weeks in December they will be ready to join their forever families.

“What greater gift than the love of a cat?”—Charles Dickens

Since today is National Cat Day, Jim and I would like to wish all of our kitten offspring a Happy Day! You brought so much love into our lives and now you are bringing love into the lives of your forever families.  Thank you!

 

Here are some photos recently sent from our pet parents:

From Steph: They love to wrestle and chase each other around the house on a daily basis! Lincoln is very affectionate and loves to cuddle. Every night he climbs up on my chest and lovingly head-butts me until I give in and pet him for long periods of time. Sophie is more independent but likes to curl up in the nook of Shawn’s legs when we’re watching t.v. They are incredibly intelligent little kittens.

 

Sibling Love - Lincoln and Sophie 6 months old happily living with Steph and Shawn

Sibling Love – Lincoln and Sophie 6 months old happily living with Steph and Shawn

 

​​​​From Shea:  Hannibal is livin’ it up. My grandma even got to see him when she came to visit, and she was very impressed! Such a massive, pampered kitty. Hope that’s obvious from the photos!

One pampered cat!

One pampered cat!

Hannibal, beloved companion of Shea

Hannibal, beloved companion of Shea

 

From Carmen: We’re so happy with how Wampus and Mandu have continued to bond over the last year. Attached are a couple of photos of how we often find them, snuggled on the top shelf of their cat tree together. Their different personalities seem to balance well. We credit your great guidance on introducing them that has led to this solid companionship.

Wampus and Mandu

Wampus and Mandu

 

From Raina of Truly Siberians in Olympia, Washington: We just love him so much.  And everyone that comes into our home loves him.  He weighed 11.6 pounds at the vet. I think he is going to be a big cat.

Maverick, King of the Castle!

Maverick, King of the Castle!

 

From Deb: I love them both so much and they have brought me so much joy during a time of so much change in my life. I am so glad I chose to get them both when I did.

 Katya still thinks I belong solely to her, but Pashka has her ways of sneaking time with me when Katya is sound asleep somewhere. It is so cute.
Katya and Pashka loving their home with Deb and Dan

Katya and Pashka loving their home with Deb and Dan

 

 

From Jamie:  Happy Birthday Nancy!!! 🎂 Tia loves you!

From Brian, Jamie and Tia

From Brian, Jamie and Tia

 

 

From Mike and Megan:  We can’t believe it’s already been over 6 months since we adopted Ellie from you guys and she joined our family.  We constantly talk about how adopting her was one of the best decisions we have ever made, we can’t imagine our lives without her.  She has adjusted so well to her new home, running around like she owns the place.  You were not kidding when you said she was vocal, she greets us every day at the door when we get home from work to yell at us about being gone for so long haha.  We think the most surprising things have been that her favorite game is fetch (which she taught herself), and her obsession with the shower, even though she hates getting wet.  When we show people a video of her playing fetch with a mylar ball, they are shocked!  We still cannot believe how sociable she has been with all our friends and family, she rarely ever hides and wants to crawl right into their laps.  Everyone who meets her can’t help but love her, whether or not they are “cat people.”  It is clear that she was given lots of love and attention before joining our family and we wanted to thank you again for the wonderful job you guys do with all the kittens!

You’re upside down Ellie!

 

Two Born; Two Arrive; Two Leave

It has been a very busy time at Semper Fi Siberians and for some reason, things seem to be happening in twos!

On September 29, Zhaklin gave birth to two handsome boys:

DSC_0084 DSC_0126

Next, I would like to introduce you to our two new Siberian Princesses in Waiting:

We thank Sherrie from Slava Cattery in Missouri for our beautiful future queen: Magdalena.  Magdalena is named after my maternal grandmother.  We are calling her Maggie.  She is a Golden Mackerel Tabby.

DSC_0153

We thank Andrea from Tuney Siberians in Minnesota for our beautiful future queen: Anastasia.  We are calling her Ana. She is a Black Amber Silver Torbie

?????????

In a year or so we will be happy to see the beautiful kittens they bring to us, but in the meantime, we are enjoying their kitten antics and loving personalities.  They are great additions to our Semper Fi family!

And last but definitely not least, Izabella’s two babies have now gone to their forever homes:

I met Angelica (the bride from my previous blog) at O’Hare to give her Anastasiya for the long plane ride to JFK and then another long ride by car to join Jackie and her Siberians at Inspurrations Cattery in East Stroudsburg, PA.  Anastasiya is a princess in waiting and will be giving Jackie and Angelica some beautiful (hopefully silver) kittens in the future.

Angelica picks up Anastaysia

Leo is loving his new family Tubba and Zaman:

Zaman and Tubba with Leo 002

So those are the stories of our twos!  Luckily for future pet parents, we still have Liliya’s five kittens and Sophia’s seven kittens who we are training and getting ready to join their forever homes in November and December

What did I do with the raspberries pictured in my last blog?  Raspberry Lemon Muffins!

DSC_0029

 

Grape Pie, Mmmm Good!

Once a year we have grape pie!  So you ask…”why only once a year?”  Have you ever peeled grapes? If you have, you know the answer. If you haven’t, I am going to show you!

When we moved to our current house Jim wanted to plant grapes.  He thought he was planting the seedless variety but, alas, that was not the case.  Although he envisioned sitting around eating freshly picked grapes from the vine, the varieties with seeds make this more of a task than it is worth.  I said not to worry, my mom always made one grape pie a year and I will do the same. He said he had never had grape pie before and I told him that is because they are a lot of work.

Up until this year we have not had much luck with our grapes. The birds got to them before we did.  One year we had enough for one pie.  This year we out-fooled the birds with bird netting placed over the vines and there were enough grapes for three pies.

Peeling grapes is not exactly how I had planned to spend my Sunday afternoon, but the pie beckoned and we went to work. After Jim picked, the grapes, we washed them. DSC_0019 DSC_0011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then comes the fun part… peeling! You have to put the skins in one bowl and the fleshy part that contain the seeds in a saucepan. DSC_0021 DSC_0009 DSC_0010

 

 

Place the saucepan on the burner over medium low heat and bring to a boil. Then comes another fun part…separating the pulp from the seeds! You do this with a food mill.   DSC_0013   Combine the pulp and the skins with a teaspoon of lemon juice and stir in a mixture of sugar, flour and salt. Pour into the bottom crust, dot with butter and add the top crust.  Sprinkle with sparkling sugar. DSC_0014 DSC_0015 DSC_0017             Bake at for 50 minutes. DSC_0018     Cool.   DSC_0024   Enjoy!   DSC_0026   Today I picked some raspberries from our vines.  What should I make with these?  I’m thinking Raspberry Lemon Muffins! DSC_0029

Good News/Bad News

What is your answer when someone says to you, “I have good news and bad news. Which do you want first?”  I always say I want the bad news first so we can get it over.  So that is what I am going to do in this post.

And the bad news isn’t about us or any of our kittens. It is a sad story from a fellow breeder that I felt needed to be shared.  Those of you with small children may want to read this first before sharing with them.  We care deeply about our kittens and continue to care as they grow and prosper in their forever homes.  I try to keep all my posts upbeat something you look forward to receiving. This time I have to include some bad with the good – if I can save one kitten’s life, it will be worth it.

Email from a fellow breeder:

“I had a phone call last night that all of us dread… news of the passing of a kitten that wasn’t quite yet six months old.  He’d climbed into the clothes dryer (apparently a habit he had) and this one time she forgot to check before turning it on.  It was only a few minutes before she realized, but by then it was too late… he passed on his way to the emergency vet.

This kitten was one of my bottle babies from my first litter of 2014, and I was particularly attached to him.  I know it was an accident and so didn’t scream and yell at her… I could tell she was wracked with guilt and she will have to live with it for the rest of her life.  I do give a ‘Kitten Care Sheet’ to buyers and that is one of the dangers I mention; she says she always checked except for this once.

I am simply devastated by this news… from now on I will not only give the Care Sheet, but I am going to talk about it with new owners using this first hand experience as an example.  It won’t bring back my precious little boy, but it might save another baby.”
Comments from Nancy:
With the busy lives we lead, it is so easy to get distracted.  We have learned to multi-task. While doing one thing, we are thinking about what we need to do next.  This was an accident and my heart goes out to the breeder but especially to the owner of this dear kitten.
After the breeder posted this on a site I belong to, unfortunately many more stories came through.  We all agreed we need to do something positive with this sad news and that is to send a safety reminder to all of our pet parents.
SAFETY REMINDER
 Accidents such as these are rare, however, we must all  take precautions for the health, safety, and well- being of our kittens.  Check over your home for potential kitty hazards: venetian blind cords  (a kitten could hang herself, so tie them up if she can reach them), possible escapes to unprotected areas, attention to keeping the lid down on the toilet, don’t turn the washer or dryer on without checking inside first. Kittens will jump into the refrigerator and they absolutely LOVE the dishwasher so take care with closing these doors.  Don’t use your recliner if you have one – underneath is often a kitten’s favorite place to take a nap. Other dangers include rubber bands, pony tail holders, string, plastic bags, dental floss, pins, holiday tinsel and ornaments—these things should never be left lying around.  Make sure that everyone in the family is well trained to CLOSE THE OUTSIDE DOOR and monitor it for a tiny escapee when going in and out.  Designate someone to guard the door and/or the cat whenever guests or workers are going in and out.  I will often lock all of my cats in a safe room when this kind of work is being done.  I can absolutely guarantee that guests/workers WILL leave the  door gaping open without a thought to your kitty.  Be particularly vigilant if you have children coming and going.  The list goes on and on so keep a watchful eye out towards safety. THERE’S A BABY IN THE HOUSE!”

 Hopefully, ending this post on a positive note will make all of us feel better:
And now for the good news.  The pictures below are of the babies from Liliya’s and Sophia’s recent deliveries. Precious little bundles of love.  We will do everything in our power to protect them until we can put them in the arms of their forever families.
Liliya’s Kittens:
Lincoln, reserved for Amy and family

Lincoln, reserved for Amy and family

Nikolai, reserved for Randy

Nikolai, reserved for Randy

Mischief reserved for Barbara

Mischief reserved for Barbara

Zoey has been reserved for Sara and family

Zoey has been reserved for Sara and family

Kazimir reserved for John

Kazimir reserved for John

At 2:50 last Saturday morning Sophie jumped up on the bed and woke me up 10 minutes before my alarm was due to go off!  She said “it’s time.” And I said, “Finally!”
Her first baby was born at 3:12 a.m.  I was able to be with her for this one but then I had to turn everything over to Jim since I needed to leave the house by 4:00 a.m. for my flight to Minneapolis.
Jim and Sophie handled everything very well – we have seven gorgeous babies!  True to form, as soon as they were all born, Sophie moved them under the bed.  This is ingrained into their personalities – what she is doing is protecting them from predators!
Sophia's babies born September 20, 2014.

Sophia’s babies born September 20, 2014.

Five more babies born to Sophie on September 20, 2014.

Five more babies born to Sophie on September 20, 2014.

 The next seven people on the waiting list will be making their selections from this litter in the next several weeks.

A Wonderful Thing is a Tigger!

I received another delightful email from one of our pet parents last week that I just had to share with you.

 

Sasha

Sasha

 

Was looking at your blog and saw all the cute new kittens.  I assume they are reserved, but I’m wondering about Zhaklin’s upcoming litter?  All spoken for yet?  My boisterous boy, Sasha, is crying out for a playmate.  Thought it would be cute to have a full brother or sister for him, but of course any half sibling would do as well!  The only stipulation is that the baby fits the description given in the lyrics of the Tigger Song:
A wonderful thing is a Tigger;
A Tigger’s a wonderful thing.
Their tops are made out of rubber,
their bottoms are made out of springs
They’re bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy,
fun, fun, fun, fun, fun,
The most wonderful thing
about Tiggers is:
I’m the only one!

That is Sasha’s theme song.  He just bounces all over the place, all the time.  He’s incredibly athletic, graceful, cute, babyish, stubborn, and sassy. Very intelligent, too, and somewhat obedient when he doesn’t have his mind set on something.  He’s also extremely vocal.  I’m only just beginning to learn what each meow means.  He tells me off every day when I come home from work, and I do know what that means!

I’m going to take him to the vet soon for his annual physical and also to find out his weight.  He went “off his feed” for a bit this summer (he was eating, but was very finicky and never finished anything), but as of right now is sitting down and eating an entire 3 ounces of cat food at a single sitting.  He does have a slight pouch on his belly but I think he’s too active to become fat.  He’s rarely still.  I’m guessing his weight right now at about 14 lbs.  He’s big!  Not rangy like a Maine Coon, but round and solid and big boned.

For the future I’d like to have Sasha, another Semper Fi Siberian, and when we get to the permanent home we’ll round out our family with a Maine Coon.  I’ve never quite forgotten dear Gideon (my MC who lived from 1982-2001), and would like to have just one more MC in my life.  However, I don’t think an MC could keep up with a Siberian, so I’m figuring on having two bouncy Siberians and eventually one laid-back Maine Coon.  That’s the plan, anyway.

Hope everyone is well!
Sandy

 

Sounds like a good plan to me, Sandy! 
——————————————–

Too Cute!

Did any of you see Saturday’s episode of Too Cute on Animal Planet?  It was adorable!  Siberians Coorah and Boris from Inspurrations Cattery in Pennsylvania were featured.  And who are Coorah and Boris? None other than the parents of our first queen, Nadeah, and our current queen, Zhaklin.  If you missed it, it is available on-line: Season 5 Episode 4, First Aired: August 23, 2014.

And we had our own “episode” of too cute on Saturday also, although ours was only open for viewing between the hours of 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. – yes that is a.m.!  When else would Liliya decide it is time to give birth! Please meet the five beautiful additions to our Semper Fi family (the names are temporary until names are selected by their forever families.)

 

Kira - Colorpoint Girl

Kira – Colorpoint Girl

Stefan - Black with White Boy

Stefan – Black with White Boy

Katarina - Blue with White Girl

Katarina – Blue with White Girl

Kazimir - Blue with White Boy

Kazimir – Blue with White Boy

Nicolai - Black with White Boy

Nicolai – Black with White Boy

So what am I, chopped liver?

When I show Mr. Silver my latest blog entry, he gets really upset.  “What am I, chopped liver? he says.  “I mean, really, if it weren’t for me, none of these lovely ladies would be in the family way.  And, YOU, would have nothing to write about.  Don’t you think everyone would like to see a picture of me?”

He then proceeded to go out the pet door to the catio* and pout for a while.

I said Mr. Silver, you know you’re my main man!  I will post your picture in my next blog and it will be only you!  Will that make up for my mistake?

“Purrrrrrrrr”.

Am I forgiven?

“Purrrrrrrrr”

DSC_0006 DSC_0005

 

 

* Jim built this fantastic enclosed area on our deck. The adult cats can come and go from inside the house to the outside via a pet door.  They can enjoy seeing the birds, climbing up and down a tree limb and being with us when we are outside. At the same time, they are safe and they can go back inside anytime they want to eat and go potty!

It’s Baby Time at Semper Fi

Babies, Babies, Babies!  We love them and that’s a good thing.  Izabella recently gave birth to two beautiful kittens:

 

 

 

The silver torbie female is being evaluated as a possible breeder.  The red tabby male has been selected by Zaman and Tubba and they have already named him Leo.

The silver torbie female is being evaluated as a possible breeder. The red tabby male has been selected by Zaman and Tubba and they have already named him Leo.

 

Liliya is due to give birth on or around August 21.  This will be her first litter so we will be watching her constantly in the next two weeks.

 

Liliya - personality plus!

Liliya – personality plus!

 

Sophia is expecting and due on September 14.

Our beautiful Sophia is a seal lynx point.

Our beautiful Sophia is a seal lynx point.

 

And last, but never least, is Zhaklin who is expecting on September 25.

Zhaklin is happiest when she is expecting or nursing kittens.

Zhaklin is happiest when she is expecting or nursing kittens.

 

As you can see, Mr. Silver is still faithfully fulfilling his job description!

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