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  • Nancy Bathurst

  • September 2019
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Lilies Kill Cats




Funny Positions

Nikki, pet parent of Niko and Samara has set forth a challenge to you. She says every day Niko does something that cracks her up. He always sits in crazy positions. She wants you to show us all the funny positions your cats get into.

This is Niko:


Notice how he sleeps with his paws flipped under!


Ying has Camo affectionately call me Grandma when she sends photos. “Grandma look at me! I’m doing cat yoga.”



And this is Sasha who is one of three cats that control Sandy’s life! She says this is “Sasha sittn’ sloppy.”



And Bill says “when a bag is not just a bag!” Where are you, Laysa?



Who needs toys when you have bags!  These two adorables, Sabina and Garsha, bring laughs and joy to Jane!



Justin sent several great pics of Skippy Jon. Here are two that brought smiles to my face!



Gina says “I want this life!! It was a shoebox yesterday but we didn’t tape it with proper reinforcements. Notice the chewed up cardboard all over the carpet from both Felix and Fiona.” 😂



John says “As I aimed the camera, Gracie gave me sass as is typical – captured for posterity! Gracie has an attitude for sure.”



Amber  says this is how Yuki  asks  for belly rubs: FB7B4CB8-4182-45BC-9271-373B8B16C929

Euthanasia Drug Found in Dozens of Pet Foods

I have been notified  three times this week by the FDA with regard to recalls on pet food.

The one that is making the biggest news concerns pet foods containing pentobarbital which is a drug used to euthanize animals.

I feel so fortunate to be affiliated with a pet food company that cares. (Mrsilversfood.com)I was notified by Life’s Abundance they would conduct a webinar today for their field reps with regard to this problem. I tuned in and am very glad I did.

This is serious!

Brands in the current recall are produced by Big Heart Pet Foods which is owned by Smuckers.  There is an entire list in the following article published by the FDA. A partial list is: Gravy Train, Kibbles and Bits, Skippy, Ol’ Roy, Evangers.


Pentobarbital slows activity of the brain and nervous system.  In low doses it can cause drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea, eyes moving back and forth. In high doses it can cause coma and death.

How does it get into pet food? You are not going to like the answer! One possibility is that animals euthanized are then rendered and used in animal products.

Although small amounts may not cause severe problems, federal regulations stipulate that it is illegal for any pentobarbital to be contained in pet foods. And it has been illegal since the 1990’s when it was first identified in pet food.

The lady conducting the webinar asked all of us to notify anyone we know who are using these products to stop immediately.  I wish I could say there is no way any of our pet parents are using these products.  But sadly, I cannot. I really do not understand why anyone would stop using Life’s Abundance. You cannot separate the products from the company. Life’s Abundance is different from other companies.

  • They use premium ingredients. Before selecting a supplier they do their due diligence.
  • They use premium delivery. Each product is made in small batches, quickly packaged and sent to the distribution centers which they own and control. When a customer orders the product, it is delivered to their door in a matter of a couple of days. When this company was formed, they decided this is the way it should be distributed rather than having it sent to warehouses and stores where there is no control over how it is handled.
  • There are three service options available to every customer. L/A provides 100% open communication. As a field rep, we are your first line of communication. Next, the customer care reps are highly trained and are always there to help you. Thirdly, anyone in management is available to you.
  • If L/A ever had to do a recall they have a record of every batch and who it is sent to. You would be contacted within one day! The above article tells stores to contact purchasers of these products that are being recalled. Really? Does the manager of Walmart know you purchased Gravy Train during your last visit to his store?
  • We take safety seriously. This is an employee owned company. Everyone of us feeds our pets L/A products.
  • And if that isn’t enough to convince a person of the quality of this company, a percentage of every purchase you make goes to the Dr. Jane foundation who distributes funds to worthy pet help facilities and shelters.

Our three cats and dog love Life’S Abundance. If you have switched to another brand, please switch back and if your pet has never tried it, go to mrsilversfood.com and learn all about this great company and their great products!


Zoe is our domestic shorthair/Siamese adopted in 2004 from the humane society in Morristown, TN


Zeke is an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie Mix who we adopted from a shelter in 2007. Here he is in his Florida cut—it’s hot down here!


Sophia is our beautiful Seal Lynx Point Siberian who is 6 years old and enjoying her retirement from breeding. But she does miss all her babies as we do too!


This is Magdalena who is our golden mackerel tabby Siberian who  will be 4 in June. She has become very playful in her retirement.

The  following are the other two recalls received this week:



Is Your Litter Safe For Your Cats?

In addition to photos of our  beautiful Siberians, I receive questions that are of concern from our pet parents. This is one I received last week.

Hi Nancy, “I happened on this while reading an article on alcohol being carcinogenic. Apparently the state of California leads the way and are (or have) planned to put a cancer warning on clumping kitty litter:


Aargh so now I don’t know what to do. Maybe switch to one of their recommendations. But, the boys put out an enormous amount of urine every day. Don’t know how I’ll handle that.

Anyway, just wanted to make sure you’re aware of this.” Lynn

I immediately wrote to Dr. Elsey who is the veterinarian/founder of the cat litter company whose products I have recommended to all of you.

I received a very quick reply.

Dear Nancy

Thank you for your email and recommending our product to your kitten buyers. With that said, the article that was sent is not true and not based on any scientific research. Clumping forms of cat litter are the largest selling litter in the US. Sodium Bentonite does contain small amounts of crystalline generally between 0-10% – ours is less than 1%. Crystalline silica, inhaled or airborne particles of respirable size, has been classified as a known human carcinogen, but only in exposures from occupational sources. The occupational sources referred to are applications that crush or fracture crystalline silica grains such as sandblasting or grinding. The use of clumping clay litter is not an occupational exposure.

Clumping clay litters containing sodium bentonite have been on the market for over 30 years. In that time these products have enjoyed tremendous popularity among cat owners due to the their performance, convenience and safety. More importantly, since their introduction there has been no valid scientific evidence linking clay-based clumping litter containing sodium bentonite with any feline or human health problems.

Furthermore, we always take the high road and tell customers to use what they feel comfortable with and their cats like however most of this content is published by companies that don’t sell clay litter as marketing. Dr. Elsey our company founder has been a feline veterinarian for about 40 years and has not seen any evidence of issues with clumping clay litter. I hope this helps.


Gina Zaro
Marketing Director
Dr. Elsey’s Cat Products
1600 W. Dartmouth Ave.
Englewood, CO 80110
877-311-2287 x103

There are so many scares that are thrown around both with regard to our pets’ health and our health.  Let’s not believe all of them unless they can provide scientific data to support their claim. I did not believe this when I first read it because I learned from a fellow Siberian breeder that she had heard we should not let kittens use clumping litter as it could kill them. She had been breeding for many years using clumping litter with absolutely no problems. She decided to conduct a survey. She called many vets and asked if they had ever had a kitten/cat die from clumping cat litter. Every one of them said no.  I wanted more evidence before I answered our pet parent so that is why I wrote to Dr. Elsey.  Thank you, Lynn, for bringing this to my attention and for the opportunity to share what we learned with the rest of the Semper Fi Siberian Family.

Now here are some great photos of our Semper Fi Siberians. And there are more to come in future blog posts!



This is Kazmir, king of John’s castle! Kazmir is 3-1/2 and is the son of Liliya and Mr. Silver.



This is Arya, 16 month old daughter of Maggie and Mr. Silver. Katie and Derek sent us a lovely email. This is an excerpt:

“When we picked her out, you had mentioned that she would always have a cute face and we think you were right! Sending through a few picture updates for you to enjoy. A few to note: Arya went to Petco to see Santa and was called the “best cat of the day.” Arya has a love/hate relationship with her doppelganger stuffed animal. For her spay, we bought her a suit so this picture shows that off but also the fact that she has learned tricks! Primarily “high five” “spin around” “sit” “climb up” and “beg.” Also – we dressed her up as a Pirate for Thanksgiving. It seemed to suit her personality.”



Robin sent a photo of Cholula and Hatch. “Both are doing well and seem to have decided to live together in mostly peace. Hatch has a lot of energy and Cholula sometimes has to tell him “enough” but she seems to enjoy his company most of the time. She is still such a sweetheart.” Cholula and Hatch are thirteen months apart in age; they have the same mother and father, Liliya and Mr. Silver.


Lisa sent us this stunning photo of Dax who is 3-1/2 and is the son of Zhaklin and Mr. Silver. “It’s been a while since we’ve emailed you but I just wanted to show you how handsome our Dax has grown to be! He has quite the personality! My girls are now 8 and 11 and he literally thinks he is one of the kids! He does homework with them, plays with them, sleeps with them, lets them dress him up and hold him in the most awkward positions😂. He eats it up! Now, he avoids me at all cost because I give him too much lovin haha! He only likes me during treat time! He’s quite the Facebook kitty superstar…..everyone knows Dax! He learned to ring a bell when he wanted treats and if it was up to him, he’d ring it all day😂. We have to put it up! I just wanted to drop a message letting you know he’s been the best addition to this family”


Yuri sent  this sweet photo of Shakespeare who is the 8 month old son of Sophia and Mr. Silver. “Shakespeare is very social and a big ball of energy. He loves to follow us around everywhere and is very sweet.”


Ying sent this handsome photo of Camo. And look at the precious video of Cameron playing with Camo. Ying says “it’s a win-win situation; they both get stimulation.” Camo is 9 months old and is the son of Magdalena and Mr. Silver.



Our Star, Ellie


“People who say cats aren’t very expressive and are impossible to gauge just don’t have a clue. A cat’s ears, eyes, body posture and, in particular, her tail, express exactly what she’s thinking and how she’s feeling. You just have to “listen” to cat tail language.”

Find out more:


This week’s Semper Fi Star is Ellie.  Katheryn says “Ellie loves snuggles, treats and heights and we love her!”

How about that tail when she’s looking in the refrigerator!



“She climbs the balcony above our living room – yikes! Mischievous where she can be. And snuggly the rest of the time. She is just the best cat.”


Thank you Katheryn for sharing these photos with all of us.

I am hearing lots of stories of cold weather and snow in Illinois and other parts of the country. Hope you are staying warm and safe. It is 83 degrees today in Fort Myers with 0% of precipitation. Wish you could join us! Maybe during spring break?

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!

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