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  • Nancy Bathurst

  • April 2019
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We Are So Close

UPDATE:  You are wonderful! $250 raised so far; only $50 more to meet my goal! Thank you!!!!

We are working to take some very deserving children to Washington DC this summer.

Please help us meet our deadline. The kids have worked so hard. We have $3,009 of the required $26,534  left to raise by April 25. My goal is to personally raise 10% of that, $300. I have 221 blog followers. Six of you have already given very generously so that leaves 215. If each of you gave $2, I would surpass my goal!  Now we all know that is not going to happen. So do I have 30 Siberian Cat lovers who would each give $10?

https://www.gofundme.com/fox-valley-young-marines

I have been helping my husband in his endeavors to give back to our country for all that was given to him in his 36 years as a United States Marine. He is shaping the lives of some very special children by serving as Unit Commander of the Fox Valley Young Marines. I am the Unit Adjutant and Chef.

Our goal is to take these children to Washington D.C. this summer, an opportunity many of them will never have again.

This organization is NOT a recruiting tool for the US Marines. The only connection is to nurture and develop the values of the Corps of loyalty, leadership and good citizenship plus promoting a drug free lifestyle.

93E3C6B4-D2B1-4DE4-9101-7F3F3CB129EF

Say No To Easter Lilies

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Enter Please! Do not bring these into your home if you have cats! Lots of people think that pointsettas are toxic – these are so much worse. All parts of the plant, including the pollen, can lead to irreversible kidney failure if integested by a cat. We shared before, but if this saves even one kitty, it was worth sharing again.

Please, Please Read This Post

I have been many things in my 77 years of life. I won’t bore you with the list. But my most important job title was and is “Mother.” And strangely enough it is the job I feel I have been least qualified for.

The majority of my blog followers are mothers also so I am hoping you will be able to empathize with my pain. Would you please read the following blog post written by my daughter, including the letter to the superintendent?

Why am I asking you to read this since you are no way involved in this situation. Two reasons.

One—just in case one of my many followers are involved in state government, school administration or the legal profession.  If you are such a person, is there any advice you can give as to something we can try to do to correct this wrong; something that will allow my daughter to return to the profession she loves and is very, very good at?

Two—please remember this incident when interacting with your children’s teachers. So many of today’s teachers are dealing with children who have absolutely no respect for authority. I know your children are not like these because I met them all when you came to select and pick up your kitten. But please be aware that maybe if your child’s teacher is not 100% every minute of every day, it may be because she has reached her limit and received no help from her administration. Reach out to her/him with thanks. Send a note to the principal with praise for the teacher.

I desperately want to help my daughter! As a mother I should be able to do so! I feel helpless! So if you can give any advice, it will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. And I ask one more thing—please pray for my daughter and for all teachers.  Thank you!

https://mylifeinthebackground.com

Hey there background friends. I have good news and bad news. First let’s go with the good news. I received some major screen time on episode 7 of Proven Innocent. Click here for a link to check out this video! It was pretty awesome seeing more than a fleeting image of myself on TV. The only sad part is that I also worked with my mom that day but I couldn’t find her in the episode. How about you Mom? Did you see yourself? I truly looked but maybe my fascination with seeing myself caused me to miss it. Anyway, it was such a fun thing when I saw how much time I was on screen. If you haven’t checked out Proven Innocent on Fox, please do. You won’t see me again until episode 13 when I am on the jury.

And Now Major Bad News

I guess I won’t be taking a break from background work for the next two months as that job I told you about last time fell through. Yep, it’s true. I had a great interview with the principal and the job was mine as soon as he checked my references. Knowing my references were great, I thought it was a sure thing. But nothing in this life is a sure thing, my friends. I guess the superintendent of the school district did not feel comfortable with hiring me due to the false accusation I told you about before. This situation is going to haunt me forever it seems. If you click here, you can read a letter I wrote to this superintendent. I know it won’t get me the job but maybe she will realize the impact her decision has had on me. I even asked her for advice. I am pretty sure I will never receive a response but if I do, you will be the first to know.

Major Screen Time Key West View
My awesome view of the Atlantic Ocean

I’m sad. I am very sad about this whole thing. I’m still hanging in there and having faith that God will show me the way. Maybe it is time for my teaching career to be over. Maybe my talents are needed somewhere else. Who knows? But, in all honesty, my faith is wavering today and I ask for your prayers in helping me recover from this recent set back. Looking on the bright side, if I have to be sad, it might as well be as fun of a place as is Key West. With this view from my balcony, it’s hard to not notice God’s wondrous world.

Exciting News/Not So Exciting News

Canned Pork & Duck
  • 24 – 3 oz. Cans
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  • 3 oz. Can
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  • Limited ingredients
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Pork & duck first two ingredients
  • <1% carbs, no fillers or gums

We know how important your cat’s health and happiness are to you. That’s why we made this special super-premium meal that’s rich in nutrition and big on flavor. When you feed this delicious meal, you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of knowing your feline will have everything she needs to be content and happy.

Grain-free Recipe … Our pork and duck are carefully cooked in a delicate pork broth that will tantalize kitty taste buds. Even finicky felines will meow for more of this lusciously textured savory dish. Plus, our limited-ingredient recipe is gentle on kitties with sensitive stomachs, too.

Great Nutrition … We started with high quality protein from pork and duck for strong muscles. We added omega fatty acids for healthy skin and a shiny coat. The green lipped mussels, l-tryptophan, vitamins and minerals help support optimal health. And, last but not least, the real pork broth is a natural source of hydration to help cats maintain digestive and urinary health.

Guaranteed Goodness … We feel confident that you’ll think this is the best grain-free cat food ever because we use only wholesome cat food ingredients. There are no fillers, artificial colors or flavors, no preservatives or gums. It’s perfectly formulated for every life cycle of a cat, from kittens to seniors. And the easy-to-open cans make mealtime effortless.

For the ultimate in nourishment, feed your kitty the nutritional combo of Pork & Duck Grain Free Recipe and our premium All Life Stage kibble (available in original and grain-free formulas)!

Not So Exciting News
Since retiring from breeding, I receive many requests for breeder recommendations.  I am always happy to respond.  I also believe it is my duty to report to you when a breeder or breeder site is one you should stay away from.  I belong to the Facebook Group, Siberian Cats started years ago by a fellow breeder friend of mine. It is now run by an excellent breeder from Georgia named Kathy Wade. Today she made our group aware of a scam being perpetrated on unsuspecting Siberian customers.
I realize when a person decides to purchase a Siberian, the excitement is overpowering and the need to wait while on a waiting list can seem unbearable. Do not be tempted by ads like this. They are a scam. They do not have kittens. They just want your money. Their entire Facebook page is filled with photos taken from reputable breeders. Heed what the one poster says “If it seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t.”
Disappointing News
On February 7, I sent out a blog post letting you know what I have been up to. In this post I asked for your help. In all the years I have been blogging, I have never done this before no matter how much I believed in the cause. But this time, I really, really believe in the cause.
I had just one of my pet parents make a nice donation.
Would you please do me a favor and re-read the post. If you find it in your heart to help these children, I ask that you make a donation, no matter how small.
Thank you.

Hang in There

via Hang in There

2018 was a very rough year for our family and it is still continuing in 2019. A previous blog post stated this and I asked you to have patience with my lack of posting and length of time answering your emails. I wasn’t able to share the reason with you but as of today I am free to do so.

I invite you to read my daughter’s blog post listed above, Hang In There.  Please read it to the end. Believe me, it will help you; if not today, some day in the future. Because at some time in your life, you will be handed a problem that will seem too big to handle.

Some may say this was your daughter, not you. But for all mothers, you know the response to that. The most difficult part of being a mother is the inability to alleviate the pain your child is going through. It is easy when they are small and a bandaid and a kiss is all that is required.  But when they are older and the real world problems slam them to the floor, the pain you feel is excruciating. It takes your breath, your energy, your reason to get up in the morning.

But yes, we got through 2018 one day at a time and a lot of that time was on my knees praying. And God did answer me. He gave me strength and guidance to help my daughter. My prayers continue. My faith has been strengthened. God’s grace is real!

 

 

 

“What have you been up to, Nancy?”

Since we retired from breeding, I frequently hear the title question: “What have you been up to?”

Everyone knows how time consuming running the cattery was so now most think I have tons of time on my hands.  Believe me, I am not sitting on the couch watching daytime TV and eating bonbons! (Well, maybe a few bonbons!)

My daughter, SueEllen, and I started doing “extra” work in Chicago’s thriving film industry, mostly TV. I have been an extra on Chicago Med, Fire, and PD….and two upcoming series, Proven Innocent and Red Line. We even talked my husband , Jim, into taking part in this grand adventure. He had a “cameo appearance” on Chicago Fire as an Uber driver. From the photos of SueEllen and me, you can see what they mean by background!

 

 

SueEllen has started a blog about this adventure. Check it out: https://mylifeinthebackground.com

 

Most of you are aware of my involvement as the cake lady with Chicago area Refuge for Women. This past year I also had the pleasure of teaching cooking classes to these very special young women. Here are my two most recent cakes presented at the graduation ceremonies for two of our girls.  The first one requested an ugly Christmas sweater theme and the second girl wanted to be a princess for the day. I am happy to report these wonderful girls have completely turned their lives around with God’s help. One girl is working at a job she loves and the other is going to college! God is so good!

 

 

And lastly, but definitely not least, I have been helping my husband in his endeavors to give back to our country for all that was given to him in his 36 years as a United States Marine. He is shaping the lives of some very special children by serving as Unit Commander of the Fox Valley Young Marines. I am the Unit Adjutant and Chef.

Our goal is to take these children to Washington D.C. this summer, an opportunity many of them will never have again.

Will you help me?

We are quite a distance from our goal.  Please consider a small donation. Everyone talks about a way to change the values of our American youth. Our organization is doing it, one child at a time: teamwork, discipline, leadership.

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

https://www.gofundme.com/fox-valley-young-marines

 

 

Excess Vitamin D Recall Expanded Again

 

Read the full post »

Kitty Vs. The Christmas Tree

 

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Olivia and Felix

Kitty vs. The Christmas Tree — Be Aware of the Holiday Dangers

The holidays are a fun time of year but can be dangerous for your kitty. Keep these seven not-so-jolly tree dangers away from your cat this holiday.

1. Puncturing pine needles

Pine is highly toxic to cats. Photography ©FaST_9| Getty Images.

Jordan Holliday with Embrace Pet Insurance explains that unfortunately “live Christmas trees can be deadly for cats. Pine needles can be ingested and puncture intestines. Pine is highly toxic to cats, potentially causing liver damage or death.”

2. Toxic tree water

If you have a real Christmas tree, one of the most important things you can do this holiday season is to keep your cats away from the water at the base of the tree. Increasingly, companies are marketing various chemical enhancements that can keep your trees alive longer but are toxic to your cats.

Beyond added chemicals, it turns out all Christmas tree water is dangerous. Jordan explains that the water from Christmas trees is toxic to cats because of fire retardants that are sprayed onto most Christmas trees before they are sold, plus pine sap is toxic to kitties.

3. Burning lights

Make sure your cat cannot chew on the wires. Photography ©Casey Elise Photography.

Christmas lights might look beautiful on the tree, but they can be extremely dangerous to cats. “Christmas lights may cause a thermal burn if a cat chews on the wires. In addition, cats can be injured by sharp edges from broken lights,” cautions Dr. Lori Bierbrier, the medical director of NYC’s Community Medicine.

4. Tangling tinsel, ribbon and twine

Don't let your cat get too comfortable toying with twine. Photography ©Erica Danger.

Dr. Bierbrier points out that “tinsel is especially dangerous for cats. If ingested, it can easily become lodged in their intestines and result in a blockage.” In addition, Jordan reminds cat parents that “ornaments with ribbon or twine can be extra dangerous to cats if they are able to unravel it and possibly swallow it.”

5. Cutting ornaments

Jordan also advises, “If you have a cat that likes to get into the tree, it might also be best to stay away from glass ornaments, as they could get hurt from stepping on a broken one.”

Christmas tree ornaments made of wood, fabric and sturdy plastic are safest, as they are least likely to break if they fall. Always avoid glass and other easily breakable ornaments as well as tinsel. However, even ornaments too large for your cat to accidentally eat can be dangerous. Snow globe-type tree ornaments and decorations often contain antifreeze, which can be very dangerous if they crack and cats get access to the liquids inside.

6. Tip-over trees

Cats climbing Christmas trees might make for a cute picture, but it can also be very dangerous, as trees can easily fall over, breaking ornaments or injuring your cat. If your cat is prone to climbing and you want to have a full-sized Christmas tree, a great option is to anchor your tree to the wall and ceiling to ensure it can’t tip over and injure your cat.

7. Don’t-eat-it artificial

Even though an artificial tree isn't toxic, it can still cause irritation if tree pieces are ingested. Photography ©-oxygen-| Getty Images.

“An artificial tree is the safest tree option for cats. They can still get in trouble by climbing the tree, and you’ll still need to be careful about how you decorate it, but when in doubt, it’s best to go with an artificial tree to avoid the more serious health risks associated with a real tree,” Jordan advises.

However, you still need to monitor your cat around the artificial tree. “Cats should not chew on an artificial tree, as they may accidentally ingest pieces of the tree which can cause both irritation and potential blockage.” Dr. Bierbrier advises.

Consider Christmas tree alternatives

Concerned about the safety of your cat this Christmas? Here are a variety of festive, safer options to consider:

  1.  Make or buy a plywood Christmas tree cutout that can include painted-on ornaments.
  2. Forget the tree completely and hang Christmas tree ornaments from your ceiling where your cats won’t be able to reach them.
  3. Repurpose a small triangle-shaped shelf, paint it green (or not!) and fill it with special trinkets to remind you of the year or of the season.
  4. Create a tower of books (make sure they are stable) to put packages underneath.
  5. Make a cat-safe fake tree out of paper or wood and put your gifts by it.

Thumbnail: Photography ©talltrevor| Getty Images.

About the author

Sassafras Lowrey is an award-winning author whose novels have been honored by the American Library Association and the Lambda Literary Foundation. Sassafras is a Certified Trick Dog Instructor who shares her home and writing life with three dogs, two bossy senior cats and a formerly feral kitten. Learn more at sassafraslowrey.com.

 

 

Dog Food Recalls

Many of my blog followers also have dogs; thus my decision to post this warning. What normally happens after we receive this kind of alert, it is followed by warnings of cat foods marketed by the same companies.  Be aware!

FDA Alerts Pet Owners about Potentially Toxic Levels of Vitamin D in Several Dry Pet Foods

December 3, 2018

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating the presence of elevated, potentially toxic levels of vitamin D in several dry pet foods.

Fast Facts

  • The FDA is alerting pet owners and veterinary professionals about recalls of several dry dog foods after receiving complaints that dogs eating the food experienced vitamin D toxicity.
  • Testing found that samples of the dog food contained excessive, potentially toxic amounts of vitamin D. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for dogs, but very high amounts can cause serious health problems like kidney failure or death.
  • At this time, the only pet products that have been impacted are food made for dogs.
  • Pet owners should discontinue feeding these recalled products.
  • The FDA is asking veterinarians who suspect vitamin D toxicity in their patients to report them through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling their local FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. Pet owners can also report suspect cases to the FDA.
  • This is a developing situation and additional recalls may be announced.

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What is the Problem?

The FDA has become aware of reports of vitamin D toxicity in dogs that ate dry dog food common contract manufacturer and marketed under several different brand names. This is a developing situation, and the FDA will update this page with additional information as it becomes available.

What are the Symptoms of Vitamin D Toxicity?

Excess vitamin D in the diet can cause vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling and weight loss. Vitamin D at toxic levels can cause kidney failure and death. Pet owners whose dogs have been eating the recalled brands and are showing these symptoms should contact their veterinarians.

Back to the top

What Brands Have Been Recalled?

This is a developing situation and this list may not be complete. The FDA will update this list as more information becomes available.

The list of recalled dry dog food products provided to the FDA include:

  • Nutrisca
    • Chicken and Chickpea Dry Dog Food
      • UPC 8-84244-12495-7 – 4 lb. bag
      • UPC 8-84244-12795-8 – 15 lb. bag
      • UPC 8-84244-12895-5 – 28 lb. bag
      • Best by date range: February 25, 2020 through September 13, 2020
  • Natural Life Pet Products
    • Chicken & Potato Dry Dog Food
      • UPC 0-12344-08175-1 – 17.5 lb. bag
        • Best by dates range: December 4, 2019 through August 10, 2020
  • Sunshine Mills, Inc.
    • Evolve Chicken & Rice Puppy Dry Dog Food
      • UPC 0-73657-00862-0 – 14 lb. bag
      • UPC 0-73657-00863-7 – 28 lb. bag
    • Sportsman’s Pride Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food
      • UPC 0-70155-10566-0 – 40 lb. bag
      • UPC 0-70155-10564-0 – 40 lb. bag
    • Triumph Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
      • UPC 0-73657-00873-6 – 3.5 lb. bag
      • UPC 0-73657-00874-3 – 16 lb. bag
      • UPC 0-73657-00875-0 – 30 lb. bag
  • ANF, Inc.
    • ANF Lamb and Rice Dry Dog Food
      • UPC 9097231622 – 3 kg bag
        • Best by Nov 23 2019
      • UPC 9097203300 – 7.5 kg bag
        • Best by Nov 20 2019
  • Lidl (Orlando brand)
    • Orlando Grain-Free Chicken & Chickpea Superfood Recipe Dog Food
      • Lidl product number 215662
        • TI1 3 Mar 2019
        • TB2 21 Mar 2019
        • TB3 21 Mar 2019
        • TA2 19 Apr 2019
        • TB1 15 May 2019
        • TB2 15 May 2019
  • Kroger disclaimer icon
    • Abound Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Dog Food
      • UPC 11110-83556 – 4 lb. bag, all lots
      • UPC 11110-83573 – 14 lb. bag
        • All lot codes
      • UPC 11110-89076 – 24 lb. bag
        • All lot codes
  • ELM Pet Foods, Inc.
    • ELM Chicken and Chickpea Recipe
      • UPC 0-70155-22507-8 – 3 lb. bag
        • D2 26 FEB 2019
        • TE1 30 APR 2019
        • TD1 5 SEP 2019
        • TD2 5 SEP 2019
      • UPC 0-70155-22513-9 – 28 lb. bag
        • TB3 6 APR 2019
        • TA1 2 JULY 2019
        • TI1 2 JULY 2019
    • ELM K9 Naturals Chicken Recipe
      • UPC 0-70155-22522-9 – 40 lb. bag
        • TB3 14 Sep 2019
        • TA2 22 Sep 2019
        • TB2 11 Oct 2019
  • Ahold Delhaize
    • Nature’s Promise Chicken & Brown Rice Dog Food
      • UPC 068826718472 – 14 lb. bag
        • All lot codes
      • UPC 068826718471 – 28 lb. bag
        • All lot codes
      • UPC 068826718473 – 4 lb. bag
        • All lot codes
    • Nature’s Place Real Country Chicken and Brown Rice Dog Food
      • UPC 72543998959 – 5 lb. bag
        • All lot codes
      • UPC 72543998960 – 15 lb. bag
        • All lot codes

The recalled products were sold nationwide.

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What is FDA doing to address the situation?

After receiving complaints from pet owners about dogs with vitamin D toxicity, one of the firms reported to the FDA that it was recalling dry pet food due to potentially toxic levels of vitamin D. Many other brands with a common contract manufacturer have also been recalled. The FDA is working with the contract manufacturer to provide a comprehensive list of affected brands.

FDA scientists are still analyzing reports and the information currently available to determine whether the illnesses are definitively connected to diet.

FDA scientists have evaluated samples of some of these products, and State and private lab test results indicate that the food contained as much as approximately 70 times the intended amount of vitamin D. Consuming food with such high levels of vitamin D is potentially toxic to dogs and in severe cases may lead to kidney failure and/or death.

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What Do Retailers Need To Do?

Don’t sell the recalled foods. Contact the manufacturer for further instructions. The FDA also encourages retailers to contact consumers who have purchased recalled products, if they have the means to do so (such as through shopper’s card records or point-of-sale signs).

What Do Pet Owners Need To Do?

If your pet is having symptoms of vitamin D toxicity, contact a veterinarian immediately. Provide a full diet history to your veterinarian. You may find it helpful to take a picture of the pet food label, including the lot number.

Don’t feed the recalled products to your pets or any other animal. Contact the company listed on the package for further instructions or throw the products away in a way that children, pets and wildlife cannot access them.

You can report suspected illness to the FDA electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling your state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. It’s most helpful if you can work with your veterinarian to submit your pet’s medical records as part of your report. For an explanation of the information and level of detail that would be helpful to include in a complaint to the FDA, please see How to Report a Pet Food Complaint.

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What Do Veterinarians Need To Do?

The FDA encourages veterinarians treating vitamin D toxicity to ask their clients for a diet history. We also welcome case reports, especially those confirmed through diagnostics. You can submit these reports electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling your state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. For an explanation of the information and level of detail that would be helpful to include in a complaint to the FDA, please see How to Report a Pet Food Complaint.

Veterinarians should also be aware that vitamin D toxicity may present as hypercalcemia, similar to dogs that have consumed rodenticide. In these cases, we suggest that you confirm diet history to verify whether the dog has been eating any of the recalled products.

National Cat Day

Been a long time since I published a blog post but this had to take priority on National Cat Day!

So what should you do to celebrate? Read the 10 suggestions interspersed with photos of some of our beautiful Semper Fi Siberians. (Some of the photos require you to touch the photo to bring up the name. Others appear printed on the post. Why the difference? I have no idea!)

1. Make a commitment to your cat’s health and purchase the very best treats and food. And what is the best? Life’s Abundance! Go here: mrsilversfood.com

2. Donate food, blankets and toys to pet welfare organizations.

 

3. Spend the day taking photos of your cat and post them on your Facebook page.

4. Assist an ill or elderly neighbor with her cat by cleaning their cat’s litter box and playing with their cat.

5. Buy your cat a fun new toy, condo or treats.

6. Find a new way to give your cat some exercise.

7. Make a window perch for your cat to lay in the sun.

Sophia (belongs to Patricia)

 

Yuki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Brush your cat.

Shakespeare

Buttercup

Sabina and Garsha

Hunter

Samara

Mia

9. Give your cat a massage.

10. Tell your cat that Ms. Nancy and Mr. Jim love and miss them!

 

 

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