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  • Nancy Bathurst

  • September 2016
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DIY Cat/Kitten Ideas

Zhaklin (Jackie) gives birth – 2 males and 1 female.  More babies on the way mid October!



Thought I would share the above You Tube video with you because it has some cute ideas. A few people have asked me for suggestions to stop their cats from getting on the counters.  This video gives a suggestion.  We gave up a long time ago! I think it is manageable with one or two cats but with six, not worth the trouble!  Instead what I do is sterilize* before meal prep.  Actually, they just want to go on the island so I do very little food handling there.  They are content to lie there and watch me as I work around the rest of the kitchen.

The one suggestion in the video of having a box on the counter — they did it so the cat could have a place to look out the window — to me is an excellent solution.  Cats love boxes! If the only place the cat goes is in the box, you don’t have to worry about the rest of the counter.

A box lid was my solution to pleasing our cats who want to be with me while I am on the computer without them choosing the keyboard for their resting spot.  Take a shallow lid – like the one I use from a Scrabble game – put it next to your screen, and your cat will be perfectly content.


*Be very careful of the cleaner/sterilizer you use – both for counters and floors. Please use a bio-based cleaner that is safe for pets like my favorite:  

This one bottle of bio-base concentrated floor wash (also good for counters) makes 64 gallons of cleaning product. If you are one of our pet parents using Life’s Abundance pet foods, add a bottle to your next order. If you are new to Life’s Abundance, go to http://www.MrSilversfood.com

School has started, children are back to doing homework but when you have a Siberian to help you, it makes it so much easier:


Lincoln helping Avery with her homework!

Laysa says this bed's for me but you're welcome to try to get in on either side of me! (Beloved Siberian of Bill and Amy)

Laysa says this bed is for me but you’re welcome to try to get in on either side of me! (Beloved Siberian of Bill and Amy)


“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.”
― Jean Cocteau

Smiles All Around and Kisses Too!

More happy pet parents!

Ana’s kittens:

Rizzo  has now joined three other Semper Fi Siberians at Sara and Ranan’s home.

Luke Skywhiskers started out in life just great but at age 2 weeks we noticed he was not growing as quickly as his littermates, wasn’t as fluffy and his skin felt leathery.  Our vet took blood and urine tests and sent to an outside lab trying to find out what the problem was.  It was finally determined the problem was dermatological.  As the weeks passed, he gained weight, his skin smoothed out and he became the most outgoing of the litter.  Even at four weeks, he would run to meet us as soon as we opened the door to the kitten room. It became obvious he was going to be a wonderful kitten, just not as big or fluffy as our other kittens.  There were several families that wanted to take him. Sara’s whole family including Ranan, Asha, Kiki and Jeeves came to see him one Saturday morning…and it became obvious…they were the family to take in this little guy and love him forever.  They named him Rizzo. As my readers know, Kiki is our kitten assistant, and Sara is our helper and pet guardian when we have to be away for a couple of days.  So we are close — not only in distance but in friendship.  We will get to see him often and watch how he develops.

Sara reports “Rizzo is doing great and settling in!”


Tara, Jeff, Cameron and Noah travelled here from Michigan to pick up their precious boy, Pavel.


It was a long ride home but Pavel slept, purred and meowed all the way! He is now completely adjusted and has become best friends with their Havanese dog, Mora.

This book is one I recommend to all of our future pet parents. Tara sent me this photo and said "didn't notice the similarity until now. :)

This book is one I recommend to all of our future pet parents. Tara sent me this photo and said “didn’t notice the similarity until now.🙂

Sleeping on the dog cage

Sleeping on the dog cage

Mira and Pavel, best friends already.

Mora and Pavel, best friends already.


Next to go home was Percy Jackson, beloved kitten of Kristina, Matt, Kate and Julia


Kristina let me know that all was well on Day 1 and “Day 2 went well also!! Percy slept curled up on my stomach all night but, there was no crying.🙂 He has continued to eat well and use his litter box. He has played a lot and slept a lot today. Anytime someone opens the door he dives under the furniture or burrows under the quilt. But, he comes out and plays and even met two of the neighbor girls that were excited to see him. Now he’s sleeping at the foot of the bed. All is well!! Good night!”


Liliya’s Kittens:

The first of Lily’s kittens to go home was Cholula. Robin came in the morning to pick her up and Jillian and Emmaline could not wait for the school day to be over so they could come home to love on their new baby.


Robin sent me an email the next day: ” I will not continually bother you with updates but we are just so proud of our little Cholula, and she has settled in well here. She slept until the light started to creep in this morning and then woke us up by purring and walking on us and our pillows. I would say that she seems to feel at home here!

She went to the vet this morning, where he pronounced her a “keeper”, and went on and on about her thick coat.
Thanks again for taking the time to get Cholula ready to come home with us. It is clear that she has been well-prepared! She is such a sweetheart, and we love her already.”
Please Robin keep the updates coming – never a bother!!!
















Sue and Mia came on Saturday morning to take their precious bundle home:  Lulu


This is an excerpt from the nice email Sue sent on Sunday:  “I want to give you an update on Lulu’s first 24 hours with us. She is doing great! She came out of her carrier right away, and immediately started exploring the room. She went under the bed and under furniture, but mostly to explore, not to hide. She napped for a bit under the bed, but then came out and was ready to play. She was not shy at all! She showed an interest in her basket of toys, and was ready to play with Mia when Mia brought out a wand toy. She came to us readily and made it clear that she wanted to be pet and played with.”

Mia knows the correct way to play with the wand. She has a “method” with the wand….. she lets Lulu catch it every 3rd pass, and then lets her chase it on the ground. We want to make sure Lulu has some satisfaction!

Mia knows the correct way to play with the wand. She has a “method” with the wand….. she lets Lulu catch it every 3rd pass, and then lets her chase it on the ground. Sue said “We want to make sure Lulu has some satisfaction!”


Safia was the last of the pet parents to pick up her kitten – Raja. Safia had been on vacation to Europe, even visiting Prague where Mr. Silver is from.  And she brought me presents!! Thank you, Safia!!!

Safia took a couple of days off work to be with Raja – so she put a sign on her desk that said “On Pawternity Leave”!!!

We received this photo and email from Safia today:

“I’m happy to report that Raja has adjusted quite well. We just got back from the vet, and they said he is a healthy cat. He loved all of the people at the vet’s office. (I also overheard a technician ask the vet “don’t you just love him?”)

Attached is a photo of us bonding…I think Raja is the best cat ever!”safia-and-raja-480x640


So how does a couple spend their 30th wedding anniversary?  Ours was yesterday, September 13.  We had discussed it several times, thinking of possibly Belize, or maybe Italy, a river cruise like we did on our 25th, maybe an evening in Chicago, dining at a gourmet restaurant.

In the end we started the day helping our children Gene and Julie by meeting a repairman at their house. Then it was greeting Safia and placing Raja, our last kitten to go home from Lily’s litter, in her arms. The afternoon was spent with Jim working on the computer and me taking a two-hour nap.  Late afternoon we went out to eat at Duke’s Alehouse in Crystal Lake where Jim had a chicken sandwich and I had a hamburger. We came home and spent the evening like we do every evening – enjoying a beverage and talking over the day, followed by a little TV.  Definitely nothing glamorous or exciting, but the kind of day a long happily married couple enjoys – just being together!

So now we can take a short break — no kittens in the house — but not for long — Jackie is due in a week. Magdalena and Sophia will follow in October.

Our Cup Runneth Over!

We absolutely have the very best pet parents! Cindi shared these delightful comments and photos with us; and I want to share them with you!

Hi Nancy and Jim!

Stanislav is just over five months old now and he continues to be such a joy. He is getting his adult teeth already! He likes to follow us around and keeps us company when we are working or studying at home.

I’ve enclosed some pictures so you can see how big he is now!

He truly is so different than any other cat I’ve owned. He was absolutely worth the wait!!




Making progress being friends with Evelyn



Just waking up



Mama no kisses…Well, ok…


Read me another story!


After a tough day of playing!


After my last blog post, “Worth The Wait?”, several pet parents sent photos – what a joy this is to us.  I will share them with you in the weeks to come.

Jim and I thank each of you for being such a blessing to us!  Our cup runneth over!

Worth The Wait?

I spoke with a pet parent today who said “life with our Siberian is unlike any other cat we have ever owned.”  I have lost count of how many times we have heard this.  Just to give you a little sense of what they mean, look at the following photos sent to us recently:

Jamie and Tia in love! Tia is one of our retired Siberians.

Jamie and Tia in love! Tia is one of our retired Siberians.


You can't find your Siberian; don't forget to check the clothes hamper! This is Izzy, beloved Siberian of Brenda and Lee

If you can’t find your Siberian; don’t forget to check the clothes hamper! This is Izzy, beloved Siberian of Brenda and Lee.


Now the perfect place is on the clean and folded laundry!. Cleo and Russell, beloved Siberians of Amber.

Now the perfect place is on the clean and folded laundry! Cleo and Russell, beloved Siberians of Amber.


Juliette reports "Mia is truly a free spirit with relentless energy and has brought so much joy into my life, as well as the lives of my parents and their old cat, Mischief. She has brought a young and peppy spirit out of Mischief, something we hoped but didn't expect to see so much of. Mischief plays more than ever now, thanks to Mia's insistence (and slight harassment, though all in good fun.) "

Juliette reports “Mia is truly a free spirit with relentless energy and has brought so much joy into my life, as well as the lives of my parents and their old cat, Mischief. She has brought a young and peppy spirit out of Mischief, something we hoped but didn’t expect to see so much of. Mischief plays more than ever now, thanks to Mia’s insistence (and slight harassment, though all in good fun.) ” Mia, the Siberian, is on the left.


Traci says: "Hope you enjoy these pictures of Sophie and Mr Sebastian. They are such great friends!! Thank you for this sweet boy!!"

Traci says: “Hope you enjoy these pictures of Sophie and Mr Sebastian. They are such great friends!! Thank you for this sweet boy!!”



Nikki says: Mischief makers, Niko and Samara, "monkey see, monkey do!"

Nikki says: Mischief makers, Niko and Samara, “monkey see, monkey do!”


Ethan was not feeling well today so Kona is watching closely.

Ethan was not feeling well today and stayed home from school so Kona is watching closely.

Earlier this week, I met a wonderful family who came here to visit our cats to see if their son could tolerate Siberians.  We tested, he passed, and they have joined our wait list – they are No. 27.  I tell you this in the event you have been wanting to get on our list.  For those who join the list now, it will  be spring/summer of 2017 before we estimate you will be able to adopt a kitten. Yes, it’s a long wait. Are Siberians worth the wait?  I know what these pet parents would say!

A Little of This, A Little of That

Viktor and Vicki

Viktor was the last kitten from Sophie’s litter to go to his forever home.  Vicki returned the day before from her European vacation but she didn’t want to wait another day to take Viktor in her arms so she and two or her friends drove from Iowa to Crystal Lake.  This is a note we just received from Vicki: “Viktor has been a good kitty and is fun to play with.  He has learned to fetch the red foil toy or the green coil you gave him, but still loves the remote mouse the best.  He continues to be real “lovey dovey” at times.  And… I have had no problems with my allergies!”

Viktor and Vicki

Dryer Maid Ball

This is a product I have been wanting to tell you about for a long time and I keep forgetting.  But a trip to the laundry room today brought it to mind – front and center.  So I just had to go to the computer and type this. We keep the cats out of the laundry room but somehow Maggie got in without us knowing and spent the night curled up on Jim’s black shorts — out of the dryer, on the counter, but hadn’t made it upstairs yet.  They were covered in cat hair.  (Yes, Siberians do shed! Not all the time, thank goodness, but our ladies do when they are in a hormonal way–mostly after giving birth and nursing kittens.) Now I have been looking at these shorts for longer than I care to mention but didn’t want to bother with them. But today, I said I need to tackle this. Was just going to reach for my lint roller (which never gets it all done without using half a roll) and then they were going back in the washer. But a light bulb went off. Why not put them in the dryer on fluff for few minutes with the Dryer Maid Ball.  I did and this is the result:





I have had this ball for several months and use it with every dryer load.  I do not think it is that great for removing wrinkles but for removing pet hair I give it five stars! I hesitated buying one because of mixed reviews on Amazon but now having used one, I believe some of the complaints were because they didn’t read the directions! The ball is not to be fully inflated.

Young Marines

As if we aren’t busy enough raising kittens, Jim decided to accept the challenge and become the volunteer director of a new unit of Young Marines located in the Fox Valley area.  And, of course, being a dutiful wife I said I would help.  The first boot camp was held August 1-4. If you remember that week, it was extremely hot.  But those wonderful children hung in there, completed the training, and this Saturday we celebrated their graduation.


If you have never heard of this organization, you may want to read about their mission, motto and creed. I think you will be impressed.

The mission of the Young Marines is to positively impact America’s future by providing quality youth development programs for boys and girls that nurtures and develops its members into responsible citizens who enjoy and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

Strengthening the lives of America’s youth

Young Marine Obligation
From this day forward, I sincerely promise, I will set an example for all other youth to follow and I shall never do anything that would bring disgrace or dishonor upon my God, my Country and its flag, my parents, myself or the Young Marines. These I will honor and respect in a manner that will reflect credit upon them and myself. Semper Fidelis.

Young Marine Creed
1. Obey my parents and all others in charge of me whether young or old.
2. Keep myself neat at all times without other people telling me to.
3. Keep myself clean in mind by attending the church of my faith.
4. Keep my mind alert to learn in school, at home, or at play.
5. Remember having self-discipline will enable me to control my body and mind in case of an emergency.


Birthdays – Happy Birthday to all my special girls!

August is definitely birthday month in our family, with December following closely behind.  August 2 was daughter-in-law, Julie’s birthday (am I allowed to say 41st???). Today is granddaughter, Mary’s 15th birthday, Saturday was granddaughter, Neah’s 17th birthday and Friday was our daughter, SueEllen’s 50th birthday. SueEllen’s husband Mike and daughter Lindsay put together a grand party at Smith Street Station in Palatine.  There were 91 of her closest friends in attendance!  SueEllen is a gift from God – she loves everyone and everyone loves her!

SueEllen is second from left

SueEllen is second from left



Life’s Abundance

Corporate Caring &
Community Outreach

Life’s Abundance is a company with a big heart. We put a lot of effort into conveying this through the level of service that we give to our family of Field Reps and their customers, the care and attention we put into providing premium products and through our charitable efforts in support of our non-profit foundation. It is this commitment to caring that led us to reach out to our local community. As a result, Life’s Abundance is very proud to announce that we are Official Sponsors of Palm Beach County’s third annual Countdown 2 Zero adoption event.

On Saturday, September 10th, the Palm Beach County Convention Center will be overtaken by hundreds of adoptable cats and dogs (rabbits and guinea pigs, too) along with their rescue group caretakers. The goal is to find forever homes for 500 of these hopeful pets. Countdown 2 Zero is a broad campaign harnessing the expertise and resources of both the local county government and private animal rescue agencies with a mission to bring the euthanasia of adoptable pets down to zero by 2024. Great inroads are being made in Palm Beach County, Florida, toward this goal with a comprehensive approach that includes high volume, affordable spay/neuter, proactive T.N.V.R. (trap, neuter, vaccinate & return), medical and behavior programs, cooperative rescue networks, expanded foster programs and more.

We are excited to meet some of our animal-loving neighbors on September 10th, and are proud to support this important push to help companion animals and the people who love them. We applaud the efforts of the Countdown 2 Zero organizers, and every one of you who works to affect positive change in your community. Together, we truly can make the world a better place.


Thank you Kristie for sending this beautiful photo of Rosie!

Rosie (Scott and Kristie Holland)

Life With Sly

Prospective pet parents wishing to get a kitten from Semper Fi Siberians usually have many questions. And we have questions for them. This querying back and forth allows them to be confident in us as breeders and us to be confident they can provide the perfect home for one of our precious bundles of fur.

In the weeks leading up to adoption day we cover many subjects: what to purchase, what and how to feed, safety for your new “baby,” transition to your home, bonding.  Then on adoption day the education continues: clipping claws, prevention of scratching, getting your kitten to the vet, more safety training, etc.


Teamwork, the best way to clip claws.

So with all that, most think they are fully prepared for the delights in store for them when their new kitten arrives. Not always the case!  One of our pet parents told me, I know you told me several times about the personality of the Siberian but I guess it is a little like child birth, you don’t really know until it happens to you! But unlike child birth, there is no pain involved! But like childbirth, there is much joy ahead!

The majority of our new pet parents are very good about sending us a photo now and then and keeping us updated on the progress of their kitten, for which we are very grateful. But one family has thrilled us with many, many photos of their precious bundle of joy and his busy life.

Enjoy as we peek in on life with Sly! (Click on individual photos to read captions.)


Sleeping in his carrier as they are almost home.



What a life!

May I introduce you to……

Selection Week is over for our two newest litters:  Ana’s three babies were born on June 15 and Lily’s three babies were born on June 22. Some kittens were given names immediately and others had to wait a few days — lots of family discussions  — right Sara?  Remember the “fun” names I picked out?  Surprisingly, no one decided to keep those names!

May I introduce you to:


Cholula, female born to Lily.


Lulu, female born to Lily


Raja, male born to Lily


Percy Jackson, male born to Ana. He is licking his lips after finishing a delicious meal!


Rizzo, male born to Ana


Pavel, male born to Ana.

These litters of three each are great for us and for the mamas; not so great for our waiting list!  We greatly appreciate everyone’s patience. I will be emailing those on our list soon to let you know where you are on the list and information on our breeding plans for the remainder of 2016.

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!



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!



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.


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!


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