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  • Nancy Bathurst

  • October 2017
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Birthday Breakfast For A Cat Lady

Jim fixed me breakfast on my birthday!


And, no, I have absolutely no problem with them being on the table!

Having A Pet Makes You Happier and Healthier


Diogo, handsome boy belonging to Sonja and Sandra


An excerpt from an article by Dr. Jane who is the holistic vet behind the exceptional pet products we use:

Pets Make Life Healthier for their Pet Parents

Many of us agree that we should do everything within our power to make sure that our companion animals enjoy the best possible life. But did you know that simply by playing a role in your life, your furry kids could actually help you to be not only happier but healthier?

Of course you did. It’s all part of the privilege and fun of being a pet parent. What you may not know is that there’s plenty of science to back it up. As a holistic veterinarian, I’ve read so many reports regarding the health benefits associated with having companion animals, which has been accumulated over the last two decades, including numerous research studies in the U.S. and across the globe.

A study published in The British Journal of Health Psychology reports that people who have companion animals tended to be healthier than those who did not.

Researchers at the University of Leicester found that when pets are in a household, children six years and younger develop social skills at an accelerated rate. Additionally, these children tend to have better coordination, improved confidence, superior communication skills and are even less likely to have allergies!

The British Medical Journal concluded that companion animals serve a vital need for socialization, especially for people at a higher risk for isolation, like those who suffer from physical limitations that might prevent them from interacting socially. Most medical professionals agree that the broader the network of social contacts, the better we are able to deal with the difficult times in life. This study, and others like it, supports the idea that this need for social relations can be fulfilled equally well by companion animals as with people.

These and many other studies reinforce what we as pet parents have suspected all along … that our beloved four-footed companions play huge roles in our health and happiness as members of our families.

Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for your dear companions,
Dr. Jane

And now for some photos of Semper Fi Siberians making life happier and healthier for their pet parents:


Thank you, Jane for sending the lovely photos of Garsha and Sabina. We also enjoyed  reading about the joy they bring to others.  One of these days, we will be able to accept your kind invitation and come to see them and you!


Sasha, photo by Kayla.

It is impossible to look into those soulful blue eyes and not feel worries slip away and peace abide!

Nikki says she has to put water in the tub every day for Niko and Samara, but on Sunday they like to relax!

Pavel at three months and Pavel now – thanks Tara for this great comparison!

Sir Gingersnaps of Semper Fi relaxing after celebrating his second birthday. Thanks Christy!


Goose and Gunner, part of Kelly’s decorating scheme!



Sandy’s favorite photo of Sasha. Mine too!


And since they make us healthier, please feed quality food to your pets so we can enjoy them for many years to come. http://www.mrsilversfood.com

Ana and Her Kittens Go Home

First of all, I want to thank everyone for your expressed concerns regarding our home in Florida.  I did post an update on my last blog post saying Irma only caused minor damage to our home although others in our community were not so fortunate. I fly to Ft. Myers tomorrow for an appointment with my eye specialist on Thursday and will happily open the door and walk into 28 Hanna Court!

Last week was another busy week at Semper Fi between kitten care and loving (lots of loving!), vet appointment, doctor appointments, lunch with good friend, Dawn, baking a cake for Refuge for Women, kitten adoptions and finishing off the week with a Saturday drive to Wisconsin.

Raspberry Lemon Cake

It is always so fun to greet the new pet parents and see their happy faces when they know it is finally time to take home their new kittens.


First to go home was Pip. He will be joining Semper Fi Pusheen at the home of sisters, Alysia and Tiffany.

Pip, formerly Benjamin Franklin



Our pet parents, Zdenka and Erik, decided to keep the name George Washington for their handsome boy; he will be called GiGi!

George Washington and still George Washington!

Look at the precious cup Zdenka brought to me from Prague!

It’s a fun time when the children come to welcome their new family member.  Lynn and Genevieve are the cat lovers in the family but Kiernan and Decklin also were taken with Roxy!


Ibrahim has been wanting either a red or cream Siberian kitten for quite some time. He was finally able to take home his beloved Hunter.

Hunter, formerly Thomas Jefferson


My friend and fellow Siberian breeder, Andrea, from Tunies Siberians in Minnesota is the new mama to not only Ana’s baby Coruska (Cora) but also to Ana! Tunies Siberians is where Ana came from and now she goes back to finish her breeding career.  It is very, very difficult for Jim and I to give up our adults but we receive so much comfort when we know they are going to exceptional homes.


Coruska, formerly Betsy Ross and TuniesSiberians Ana of Semperfi

Scary Sunday Afternoon!

Update 9/11/17:  Our house was spared except for some minor trim and roof damage plus we lost our cocktail tree. Others in our Jamaica Bay community were not so fortunate. We wish we were there to help. We have a great community and know everyone will come together to extend a helping hand.



Ana’s Kittens at 9 Weeks. Pet parents are anxiously awaiting their adoption day.

Hi everyone on this scary Sunday afternoon!  Are you looking outside at the beautiful sunny day and saying what is she talking about?  Well, I am scared because Hurricane Irma is headed straight for our home in  Ft. Myers, Florida.  I am trying to practice what I preach and stay calm and know that God is in control.  I had flight reservations to Fort Myers leaving last Wednesday and returning home this coming Tuesday.  The reason for my trip was an appointment with my eye specialist.  I postponed the appointment and re-booked the flight for later in the month.

My total concentration, reading, watching has been regarding the progress of the storm so I have learned a lot during the last week about disaster preparedness.  One of the articles I read dealt with preparing for the safety of your pets.  I am including the most informative article below.  You may wonder why am I letting all the pet parents in the Midwest know – we don’t get hurricanes.  But we do have the potential for disasters, whether it is a tornado, a massive snow storm with days of power outages or a fire or gas leak in your home.  So please take a couple of minutes to read the following and then follow the author’s suggestion for a disaster preparedness for pets checklist.

As most of you know, I do not recommend collars for cats because of the danger of choking but I definitely recommend microchipping which is a better way of identification.

Handsome Hanniball, 4 1/2 years old. Thank you Shea for keeping us updated on you and your “son.”

Beautiful Bonnie, 17 months old. Thank you, Arlene for this wonderful photo.

Disaster Preparedness for Pets

If there’s ever a natural disaster or situation requiring evacuation in the area where you live, you’ll want to be ready to keep not only yourself safe, but your pets, too. You’ll want to think about how to be prepared for three types of disasters:

  • Immediate, such as a gas leak or house fire, when evacuation is necessary right away
  • Short warning, such as a toxic spill or fire in the neighborhood, when you have to grab your pets and a few supplies and leave within a short period of time
  • Seasonal disaster, such as hurricanes, floods or forest fires, when you’ll need a plan for gathering your pets, packing up supplies and evacuating

Disaster preparedness for pets checklist

Here’s a checklist of some things you can do right now to be prepared for a disaster. Please don’t wait to do them. Anyone who has ever been in a widespread disaster will tell you that at the last minute vet hospitals are packed with people trying to get copies of their animals’ records, microchips and carriers.

___ Put your pets’ ID on their collars: your name, address and phone number. Since cell phones and land lines may be down for a while, consider adding the phone number of a relative or friend who lives outside of your area.

___ Have your pets microchipped and be sure to register the chip in your name and provide additional phone numbers.

___ Have copies of your pets’ microchip information and contact information for the microchip company in the event your pets get lost.

___ Have current photos of your pets in case one of them is lost.

___ Buy carriers appropriate for your pets’ sizes; the carriers should be easy to transport.

___ Always have on hand at least a one-month supply of your pets’ medications.

___ Make sure your pets’ vaccination records are current and you have copies.

___ Periodically check your pets’ collars to make sure they fit properly and tags are securely fastened. If the collar can slip over a pet’s head when you pull on it, you may lose him if he panics and pulls back from you.

___ Choose potential evacuation destinations – for example, homes of relatives or friends, pet-friendly hotels – in different directions so you’ll know where you’re going in the event of a disaster.

___ Periodically print out a list of phone numbers for animal shelters, animal hospitals and hotels that are pet-friendly.

___ Take an animal first-aid class if one is offered in your community and put together a first-aid kit for pets.

___ Put all the information mentioned above (copies of your pets’ microchip information; current photos of your pets; pets’ vaccination records and contact information; list of phone numbers for animal shelters, animal hospitals and hotels) in one easily accessible place in your house or garage so you can get these items at a moment’s notice for a quick exit.

You’ll also want to pack a storage container with necessary items so you can just grab it and go. Here are the items that should always live in this storage container:

  • A roll of paper towels
  • A pet-friendly cleaner
  • Trash bags
  • Small poop bags
  • A small bag of litter
  • Litter pan
  • Pet first-aid kit
  • Leashes
  • A pair of heavy-duty gloves
  • A blanket
  • Two towels
  • Two bowls
  • Can opener and spoon

This means buying duplicates of a lot of items you may already have and use, but having these items in one location will save time when you are in a hurry to leave your home. Last minute items to grab:

  • Food, canned and/or dry
  • Gallon jug of water
  • Treats or snacks

Emergency drills

You can practice emergency readiness by doing drills during which you pack all needed supplies, including human supplies.

Be aware that your pets’ behavior during and after an emergency evacuation may be different from the normal daily behavior you know and expect. Pets may panic as the danger nears and become lost before they are safely evacuated. If you do end up in the middle of a disaster, bring your pets inside and keep them inside. Block off rooms in your house to keep all your pets in one area, so if you need to evacuate, you can get your pets into their carriers quickly. Keep pets on lead if they must go out to eliminate. Remember, too, that one of the most important things you can do to help your pets during an emergency is to stay calm yourself.

Finally, watch out for hazards during the evacuation, such as chemicals on the ground or in floodwater, broken glass, sharp metal, hot surfaces, or downed, exposed electric wires.

It’s Time

Kiki and Gizmo

When you love something you do, it is not a job. It’s a labor of love. And this has been what Semper Fi Siberians has been to Jim and I.  So I know you can imagine how much thought and prayer was put into our decision. Selection for Liliya’s litter is happening this Labor Day week-end and this will be our last litter. We are retiring as breeders.

When Jim was still on active duty with the Marine Corps, one of his best friends announced he was going to retire. Jim was in shock. These guys had spent over thirty years together in the Corps and loved their careers.  How could Dan just walk away? Dan said “It’s time. You won’t have to wonder, you will know when it is time.” And a year later Jim came home for lunch one day, which he never did, and said to me “It’s time.”

Have you ever wished you could see into the future—to prepare yourself for what is to come? Well, I am glad I do not have that ability. Because if I did, last New Year’s Eve I would not have stayed up to welcome in the New Year. I would have gone to bed, pulled the covers over my head and said wake me up when it is 2018.

It has been a year with our share of trials and sadness. The Bible tells us if we want to worry less, then we should pray more.*  I have spent a lot of time on my knees…not only asking for guidance but also thanking God for our blessings.  Our house at Sunset Lake sold after almost three years on the market. Through the miracle of medicine, I had a cornea transplant in my right eye and am confident even better sight will come when the left eye undergoes the same surgery. And I know there must be a third blessing somewhere!  Seriously, there were many.  And that is what I choose to think about. Some of our trials are continuing but I have found that true peace is not found in the absence of trouble but in knowing that God is in control.

Although the tears will flow and the heart will ache when the last kitten goes out the door, we know “It is time.”

*Phillippians 4:6-7


If you are reading this and wondering “where will I find my next Siberian,” please know I will be happy to recommend other responsible breeders.

Maggie’s Kittens Love Their Forever Families

First to go home was Nikita, affectionately called Niki.  Kristina, Kate and Julia were happy to have Grandma Sandy along to greet their new family member.  Kristina reported after the first night “She is super sweet and cuddly!  She slept with me all night and has such a loud purr! ” Remember in my last post we showed the photo of the world champion robotics entry from Katie.  Well this Kate also spent the summer learning robotics when she attended science camp.  I think we have some very smart young ladies in the Semper Fi family!

Nikita (formerly Danya)


Sonya was in the playpen when Tara and her parents came in the house. Tara jumped right in to greet her new kitten!

Sonya (formerly Antonina)

We loved receiving this note from Tara: “Just wanted to check in to let you know how well Sonya has been settling in. I cannot tell you how happy I am to have adopted her! She has lots of energy for playtime and yet is also content to cuddle on the couch/sleep with me in bed. She’s already formed bonds with my boyfriend and parents as well–just truly a loving and loyal kitty through and through.”  Tara sent several great photos; isn’t this one precious?”



Brad drove a long way to pick up his precious kitten, Phoebe. Waiting at home in Bloomington were wife, Ginny,  and their children Tori, Sydney and Olivia.

Phoebe (formerly Jelena)

Brad wrote us yesterday “Phoebe has a great high energy couple of hours each night that involves, as far as I can tell, inventing phantom things to either attack or avoid. Jumps and spins off of all four legs at once. Really funny.”


Ying waited a couple of years until she felt the time was right to bring a kitten into their home.  Plus she knew exactly the color of kitten she wanted and she got him!  Camo is now a part of this loving family:  Mom, Dad and children, Colton, Meeka and Cameron.

Camo (formerly Ivan)

Loved this text Ying sent to us “Morning Nancy, you’re probably tired of my daily updates now…lol but I want to share with you how Camo has really come out of his shell and shown his true Siberian ancestry…by jumping onto the second level of his cat tree, my tall bar style dining table, my kitchen table, trying to dart into the bathroom with me, constantly wanting to play now. And he’s so underfoot that he “tangles” between my legs and almost trips me up. He even let Camron hold him! What a ball of energy he is. He’s soooo curious and I’ve never had a kitten that is such an agile jumper at this young age! Thank you for raising such a live wire. I think he’s going to settle in with our busy and lively family just fine. He also greeted my husband and rubbed himself along his legs. Have a good day!”   Editors Note:  And this was all in being in their home for three days.  I would say this is a successful transition!


Last to go home was Tiger.  And Lisa almost had to pry him out of Jim’s hands.  We get so attached to these kittens!

Tiger had to show Lisa how high he could jump already! He is on the top of my curio console cabinet.

Tiger (formerly Andrei)

We kept Tiger a week longer than his littermates because Lisa and David were having a huge party at their home in celebration of both of their milestone birthdays–I won’t say which one!  Lisa and I talked it over and both thought having 100 guests in their home might be a little much for a brand new kitten to handle.  Tiger is a very social kitten and I know he is thriving in a home with five children to love on him!


Jim and I thank these five wonderful families for providing the best in care and love to our kittens.





Semper Fi Siberians Living the Good Life



Petya on a Post! Thanks, Lynn, for this great shot.

I know some of you are anxiously awaiting photos of Maggie’s kittens with their new families. I promise–that will happen next week. The last kitten of the litter will go home on Monday and then we will put all the photos in one post.

In the meantime, enjoy viewing photos of our kittens living the good life in their forever homes.


Kona is making it very clear to Michelle she wants to go on vacation with the family.


Boris and Natasha, cuddlers. Proud parent is Deanne.


Thank you, Brenda and Lee for providing the perfect home for our retired mama, Izzy.


This is Katie. She adopted Malcolm when she was entering the 8th grade and was 14 years old. She says “Well I’m going to be a senior in high school and I’m 17! I just wanted to let you guys know Malcolm is doing wonderful and is an all around amazing cat! He loves walks on the bike path and his favorite word is treat. He’s been my companion for three years now and I can’t even remember life without him. He’s 15 pounds of fluff and love. (P.s: I joined a robotics team that I am now the captain of and we named the robot after him. We made it all the way to the world championships with robot Malcolm!”  Congratulations Katie!

And here is the robot:


Malcolm, the Robot



Mitzi sent us this great photo of her grandkittens, Walter and Winslow on their first birthday.



Winston joined Miss Tia in her loving home provided by Jamie and Bryan in Wisconsin. Miss Tia is also one of our retired mamas.



Jezzy playing with her favorite toy. Korrel and Ross provide lots of interactive play for their precious baby.



Thank you Sue, for sending this photo of Yadi being loved!


Oh Niki, Buttercup is so beautiful!

Raja is one years old and Safia says he makes her laugh every day.

Thank you, Robin, for these great photos of Cholula.  She will be in for a surprise when you bring home her new brother!

The above photos were all sent to our email address. Some of you send photos via text message and those are more difficult for me to upload to my blog.  I am working on it and hopefully your photos can be featured in a future post. But don’t stop sending them that way if it is easier for you. We so love seeing your Siberians.


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.)


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