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  • Nancy Bathurst

  • August 2017
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Cats Need Stimulation


Katya – kitty art – beautiful photo Deb


Pashka – cat fluff – thanks Deb for sharing


Let’s be honest, we live with tiny hunters who are intelligent, athletic, and fiercely independent. As such, if they don’t get the type of mental and physical stimulation they crave, they can become stressed out, depressed, or destructive.

Fun Games For Your Cat:



From Dezi & Roo:  (deziroo.com)

Supercharge Your Cat’s Hide and Sneak

Aug 05, 2017

Cats get bored easily, and while they love routine, they also crave mental and physical stimulation. Therefore, we’re going to help you supercharge your playtime with your cats! Since there are many great ways to do this, we’ll focus this post on one resource specifically – using the Hide and Sneak cat tunnel to engage and entertain your cat. Try the following tips, then send us your videos and you might be featured on Dezi and Roo’s Facebook page!


TIP #1-

If you already have a Hide and Sneak, make it new again by folding it up and putting it away for a few days. Cats, like most people, get bored quickly when given one thing to do or toy to play with. This is why it is important to offer variety and rotate toys on a regular basis. Only leave the Hide and Sneak out for a few days at a time. Reintroducing the Hide and Sneak days later will re-ignite your cat’s curiosity, making it novel and fresh again, and keep it from becoming old news.

TIP #2-

Change the shape into a new kind of cat tunnel. Partially opening the Hide and Sneak to resemble the shape of a box is a great way to repurpose it too.  Or pushing down the middle of it when fully extended to make two shorter tunnels is interesting and new. In fact, many cats will do this on their own! Check out some cats who decided they like the Hide and Sneak better folded in the center. Changing the shape is a simple way to convince your cat they have a new toy.

TIP #3-

When your cat is in the Hide and Sneak, encourage her natural hunting instincts by giving her something to prey upon. Try running a finger along the outside of the bag portion while she’s inside, or dragging a wand toy around the entrance to give her something to grab at. You can even try shining a laser or flashlight along the side to encourage your cat to pounce on it. They will think it is a crawling bug that needs to be caught!  Peek-a-boo is a great game to play with your cat and the Hide and Sneak is the perfect tunnel for this game. Have fun together and get creative.

TIP #4-

Make all good things happen in the hide and sneak. Give your cat something new and fun to discover each day in their Hide and Sneak. Try sprinkling a bit of their kibble inside as a meal, or adding new toys the next day. Sprinkle a little bit of your cat’s favorite herb like catnip or Cloud Nine inside and let them enjoy their time with it alone. You can even place a branch collected from outside or leaves and grass inside the Hide and Sneak to give your cat a true outdoor camping experience. Sometimes we put an old folded up towel inside our Hide and Sneak, and it becomes Olive’s new den for several days; she’ll even drag her favorite toys inside!

TIP #5-

Shape a room’s landscape to be a new adventure by adding a Hide & Sneak. We all like variety and cats are no different.  Move your Hide and Sneak to a new room to give your cat a whole new experience of that room and their favorite toy. Some prefer it to be situated in a quiet room while others enjoy playing in high traffic areas.  Relocating it to different locations in your house will allow your furry baby the opportunity to explore all options. Many cats enjoy lounging in their Hide and Sneak while on top of a sturdy table, sofa or bed.  Just make sure it is not so high off the ground as to cause injury if it tumbles off. Covering one end or attaching the Hide and Sneak to a box at one end may make it more fun for some cats to hide in.


TIP #6-

Add a little bit of you. If your cat, like many, has decided that their Hide and Sneak is a great bed, try adding an old t-shirt or pillowcase that you’ve slept on to bring your scent to the tunnel. Cats have a sharp sense of smell and find security and comfort in items that have their family’s scent attached. Placing something that has your odor on it inside the Hide and Sneak will help your cat enjoy it even more.

We all know how easily our indoor cats become bored and how difficult it is to keep them entertained.  They need a constant landscape of new toys in their lives and a variety of ways in which to play.  We hope that our tips on how to supercharge the Hide and Sneakbrings exciting new ways for your cat to have fun.  Play is a great way to promote exercise, activity and wellness for our furry four-legged friends and indoor cats need lots of it.  That is why the Hide and Sneak is so good for them – it makes them happy!


Give your cat new and exciting things to do, and overall help them lead happy, engaged lives!

Liliya Gives Birth

How many of you have said “Breeding would be such a fun job. I would love playing with kittens all day.”  And we would have to agree with you for the most part.  But then there are those times when it is not fun; it is sad–very, very sad.

Lily gave birth to six kittens on July 22. Five are beautiful healthy kittens all weighing over 100 grams at birth.  But then the last kitten was born. Jim is the midwife and I am the assistant.  When he helped bring this little guy into the world, Jim said to me, “this one is very small.” I rubbed him off, put iodine on his umbilical cord and then weighed him. He was only 58 grams. All the “books” say anything under 80 grams probably won’t make it.  But we couldn’t give up on him.  We tried to get him to nurse on mama. When that didn’t work, we tried bottle feeding. He wasn’t strong enough to suck on the nipple. We took him to the emergency clinic in hopes they would help us with tube feeding.  He was too little.  So we fed him with a syringe every two hours for four days, hoping and praying we could see a weight gain. He was a feisty little guy and seemed to have the will to live.  We tried so hard and so did our vet.  But in the end, it was not to be.  We love you, little grey kitten, even if you were with us such a short time!

And we love your siblings too. In two weeks they have more than tripled their birth weight! Lily gives us a great variety of colors.


Alexei (Alex) Male cream with white


Georgiy (George) Male red point


Syuzanna (Suzy) Female Blue Torbie


Maxim (Max) Male red with white


Juliya (Julie)Female silver point

Patriotic Ana Gives Birth on July 4

Maggie gave birth on Memorial Day.  Not to be outdone by her, Ana gave birth on July 4, Independence Day.  I thought it only fitting to give the kittens names associated with the independence of our great nation.  Please say “hello” to:


Betsy Ross


Martha Washington


Thomas Jefferson


Benjamin Franklin


George Washington

NOTE: Our website is down temporarily for some needed work.  Our provider is making some major changes which in turn requires us to make changes.  So far time has not allowed Jim to work on this. Lots of things going on with the Fox Valley Young Marines! (Jim is the unit commander.)


Sophie’s Kittens Home Safe and Sound!

The last one of Sophie’s kittens went home today.  And this was a first.  Yuri lives in the city so she took the Metra out to Crystal Lake. I picked her up at the station and brought her back to our house. We spent about an hour and a half together and then I bid farewell to Yuri and Shakespeare as they boarded the train.  Yuri had discovered Metra is doing a 6 month trial of allowing pets on the train as long as it is not during rush hour. So as far as I know, Shakespeare is the first Semper Fi Siberian to travel by train!



Jessica and Michael are very pleased with their kitten, Somerset.  They picked him up while their twin daughters were at day camp.  What a surprise Aurelia and Eugenia received when they returned home that day.




Vicki selected two kittens from this litter and named them Tom Kitten and Tabitha, affectionately called Tommy and Tabby.  They slept most of the way to their new home in Iowa.



And they have already taken over!

You can’t use the computer, Vicki. We want to Google!

And three days later what arrived from Amazon? Smart kitties!


Amber, Angel and Vincent named their precious little girl, Yuki , which if I remember correctly,  is Japanese for snowflower.  Correct me if I am wrong, Amber.



The first kitten to go home was Yadi, named after none other than Yadier Molina, catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals.  Okay, Cubs fans, no booing! Since the family is from Iowa, Sue and Morgan picked out their kitten using Face Time.  But dad, Brian, and son, Ethan, joined mother and daughter on the drive to meet their kitten.



This was quite a tongue twister litter.  Yuri is one of the pet parents and we had kittens named Yuki and Yadi!







A Year in the Life of Klaus

What a pleasure it is for us to receive photos of our kittens when they reach milestones throughout their lives. Kelly blessed us with a year in photos of Klaus. Along with the photos came the notice of the birth of their son Luca.

“Please see some of our favorite photos of Klaus attached (and one of Luca!). You get a glimpse of his personality (re: just how stubborn he is) ☺ He will always be our first baby!!”

So why is Kelly saying he is stubborn?  They tried to get him to stop jumping on the kitchen counters.  One of the recommendations in a book I recommended to her said to put a cat tree near the area you don’t want your cat on and he will go on the cat tree instead. So they put it next to the kitchen counter. What does Klaus do? He lies on the counter but puts his paws on the cat tree and looks at her as if to say “I’m on the cat tree; isn’t this what you wanted!”

I’m on the cat tree!

If you want to keep your cats off the counters, you can try but I am kind of in the camp of Cole and Marmalades’s pet parents.


For My Baker Friends

Recently a friend commented that I have not posted anything on baking lately.  For those of you who are new to my blog, another one of my passions in addition to Siberians is baking.  When we lived near Springfield I was very busy at this time of year trying out new recipes for entries in the Illinois State Fair Culinary contests.  Crystal Lake is just too far to commute back and forth to Springfield for two weeks. Consequently my baking trials (and errors!) have been few this year. But recently I have had the opportunity to put on my apron and dust the kitchen with lots of flour – of course, that is King Arthur Flour!

My granddaughter, Neah, graduated from Palatine High School and her parents threw a wonderful party for her.  SueEllen asked if I would like to bring the dessert. Neah was afraid it would be too much for me but I said “I would absolutely love to bake for your party.”  This was her dessert buffet menu:

Chocolate Praline Cake

Apple Pies

Cream Puffs

Brownies with chocolate chips

Brownies with toasted pecans

Mexican Wedding Cookies


Caramel Pecan Fudge Tarts

Cookie Press Butter Cookies

Sour Cream Banana Cake Squares with Butter Cream Frosting

We buzzed off to the party, car loaded with desserts, kitchen left in a disaster!  But my wonderful friend Sara was at our house and when I came home the kitchen was clean and all the dishes done!


If you look closely, you will see the party had an Alabama theme — where Neah will be going to college — Roll Tide!

So after the party, now I am on a roll!  Part of my support for Refuge for Women is to bake cakes for birthdays and other milestones.  These are two cakes I made during the last two weeks.


Well I better close off and head to the grocery store. Tomorrow is Father’s Day which means I need to buy more flour! Think I will make an apple pie (husband’s favorite) and cherry pie (son-in-law’s favorite)!


Happy Baking!

Maggie’s New Babies

Magdalena and Mr. Silver are proud to show off their new babies born on Memorial Day, May 29, 2017:


Antonina (Priceless) female


Jelena (Shining Light) female


Andrei (Brave) male


Danya (God’s Gift) female


Ivan (Gift From God) male

Email Problems Again!

It has come to my attention some emails I send are not being received and emails sent to me have not been received by me.  If you have sent me an email and I have not responded in 24 hours, that means I did not receive it.

Until we can figure this out, please use my personal email which is nanb41@comcast.net or nanb41@gmail.com.  You can either call or text to (217) 823-5482.

Would you like to see some recent kitten/cat photos sent in by our pet parents?  I bet you would!


Deanne’s Boris



Julie’s blessing, Sasha



Tracy’s two handsome men–her son, Ben and her Semper Fi Siberian, Sebastian

Jackie Finds The Perfect Home!

I am happy to report our Zhaklin, affectionately called Jackie, has been placed in a loving home.

Becky, Andrew, Renee and Evan drove from Holland, MI to meet Jackie

Andrew wrote me to say “She’s eating well and enjoying being the center of attention” He sent a couple of photos – especially love this one:

Who is that pretty girl in the mirror?

Then Becky wrote a few days later “Jackie is such a sweetheart! She has transitioned well and is very affectionate. Renee is with Jackie every free moment she has. Attached are some pictures of Jackie “helping” Renee study for her exams last week. Renee said Jackie is the  ‘Best Homework Helper Ever!'”

Becky also included this in her note “Thank you for the tip about the freeze-dried chicken. Jackie is eating more canned food since we added the bits of chicken.”  Sometimes our kittens and cats decide they only want to eat dry food and turn their noses up at canned food.  When that happens we need to find a way to get them to eat the canned food because an exclusive diet of dry food is not good for their long-term health.  I have written an information sheet entitled “My Kitten Won’t Eat Canned Food.”  Let me know if you would like me to send a copy to you.




The Lord blessed me with three children: Mark, Sue Ellen and Gene. He then blessed me again when I married Jim to receive into my heart his two children David and Kelly. Then He heaped on the blessings by giving us nine grandchildren Lindsay, Ryan, Keegan, Morgan, Tyler, Neah, Emma, Mary, and Jack. And then….add in the blessings of spouses and significant others: Mike, Eric, Julie, Caroline, Scott, Alyssa, another Kelly, and Casey.

So what do I want for Mother’s Day? Absolutely nothing. I have been given blessings to last a lifetime.

But God wasn’t through. He introduced us to our beautiful Siberians and gave us the opportunity to pass those blessings on to our pet parents. And those pet parents bless us every time they send us a photo and update of our grandkittens:


Life’s Abundance Gourmet for Sly!

“I want my birthday hat!”

Happy Birthday, Sly!

So how many times did I say a form of the word blessing in this post. Unnecessary repetition? No. Because God’s blessings have a way of multiplying as we get older.

I wish each of you beautiful ladies a Happy Mother’s Day and may your blessings continue to multiply.

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