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  • Nancy Bathurst

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New Pet Parents Join the Semper Fi Family

It appears we are up and running again with our email provider.  I say “appears” because we never know when it might happen again.  I recommend you keep my telephone number on file so in the event you do not receive an answer to an email, you can give me a call.

Four more happy pet parents have joined our Semper Fi family.  All but one of Sophie’s babies went home this past week-end.  We still have Viktor with us because his mommy-to-be is vacationing — we will post their photo in a later blog post.

Kristin is the happy mommy of two of our Siberians.  (The two dogs looking longingly in the window are our rescues, Zeke and Carly.)

DSC_0055Walter and Winslow

 

 

 

 

 

Kristin sent me a wonderful note saying Walter and Winslow “love to hangout under the coffee tables and chase each other through the  house. The adjustment has gone very well over all and Niko and I are completely in love.”

 

Kathy and Edward presented Sylvester (affectionately called Sly) to their daughter Stacey as a present.  Pick-up day happily coincided with Stacey’s birthday!

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They have sent so many photos since they took Sly home, it was very difficult to pick just one for this post; but I think you will agree, there can’t be a better one than this: imagejpeg_1

Even though Arlene was eligible to pick a kitten from an earlier litter, she wanted to wait until July because she was going to spend time visiting her mother in another state.  We never mind when someone asks to wait; we want it to be the perfect time for our pet parents and the perfect time for our kittens.  Arlene selected an absolutely beautiful kitten and named her Bonnie.  The first day in her new home Bonnie was shy but by the next day Arlene reported Bonnie was playing, eating and doing everything kittens are supposed to do!

DSC_0067

 

On Sunday, we were happy to welcome Gordana, Dave, Maksim and Ilija to our home.  Gordana also waited to get the perfect kitten – she wanted one from Sophie and Mr. Silver.

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I talked to Gordana after Sly had been with them a couple of days and she said “we are in love!”

Email Service Down

Once again our email server is down. If you have sent us an email yesterday or this morning, chances are  we have not received it. Please contact me either by emailing me on my personal email which is nanb41@comcast.net or by calling me on my cell phone 217-823-5482. Will post again on my blog when everything is up and running.

Kitten Vs. Toilet Paper

I think Viktor may be the guilty party but it would be my educated guess he had help!

image

More Cool Cats!

In keeping with the theme from last month of temporarily naming our kittens using “cool” cat names, here for your viewing pleasure are Lily’s two week old kittens:

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Katy Purry (female)

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Catrick Swayze (male)

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Cindy Clawford (female)

Happy Fourth of July

Strawberry/Rhubarb and Blueberry Pie

Strawberry/Rhubarb and Blueberry Pie

Just took these out of the oven.  On our way to celebrate Independence Day with family in Wisconsin.  Jim and I send our very best wishes to you and your families for a fun and safe holiday.

Independence Day marks the birth of the United States of America on July 4, 1776.  John Adams wrote: “Americans should henceforth celebrate a great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.”

We join all Americans in celebration of this great nation – “one nation under God!”

Simple Tips to Detoxify Your Home

Stanislav and Evelyn

Stanislav and Evelyn

Laysa

Laysa

 

 

 

Pusheen

Pusheen

 

A great article from Life’s Abundance  plus some recently received pet photos from our pet parents:

Most consumers know that the majority of cleaning products on the market can be toxic for companion animals. Compared to previous generations, we worry a lot more about “sensitivity”, “allergies” and “toxicity”. Shockingly, Americans use at least 62,000 chemicals that haven’t been adequately studied for safety, much less even tested by the EPA![1]

Much of that dizzying array can be found in any grocery store’s cleaning aisle. It’s hard for even conscientious consumers to know the level of toxicity they’ve unwittingly invited into their homes.

The good news is that there are some simple ways to improve the environmental quality of your home and increase the safety of those who spend the most time there … your pet kids. Plus, you will enjoy peace of mind knowing that you have reduced the toxic burden for everyone in your household. To help you achieve that goal, here are four simple tips to make your home both clean and safe …

1. Actually Follow the Directions

Many common cleaners can be used safely around companion animals when directions are followed[2]. For instance, if a label specifies “keep pets and children away from area until dry,” follow those instructions carefully. Toxins can enter the body in multiple ways including through contact, ingestion and inhalation. So, in this example, consider that it may not only be the slipperiness of the surface that is being warned against, but possibly the release of gasses during drying as well.

2. Proper Storage

Ensure that all cleaners, including laundry detergents and other soaps, remain in their original packaging. It’s also vital to store them securely, out of reach, and in a place distant from wherever your pet kid eats and sleeps. Don’t spray cleaning products near food or water bowls. And never store cleaning products near pet food. Be sure to follow the disposal instructions on the label, discard any empty containers or products you no longer use.

3. Find Products That Are …

–Fragrance-Free: Because fragrances are considered “trade secrets”, manufacturers do not have to disclose any of the ingredients in the scent formulation. Simply by seeking out products without added fragrance, you can eliminate a host of potentially toxic chemicals from your cleaning cabinet.

–Biologically-Based: Bio-enzymatic cleaners emerged on the ‘green’ cleaning scene as a category praised for working effectively without harming the environment or anyone within it. These products work when organic matter (such as soil and odor-causing bacteria) is completely broken down by live micro-organisms. These cleaners are more effective than enzyme-only formulas (commonly sold as pet odor removers) because the micro-organisms leave behind only water and carbon dioxide. Not only that, they continue working for up to 80 hours after application.

–Organic Cleaners: There are numerous options now available that do not contain harsh, manufactured chemicals. But, due to slack regulations on the use of buzzwords like “organic”, “natural” and “non-toxic”, this group of cleaners still requires a watchful eye.

–DIY Options: Introduce one or two of the numerous effective DIY recipes available online to your regimen. Many pantries are already stocked with the necessary ingredients, such as vinegar, lemon, salt, baking soda and castile soap. The simplest, most widely praised of all these is a mix of equal parts water and white vinegar, which can be used as an all-purpose cleaner.

4. Be Prepared

In case of accidental exposure to chemical cleaners or other household hazards, keep the phone numbers handy for both your veterinarian and the animal poison control center. The ASPCA Poison Control Center hotline is 888-426-4435 (there is a fee per call). Symptoms of ingestion or unwanted contact with cleaning products include …

• Sneezing
• Coughing
• Nasal and eye discharge
• Salivation
• Vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Decreased appetite
• Lethargy
• Seizures
• Death

Eliminating toxic chemicals from your home can feel like a big undertaking, so consider making changes gradually. When investigating safer alternatives, start with the surfaces where your companion animals hang out. For dogs, the priorities may be a floor cleaner and laundry detergent for bedding. For cats, perhaps an upholstery cleaner or litter box deodorizer should come first.

To take some guesswork out of this important process, Life’s Abundance offers two popular, family-safe bio-enzymatic cleaners. Both products utilize friendly bacteria to do the do the work for you. Bio-Base Biodeodorizer is an outstanding odor-eliminator that is safe to apply directly to pet bedding, sofa fabric and litter boxes. Bio-Base Floorwash works in the same manner to handle grease, grime and anything your pet kid can dish out.

John, one of our pet parents, recently asked me how to control odors in the room where the litter boxes are. I told him about the bio-deodorizer from Life’s Abundance. He immediately ordered it and then sent me a note: “This product is awesome – love the fragrance and that they provide a large bottle at a fair price.” And another thing that is remarkable is he sent me his original question on June 22, I responded, he ordered, and the note was received on the 24th – that’s fast delivery! I use both of these products and love them! If you would like to order, please do so by going through our site: www.mrsilversfood.com

REFERENCES:

[1] http://www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/tscainventory/
basic.html

[2] http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/animal-poison-control-faq

Archer

Archer

Frankie and Leo

Frankie and Leo

Sasha and Elizaveta

Sasha and Elizaveta

Cleo and Russell

Cleo and Russell

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gingie

Gingie

Princess Kona

Princess Kona

 

Leo

Leo

 

Anna

Anna

 

Niko and Samara

Niko and Samara

Good-bye Pat. We love you!

Cool Cat Names

Ana’s babies are 12 days old and eyes are already open.  It is our practice to assign each kitten a temporary name for use during the selection process by our future pet parents.  The majority of the time we use Russian names in respect for their heritage, but every once in a while we drift away from this practice to change things up a bit.  This happens to be a day when I need some cheering up so in searching for sources I came across a site that lists “cool cat names.”

http://www.thepurringtonpost.com/cool-cat-names/ (make sure you arrow over to all three pages!)

So hopefully, our future pet parents will share in my sense of humor!

Hairy Potter (male with green collar)

Hairy Potter (male with green collar)

 

Shakespurr (male with rose collar)

Shakespurr (male with rose collar)

 

Luke Skywhisker (male with yellow collar)        Oh Dear, I definitely need a manicure!

Luke Skywhisker (male with yellow collar) Oh Dear, I definitely need a manicure!

 

Another Pet Food Recall

Get the Facts! Raw Pet Food Diets can be Dangerous to You and Your Pet


Another pet food recall announced today by the FDA.

Radagast Pet Food, Inc. (Portland, OR) has announced a voluntary recall of four lots of frozen Rad Cat Raw Diet products, sold in 8oz., 16oz., and 24oz. tubs, and free 1oz sample cups, due to the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes.

Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

 

The Pet Food Study


In a two-year study spanning from October 2010 through July 2012, the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) screened over 1,000 samples of pet food for bacteria that can cause foodborne illnesses.1 (The illnesses are called “foodborne” because the bacteria are carried, or “borne,” in or on contaminated food.) The study showed that, compared to other types of pet food tested, raw pet food was more likely to be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria.

The Pet Food Study

Raw pet food was not included in the first year of the study. In the second year, CVM expanded the study to include 196 samples of commercially available raw dog and cat food. The center bought a variety of raw pet food online from different manufacturers and had the products shipped directly to six participating laboratories.2 The raw pet food products were usually frozen in tube-like packages and made from ground meat or sausage.

The participating laboratories analyzed the raw pet food for harmful bacteria, including Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. In past projects, CVM had monitored dog and cat food for the presence of Salmonella. But before this study, the center “had not investigated the occurrence of Listeria in pet food,” said Renate Reimschuessel, a veterinarian at CVM’s Office of Research and one of the study’s principal investigators. Dr. Reimschuessel further noted that “quite a large percentage of the raw foods for pets we tested were positive for the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.” (Pathogens are disease-causing germs, like some bacteria. Not all bacteria are harmful pathogens, though. Some bacteria are helpful to people and animals, such as those that live in the intestines and contribute to a healthy gut.)

Of the 196 raw pet food samples analyzed, 15 were positive for Salmonella and 32 were positive for L. monocytogenes (see Table 1).

Table 1: Number and type of pet food samples that tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes (Years 1 & 2)
Type of Pet Food Sample No. samples tested No. positive for Salmonella No. positive for L. monocytogenes
 Raw pet food  196  15  32
 Dry exotic pet fooda  190  0  0
 Jerky-type treatsb  190  0  0
 Semi-moist dog foodc  120  0  0
 Semi-moist cat foodc  120  0  0
 Dry dog foodd  120  0  0
 Dry cat foodd  120  1  0
a Non-cat and non-dog food, such as dry pellets for hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, amphibians, and birds.
b Included chicken jerky and pig ear-type products.
c Typically packaged in pouches for retail sale, such as (1) pouched dog and cat food; and
(2) food treats shaped like bacon, fish, pork chops, and burgers.
d Included pellet- or kibble-type food typically packaged in bags for retail sale.Note: CVM did not collect or test canned and wet pet food samples in this study.

Based on the study’s results, CVM is concerned about the public health risk of raw pet food diets. As Dr. Reimschuessel explained, the study “identified a potential health risk for the pets eating the raw food, and for the owners handling the product.” Owners who feed their pet a raw diet may have a higher risk of getting infected with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.

Tips to Prevent Foodborne Illness from Raw Pet Food

Because raw pet food is more likely than other types of pet food to contain Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, the single best thing you can do to prevent infection is to not feed your pet a raw diet. However, the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine is aware that some people prefer to feed their pets this type of diet.

If you choose to feed raw pet food to your pet, be aware that you can infect yourself with Salmonella or L. monocytogenes by spreading the bacteria from the contaminated food to your mouth. For instance, you may accidentally ingest the bacteria if you touch your mouth while preparing the raw food or after handling a contaminated utensil. If you get Salmonella or L. monocytogenes on your hands or clothing, you can also spread the bacteria to other people, objects, and surfaces.

Here are some tips to prevent infection with Salmonella and L. monocytogenes:

  • Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds) after handling raw pet food, and after touching surfaces or objects that have come in contact with the raw food. Potential contaminated surfaces include countertops and the inside of refrigerators and microwaves. Potential contaminated objects include kitchen utensils, feeding bowls, and cutting boards.
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect all surfaces and objects that come in contact with raw pet food. First wash with hot soapy water and then follow with a disinfectant. A solution of 1 tablespoon bleach to 1 quart (4 cups) water is an effective disinfectant. For a larger supply of the disinfectant solution, add ¼ cup bleach to 1 gallon (16 cups) water. You can also run items through the dishwasher after each use to clean and disinfect them.

The Difference between Cleaning and Disinfecting

Cleaning removes germs (like bacteria) and dirt from surfaces and objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs and dirt. This process doesn’t necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, cleaning lowers the number of germs and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces and objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals, such as bleach, to kill germs. This process doesn’t necessarily clean dirty surfaces and objects or remove germs, but by killing germs after cleaning, disinfecting can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Source: How to Clean and Disinfect Schools to Help Slow the Spread of Flu – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Freeze raw meat and poultry products until you are ready to use them, and thaw them in your refrigerator or microwave, not on your countertop or in your sink.
  • Carefully handle raw and frozen meat and poultry products. Don’t rinse raw meat, poultry, fish, and seafood. Bacteria in the raw juices can splash and spread to other food and surfaces.
  • Keep raw food separate from other food.
  • Immediately cover and refrigerate what your pet doesn’t eat, or throw the leftovers out safely.
  • If you’re using raw ingredients to make your own cooked pet food, be sure to cook all food to a proper internal temperature as measured by a food thermometer. Thorough cooking kills Salmonella, L. monocytogenes, and other harmful foodborne bacteria.
  • Don’t kiss your pet around its mouth, and don’t let your pet lick your face. This is especially important after your pet has just finished eating raw food.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands after touching or being licked by your pet. If your pet gives you a “kiss,” be sure to also wash your face.

No matter what type of pet food you feed your pet, you should always follow these safe handling instructions.

I have been asked many times why we don’t feed raw.  The above article explains why. 

If you want to read the rest of this article, go to:

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/ResourcesforYou/AnimalHealthLiteracy/ucm373757.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

Only the best for our babies! (Sophia’s current litter at 8 weeks old)

If you want to know what food we recommend, contact us:

 

 

 

More Happy Families!

This past week was spent meeting with our new families.  We love when we can bring such joy into their lives and thank them for the joy they bring to us.  Knowing our kittens are now living with families who cherish them as much as we is a tremendous blessing.

Emmy was our first kitten to go home.

Amy, Natalie and Ethan with Emmie

Amy, Natalie and Ethan with Emmy

They were excited to celebrate bringing home this little ball of fur. But that is not the only reason they had to celebrate. We are very proud to show the photo of Ethan who just learned the day before that he placed first place in the Metra Safety Contest for his division.

Congratulations, Ethan!

Congratulations, Ethan!

 

Stanislav was anxiously awaiting going home with his new family.  And what he didn’t know is that there is a future friend waiting for him – Evelyn, their 13-year-old Sphynx cat.

Mike, Cindi and Zach with Stanislav

Mike, Cindi and Zach with Stanislav

 

Cindi has already shared some photos of Stanislav.  Looks like he has made himself right at home and is even learning about Anthropology!

Stanislav reading Stanislav on cat tree

 

 

 

 

Mia is a long-awaited companion to Juliette after her graduation this year.  She and boyfriend John are serving internships at an architectural firm in downtown Chicago.  We offer them both congratulations on their graduation and best of luck for the future!

Juliette with mother, Ruth, and boyfriend, John, and, of course, Mia!

Juliette with mother, Ruth, and boyfriend, John, and, of course, Mia!

 

Finn lovingly went into the welcoming arms of Beth and her boyfriend, Courtney.  Beth reported Finn was a little nervous when he first went to the vet for his check-up but her vet knew exactly how to make him feel right at ease. A good vet is such an important part of the wellbeing of our kittens and we know Finn will receive the best of care.  Beth also reported that Finn is the sweetest kitten – he plays hard and then falls asleep on her lap.

Juliette and Courtney with Finn

Beth and Courtney with Finn

 

We are always excited to welcome families back who have already adopted a kitten from us. Jeff, Danielle, Abigail and Lauren adopted Mishka in December of 2014.  And they were no less excited to pick up Karina as a welcome addition to their family.

Jeff, Danielle, Abigail and Lauren with Karina

Jeff, Danielle, Abigail and Lauren with Karina

Jeff reports that Karina is friendly and outgoing.  Mishka is not so sure of her yet but I’ll bet Karina will win him over with her charms!

 

Charles and Katheryn were so very excited when they found out they had moved up on the list and would be getting a kitten. Sometimes people’s lives change and they have to delay.  We have no problem with this – they do not lose their place on the waiting list and when they are ready, they give us a call.  And the upside is some lucky family gets to adopt sooner than they originally expected!

 

Katheryn and Charles with daughter, Delaney, and beautiful Ellie

Katheryn and Charles with daughter, Delaney, and beautiful Ellie

And don’t you think, Delaney, wore the appropriate shirt?

 

Pusheen was the first kitten selected from these two litters and I know she is enjoying going home with Alysia and her sister, Tiffany.  Alysia teaches piano and flute lessons in her home so Pusheen will be serenaded!

Alysia and Tiffany with Pusheen

Alysia and Tiffany with Pusheen

 

Mr. Sebastian is named in honor of his father, Mr. Silver.  Thank you Traci – we love that you honor our big guy in this way!  Traci also has a Siberian named Sophie, and her daughter Carrie has a Siberian also.  So now Mr. Sebastian joins their family to keep son, Ben, company!

Traci, Carrie and Ben with Mr. Sebastian

Traci, Carrie and Ben with Mr. Sebastian

 

So it has been a busy several days at Semper Fi Siberians!  Saying good-bye to Jackie’s and Maggie’s kittens AND welcoming into the world Ana’s three boys born Wednesday, June 15 and Lily’s three kittens born early this morning, June 22 (think two girls and a boy).  I need a nap!  Within the next couple of days we will be notifying the next people on the waiting list.

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