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  • Nancy Bathurst

  • November 2018
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Entertaining Siberians!

Our beloved pet parent, Gina, just sent us this adorable video. Even if you have no desire to watch the Super Bowl, you will enjoy Felix and Fiona watching the Kitten Bowl!


And yesterday, Maggie and I enjoyed this video sent to us by Pastor Mary Alice.7D528BC9-32A1-4701-8C5E-0E55427BB78A


I hope these two videos brought a smile to you face and warmth in your heart because that is what Siberians do!

California Izzy

Please go here to download a $3 coupon for Dr. Elsey’s cat litter. Win, Win, Win!  You save money, get our recommended cat litter and a big plus is Dr. Elsey will donate an additional $3 to cancer research. Dhttps://www.drelseys.com/save3/

Our star for this week is Izzy!

Izzy is the four year old daughter of Tatiana and Mr. Silver.  She and her family moved from Illinois to California and Lois says she has adjusted well.


“Izzy has a beautiful silky soft coat. Everyone thinks she is fat but at 4 years old she only weighs 8 pounds so that is all her floof!“



“People are always amazed that she lets us carry her around like this. She has never scratched or bitten any of my kids.”



“Izzy loves playing with my dryer balls.”



“Making beds is always so exciting for her.”



“Izzy has adjusted to California just fine! She loves watching the peacocks that strut around our neighborhood from her treehouse perch. We all love to kiss her royal paw that she extends when she feels like it.”


Health Update:  last week’s appointment went well but Dr. said I needed to stay down for a few more days. Really don’t mind—getting used to this less stressful life. Appointments will continue to make sure there is no rejection of the transplant.

Thank you very, very much for your concern. I haven’t been able to respond personally to all emails but please know  I have read them and cherish your kindness.



Sweet Saffron and the Subaru

This is the third day of my “four days on my back, chin pointed towards the ceiling” post surgery instructions. Try it! Gets old real quick!

I am allowed a short time up so thought I would use it to let you know everything went well with my cornea transplant surgery.  Still very cloudy vision so please excuse if there are any typographical errors.

Although I should not be reading, I can’t help but look at the great photos of our Semper Fi Siberians. I hope you enjoy these photos of sweet and sassy Saffron as much as I do. Saffron will be three years old next month and is the daughter of Zhaklin (Jackie) and Red Bud.

Hello Jim and Nancy,
I just read your blog and saw the news that you are retiring. Although I’m deeply (but selfishly) saddened by the news, I wish you both the best in retirement. Attached are a few pictures of our beloved Saffron this year. We love her so much!!! She is everything you told us she would be, loving, affectionate, beautiful, nosy, athletic, playful, chatty, the list goes on and on. I keep telling my husband we made two great choices in 2015, buying our Subaru and adopting Saffron – she’s so amazing. I hoping someday we can adopt a sibling for her.




I also want to wish a belated Happy 1st Birthday to our kittens born on January 17, 2017. With the trip to Florida and the surgery, the day got lost to me. Please know we love each of you:






Skippy Jon





Cat House on Wheels 2018


Well, it’s that time of year again—the time when the Cat House on Wheels makes its journey to Florida. Of course, this journey would not be complete without its share of problems! But this year, the problems have begun without the motorhome even leaving the driveway of our Crystal Lake home.

I flew to Fort Myers last Friday to be down here in time for necessary pre-op arrangements. My cornea transplant for my left eye is scheduled for this Thursday. Our motor home was having major repairs done at Newmar in Indiana which caused a departure delay and Jim had a very good friend pass away and he needed to stay for the memorial service.

Jim was scheduled to leave this morning. He texted me early saying the motor home was packed, the Mini Cooper was hitched up, the roads had been plowed, Zeke, Zoe and Sophie were loaded in the motor home, but Maggie was no where to be found! He has searched every area of the house using a flashlight to check the dark corners.

And yes, John, he tried the shake the treat bag trick, and she still didn’t come out!

It is now 12:15 and still no Maggie.

Whoops, let me stop typing for a minute; the phone is ringing. It is Jim and they are on their way! It is 12:40 CST.

So how did he find her? He went to the motor home and brought Sophie back in the house.  He had a feeling Maggie was somewhere in his man cave which has open rafters in the ceiling. He put Sophie in there with some of the freeze dried chicken hearts. He then went upstairs and turned on the TV so she would think everything was back to normal. Pretty soon, here comes Sophie up the stairs with Maggie following her!

Problem solved!

God, please watch over Jim and our “family” as they journey to join me in Fort Myers!






The Gizmo Story

A beautiful story from Sara:

It was early in the morning and my 11 year old daughter Kiki was getting ready for school and exclaimed, “Mom, did you hear what Gizmo did last night?” I had to blink twice and think hard as I was in the middle of my first cup of coffee for the day and was trying to think of what she was talking about. As an exhausted mom, when my kids ask me a question about something and I have no idea what they are talking about, I usually have to think hard of what it is I forgot to either do or not do. I finally had to confess I had no idea what she was talking about (not unusual!). She is always quick to give me the 411 so I knew she’d let me know. What?

Kiki proceeded to tell me that at 1:30am she heard Gizmo, our super lovable and friendly Siberian, meowing in her room next to her bed. She said it was an extremely loud meow, and it woke her up and she looked over to see Gizmo proceed to start licking “a brown spot” on the carpet. Kiki assumed Gizmo had vomited. She got up to help him, only to realize as she got closer that the “brown spot” on the floor was our tiny baby bearded dragon, Ezra, we had rescued just weeks earlier.

You see, Kiki struggles with anxiety and it’s kind of ironic that both Ezra and Gizmo would be the heart of this story. The reason we have Ezra is because we went to a small animal expo and saw him. He is the sibling (from the same clutch) to another bearded dragon we have who is 5 times his size. We saw Ezra at the exact same stand and spot we bought our first bearded dragon at just a couple months earlier. When questioned about why he was so small, the person selling him admitted he “wasn’t trying to feed him a lot” plus he was probably the runt. Well, that’s all it took. Kiki has a heart for all animals (we have 4 cats, a dog, a guinea pig, a tank full of fish, two bearded dragons, and Kiki herself has her own two fish tanks with injured fish she rescued from Petco!). I knew right then and there that there was no way we were leaving that building without that tiny baby lizard. Kiki may have her challenges, but if there is one thing you cannot ignore is her heart for helping both animals and people. How could we say no?

So we acquired the baby lizard. Anyone who knows me knows I am pretty thorough on following best practice for all our pets so I had to spend that evening and the following two days getting a whole new set up for the new bearded dragon. We got him a set up and started feeding him and he started eating. I borrowed a digital scale from Nancy and I brought it home to weigh Ezra and was saddened to discover he was only 12 grams. This lizard who was supposedly six months old should be 10 times that weight. In any event, Ezra was in a better place now and we resolved to feeding him and helping him grow and thrive. Kiki made it her mission and took care of him, giving him the love and food he had never received.

Now let me tell you about Gizmo. Gizmo is our third Siberian. Our first two are females and we felt the itch for a third. Our human children are two girls and one boy so naturally with two female Siberians, we needed a third that was a boy! We followed protocol….got on the list, picked Gizmo, eventually brought him home, and soon realized he is no ordinary cat. I started noticing that when Kiki would have emotional meltdowns or behavior problems at home, all of a sudden Gizmo would show up out of the blue and sit on her. It would help calm her down tremendously. Eventually, if I noticed her starting to “lose it” I would just hand her Gizmo and tell her to go to her room!! Not only that, but he loves to be held and just exudes love. He doesn’t just like to receive love, he actually seeks out people to let hold him and cuddle him. It is rather therapeutic, and to this day I know if I tried and put effort into it, he could be certified as a therapy cat. He seems to not only accept any amount of holding and petting, but has a knack for giving back as much love as he receives. We always joke that he has to be in the middle of everything, because, well he does. And now I realize why.

Back to the story. I can only imagine the confusion Kiki felt as I felt the same confusion the next morning when Kiki told me this story. Ezra was supposed to be in his terrarium. Yes he comes out to socialize and be held but certainly at 1:30am he should be nowhere but nestled in his corner in his tank sleeping. Kiki explained that she picked Ezra up and put him back in his tank, and went back to bed. Upon her telling me this story, I rush over to Ezra’s tank and check him out. Sure enough he looks amiss, sullen, and has a tiny bloody scratch on his face. I quickly realized what must have happened. My husband holds Ezra while watching tv at night. He must have been holding him, and fallen asleep. It’s the only explanation. But with my husband already in the city at work for the day, all I could do was text him to try and figure out what the heck happened.

Kiki and I who have poured time and energy into helping Ezra heal and grow, were distraught all day. I made an emergency vet visit with the reptile specialist and brought Ezra in that morning. The vet examined this tiny then 30 gram lizard that our cat got a hold of. Torso was ok. Skin was ok. No puncture wounds or bite marks minus a superficial cut on the face. With a flashlight he examined Ezra internally and reported no internal wounds or bleeding. The vet looked right at me and said “I’ve seen cats get a hold of lizards. The cat may have gotten a hold of him, but he did not hurt him. I don’t know what he was trying to do, but he didn’t hurt him.” I was dumbfounded. Here we have a cat who got a hold of what would be equivalent of a mouse, and didn’t even hurt him. And then I put two and two together.

I realized it wasn’t any ordinary cat. It was Gizmo. When my husband fell asleep, I know what happened. I am a mom to all these creatures and I know what happened. Gizmo tried to help Ezra. My husband fell asleep, and Gizmo knew he would be in danger. We have three other cats, love them all, but they are cats and had they gotten Ezra I know his fate would have been worse. But Gizmo took him. Gizmo took him, traveled through the living room, the kitchen, up two flights of stairs, down a hallway, into Kiki’s room at 1:30am, and meowed to wake her up to help them. He went to HER of all five family members. We have a 3,500 square foot home and Gizmo could have gone ANYWHERE in the entire house with him. But he didn’t. He took Ezra to Kiki and woke her up to tell her what was happening and to put him back where he belongs. And until she could get him, he took care of him by licking him. And our joke about Gizmo having to be in the middle of everything all of a sudden makes sense. He is that way because he is always trying to be there to protect and help us.

Ezra recouped…the vet said if anything he may be emotionally scarred….but he is ok. After a day or two on pain meds for probable soreness, Ezra was back to normal and eating. And Gizmo has gone along his merry way, doing what he always does….just being an awesome cat in the middle of everything.

Thank you Gizmo, we love you.

And thank you Nancy for the gift he is!

Happy New Year!


Resolutions Your Cat Wants You To Keep

Play More

Indoor cats need lots of opportunities to run, jump, chase, pounce and play. It is important to their mental and physical health to stay active, engaged and occupied. Resolve to play with your cat at least twice a day.

Ibrahim takes a break from his work to play with Hunter.


Provide Creative Places To Hide

Cats love to hide and they need new places in which to do so. Get creative in finding ways to set up hiding holes for your cat to enjoy.


Niko hiding from Nikki


Tina said Harley and Belle loves their Christmas present.


Brenda’s Izabella

Provide Outdoor View

Place a bird feeder outside that can be viewed from a window of your home. Place a window seat at a window.           https://www.chewy.com/kitty-cot-original-worlds-best-cat/dp/135953


Arya likes her window view. I love it too, Katie and Derek!


Sly loves to watch the squirrels and birds from his window.

Grow Grass

Feeding  grass to indoor cats can be beneficial. It is easy to grow but takes commitment to do it on a regular basis. Yes, they will probably throw up after eating it but this can be a good thing. If you are interested in this option, read the following article.



Provide the Very Best Food:  MrSilversFood.com


Bill says Laysa likes the grain free Lifes Abundance food best.

And what is the best food for your cat? Our experience has confirmed what we have recommended for many years. Life’s Abundance:  mrsilversfood.com

Please make sure your cat is given canned food: Life’s Abundance Instinctive Choice. Believe me, I have heard every objection. Yes, there are times when our cats turn up their noses but if we don’t give in and put out the dry food, they will eat the wet food—sometimes we just have to stir it up again.

This is our schedule: morning—we place on flat plates one can for each cat.  Evening—we place on flat plates one can for each cat and topped with freeze dried chicken crumbles (our cat’s favorite brand is Cat-Man-Doo). Every night before we go to bed we put out some Life’s Abundance grain free dry food in one shallow bowl.

There are days when Maggie is still hungry after eating her can and finishing Sophie’s plate so if she lets me know she is still hungry, I giver her more. And some days she won’t eat much at all. I have learned not to worry. The next day she will be back to her hungry self.

What about the objection I have heard. “There is only one flavor; they need different foods so they don’t get bored.”  Cats like consistency! Our pet family has eaten the same food for over seven years.

Every night they are given a few treats—Lifes Abundance’s Gourmet Cat Treats—all of our cats absolutely love these. We did try the new L/A freeze dried turkey hearts but our cats turn their noses up at those. If you have tried the new treats, I would be interested to know which one your cat likes.

If you are new to my blog and want to try Life’s Abundance, email me and we will give you a $20 gift certificate to get you started. This is how much we believe in this company.  Read the email from one of our pet parents, Linda:

Dear Nancy and Jim,

I just wanted to drop you a note while it’s fresh in my mind about what a wonderful company “Life’s Abundance” is! I subscribe to auto ship for Nadeah’s canned and dry food (she gets mostly canned but I toss a few crunchies into the mix). I was distracted this week and forgot that a delivery was on it’s way so when I backed out of my driveway yesterday morning, there was the box sitting on my front porch. It had rained the night before so it was soaked and falling apart … and it had been invaded by some neighborhood critter. Half of the 6# dry food bag was left, some scattered across the porch and the rest I presume made a tasty midnight snack for some local raccoons!

I was mad at myself for forgetting the delivery and having to throw what was left away so I placed a replacement order for another 6# bag. I got thinking that I didn’t want to repeat the process again so I called Life’s Abundance to see if they could send delivery emails. I had a wonderful customer service representative and once she heard my story of stupidity, she graciously credited my account for the replacement bag. Wow! I wasn’t expecting that but was certainly pleasantly surprised. That is great customer service in any book! Anyway, great products and great customer service.


I’ve been working from home the last couple of days which means Nadeah gives up her usual sleeping haunts to snooze next to my laptop instead. Nothing better than to have her next to me all day long. I just love it!

It Can Happen To You Also!

If you do not read another email today, please read this one.

“Hi Nancy,

I just wanted to give you an update on Buttercup. I saw your post about Sly and wanted to let you know we had quite a little scare ourselves recently. Somehow Buttercup found Christmas ribbon that my daughter was using for crafts. I found him lethargic and hiding in the basement and he threw up a bunch of times. We brought him to the emergency vet since it was after hours. They did an X-ray and ultrasound and found his intestines enlarged and something “linear in nature”. They opened him up to find the ribbon all tangled in his intestines. They were able to remove it all except some that already made it to his large intestines, which he passed on his own a few days later. It was a rough recovery, it took him a week to start eating again and we had to take him back in for fluids and IV antibiotics.

This happened the week before Thanksgiving and I can officially say he is back to normal and his crazy kitty self! Needless to say we have our Christmas tree up with no ornaments this year…too scared of the possibility of him eating something he shouldn’t and definitely no presents with ribbon!!!

Feel free to share as a reminder to other cat parents about the dangers of Christmmas.”

Nikki B.

That makes three in our Semper Fi family whose cat had to undergo surgery to remove something they should not have eaten–Buttercup, Sly and our Roscoe. Fortunately Buttercup and Sly survived; our Roscoe did not.

We three families all love our cats and take exceptionally good care of them. But it still happened to us. And it can happen to you also.

Please watch closely when you are wrapping and unwrapping presents. Where are your cats? Have you safely thrown away all ribbons and other items they could swallow? We want you to have a happy holiday celebration, not one spent at the emergency vet where you could have to spend thousands of dollars. That is not a typographical error, I do mean thousands not hundreds.

Let’s safely celebrate this holiday season with our beloved Siberians like the ones pictured here:


“I’ve been loving the holiday themed blog posts-definitely some great food for thought!

Wanted to check in and let you know how well Sonya is doing. She becomes sweeter and funnier every day somehow-always devising a new way to make me laugh!

I recently added a tiny fake Christmas tree to my apartment, covered in only cat-safe (mostly plush) ornaments. Sonya loves to stare at it…and occasionally pull an ornament off!

Hope you and Jim are enjoying the holidays. All the best from Sonya and I!”



Ana, Kat and Cora happily celebrating Christmas with Andrea and family.


Boris and Natasha with Santa

“I just wanted to send an update. Both cats are doing great. As you can see they got to take their pic with Santa at their vets office. Though they do not seem thrilled in the picture they warmed up to him quickly. They were the only cats of the day to take a pic with Santa.  Not much phases them. I hope you have a Merry Christmas.” Deanne



Gunner underneath Kelly’s Christmas tree


A photo of Keisel From Stephanie K. “Packing bags of presents to head up north and this guy does this! “I go in bag too?”


Maggie, Sophie, Jim and I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and if you celebrate a different holiday, we wish you joy and peace!

More Gift Suggestions and a Warning

After the positing of my last blog, Kathy texted me and wanted to caution everyone to protect our cats and kittens from Christmas decorations and  toys.  She wrote, “Please remind cat owners that toys can be eaten and thus mess up the digestive system causing surgery to be performed. This was so frightening so we would not want anyone else to go through this. Sly chewed through the Pet Stages plastic teething toy for cats along with the material and straw which caused him to have surgery.”




Kathy, we all appreciate you bringing this to our attention.  Especially for those pet parents who have young kittens teething, make sure toys are only given when you are in the room with them. I caution all pet parents before you leave the house, check for toys that can be chewed and swallowed.  Bring the toys out when you can provide supervision.

Thanks to the great care of Kathy, her family and their vet Sly is well and living the good life!




Another Warning:  If you have a real tree, make sure your pets cannot drink the water the tree is sitting in.


More great gift suggestions from our pet parents:

Lynn says this one is a big hit:

Petstages Green Magic Boomerang Buddy Cat Toy with Powerful Catnip Scent - 1 Toy

“It’s a soft toy stuffed with something, possibly cat nip. Pet Stages calls it a boomerang but it looks more like a banana to me :-). Petya loves to pick it up, toss it and then chase it. Amazon, Chewy, and Pet Supplies all have it.”


Thanks, Jane for sending a photo of Sabina’s and Garsha’s favorite toy:

“Both of my cats love this. They play from the outside, from the inside, alone, together, or with us. When they get tired of it we put it away for awhile. It’s been popular for more than a year now. Very safe, simple, sturdy, and Garsha can’t eat it.”




Also available on Amazon.


Chuck says a few  times a year Target has cat scratcher house kits. “I bought Rasputin the Haunted House one around Halloween and he loves it. The winter version is going under the tree as a gift. He barely fits, but he can curl up and get completely inside. The new one looks like a log cabin with snow on it.”



Raz helping to trim the tree.


Liz says Oscar really likes the Ripple Rug (available on Amazon). Also, ping pong balls are a favorite.

The Ripple Rug - Made in USA - Cat Activity Play Mat - Fun Interactive Play - Training - Scratching - Thermal Bed Mat


More great photos of our Semper Fi Siberians:

6C1B6C59-70FB-4753-9B39-149F61729282Liz (Elizaveta) loved by Sandy.




Bethany says Jax adores Dana. Looks like the feeling is mutual!


858BA6C3-08D6-4232-A164-497C53AAB27DAmy says Lincoln loves when dad has hockey.🏒🏒


LanaThank you, Julie, for sending this beautiful photo of Lana.


MayaDi sent this exquisite photo of Maya.


Lily 2017 Christmas in her new home

Lily in her new home with Ann.



Sue wrote “Your email about continuing your blog prompted me to take a few more photos of Lulu for you. She’s 14 pounds now! She’s super sweet and playful, and we are still very much in love!

Enjoy an Adventure with Simon:


Christmas Gifts for our Precious Siberians

Thank you to those pet parents who responded to my request for gift suggestions for our Siberians.

Russell and Cleo

Russell and Cleo

Amber sent her Siberians favorite toys:


The pretzel chew toy made by PetStages. They both seem to like most everything made by PetStages, but that’s one Russell especially likes.

Straw Flingers by Boots and Barkley. A much more durable alternative to drinking straws.


Foam soccer balls made by PetFavorites. These are great because they’re both soft and bouncy.

Colorful springs made by spot. You sent one of these home with Cleo when I picked her up and they are still a hit.

I use Pet Fit For Life wands and accessories. Their interest comes and goes on different attachments, but they love these colorful worms. They have kept them entertained for the longest time now.




Linda said Nadeah’s new favorite toy is Petlinks HyperNip Wild Wooly Long Tail Mouse toy for cats. Nadeah loves this toy!




Kathy says Sly loves to retrieve wool balls when we throw them on the couch or after they bounce down the stairs. He also likes to play hide and seek with the parachute tunnels. Sly has a great time with spin the ball. He plays with the springs, too. And, of course, every Siberian’s favorite toy, the paper bag!

Nikki said Samara’s feather bird toys like DaBird are in the furniture behind her. She looks at you and meows when she wants to play with them. Madisyn caught the pic with her mouth open. :

And here are some of my suggestions:

From Life’s Abundance for $21.95 (There is also one for dogs.)

Holiday Cat Gift Basket

  • Irresistible freeze-dried & gourmet treats
  • Delicious treats & health-promoting supplement
  • Super fun and whimsical toys
  • $50.00 Retail Value!



Ethical Pet Wide Durable Heavy Gauge Plastic Colorful Springs Cat Toy

Springs are still our cats’ favorite toys.  They are available on Amazon, but are less expensive on Chewy.com. We buy our litter from them so it is easy to get to their $49 for free shipping.

Enjoy more photos of our Christmas Siberians:


Korrel says Jezzy likes to help her wrap presents!



Keisel, beloved Siberian of Stephanie and Brian


Stephanie took a photo of Keisel with her new camera. Great job!


Debbie S. says this seems to be Talya’s favorite place to sleep right now.


Deb D. has some great Siberian Christmas photos:


Deb said Pashka gently jumped down to the floor…not over the rail. She was just curious.





Jackie Update

As you know, we absolutely love when we receive photos from our pet parents.  The following email and photos were received from Becky and Andrew.  Our beautiful mama, Zhaklin (Jackie), now lives with them in Michigan.

Hi Jim and Nancy,

Attached are some pictures of Jackie we thought you’d enjoy.

As you can tell from the pictures, she’s made herself at home and is very comfortable hanging around the house. She loves to “help” by lying on the clean laundry. She loves to play and often drags toys all the way up the stairs in the evening when she wants you to play with her. Two of her favorite spots to sit and watch ‘Jackie TV’ are by the window looking onto our back deck (lots of bird activity) and on the couch looking out the front window (especially the chipmunk coming & going all of the time).

One day Renee was cleaning out her room & brought a doll bed down to the middle of the living room. She was curious what Jackie would think. It didn’t take her long to find it and test it out.

Jackie is such a sweet cat & we love having her as part of our family!!  Thank you for trusting us to be her pet family!

Take care, Becky


I am getting ready to write my blog post with suggestions for Christmas presents for our Siberians.  What is your Siberian’s favorite toy or activity? Let me know and I will include it as a gift suggestion for everyone in our Semper Fi family.

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