Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

Bathroom and wet walls update – August 11, 2019

Finally getting back to my blog! I always miss it so much. But I’m horribly unable to post as long as I’m feeling anxious. The bathroom problem kept my anxiety high for no real reason, but my anxiety is always over the top for every little worry. I wish I could get rid of it. Though most of the time I’m fine, so I’m actually lucky.

Anyway, I seem to be in a much better headspace today, thanks to my awesome Ralph, who constantly reminds me that there is nothing to worry about at all.

The Bathroom and the wet walls
Last time I left off shortly before somebody was coming by to look for the source of the humidity in the walls of the hallway/stairwell. Back then, we had no idea what to expect and we thought in the worst case we could have a total construction site in our bathroom.

Thankfully that’s not the case. The contractor from a company specialising in finding leaks in buildings and fixing it came by on July 22. He measured the humidity, measured the position of the wet spots in the stairwell and measured the position of the taps in the bathroom and some other things. It seems the humidity comes from the shower tap, and it’s not a broken water pipe. There are apparently two things wrong.

One is the plate that should protect the area behind it and the inside of the wall from shower water:

ShowerTap
The plate behind this tap is not sealed off properly, so shower water gets behind it and into the wall. It’s by now bent and a bit messed up after it had been taken off and put back on many times when it was checked out, which happened on multiple occasions.

So this plate was not sealed off properly and every time we had a shower, water would get behind it and into the wall. In addition, the tap itself drips slightly when the water is turned on. So both things together caused humidity to collect and cause the wet stains in the hallway/stairwell outside.

Though, there have been stains like that already before that have been here since before we even moved in. So what happened was probably that the stains were caused by the woman who lived in our apartment before us already. But after she moved out, the apartment was empty for quite a while and so the stains dried and so nobody worried about it (knowing the building will be renovated in the near future).

Therefore when we moved in, those already existing stains became wet again slowly over time. So, of course, no one noticed, since you would have to look closely to notice that the stains are humid. It probably was the people from the company that cleans the building that called the building management about the humidity in the stains.

That means that the tap has to be changed to a new one and the new plate needs to be properly sealed. Since it was not our fault that is was like that and because there was nothing you would have noticed from inside our apartment, I felt that we should not really have to pay for the changing of the tap. Which is why I contacted the building management about it.

Shortly afterwards, somebody from our landlord called us because he wanted to have a look at the problem himself and talk to us. He came round and wasn’t really worried about it. I just showed him where it was and what had to be done. He said that they will sort it out. He also told me that the stains all over in the stairwell have been there for years.

Then on Friday afternoon, I got a call from the landlord’s insurance company about it. He asked me about it all again and he also needs to come by and have a look at it, which will be on Tuesday morning. Of course, that caused me anxiety to spike again…

I just want it to be over with and fixed, so I don’t have to worry about it anymore.

Back when the contractor came on July 22, the cats really had a difficult and confusing morning…
Since I had no idea what to expect and because I took a possible construction site with multiple workmen into consideration, I moved all the cat’s stuff into the bed and living room and the hallway in between. Then I closed the door, so they could not get into the rest of the apartment (hallway, kitchen, bathroom, toilet…)

Needless to say… they weren’t exactly happy. They were totally confused as to what’s going on.

Whats_going_on_20190722_01
Sonic: “What’s going on Mum?”

Yes, Sonic was totally confused as to why his toilet is over there all of a sudden. Also, the water fountain had moved a bit and the cat food has moved from it’s the normal spot to the right of the cat fountain. In addition, Murli’s big bed moved from the kitchen to this little table in the corner.

Whats_going_on_20190722_02
Stuff is all in the wrong place

Murli’s toilet moved into the bedroom… (Samantha goes on both toilet btw, it’s only Murli and Sonic that keep to their fav ones.)

Whats_going_on_20190722_04

While the door to the rest of the apartment was still open, Murli walked around and was really confused as to why her toilet was gone after having a look inside. The slightly open door you see is the door to our toilet. The human toilet, which is where her toilet usually is.

Whats_going_on_20190722_03
Murli in the hallway

Also, my bicycle, which is normally in our rather wide hallway, was now on the balcony.

Whats_going_on_20190722_06

So after finishing off with moving everything, I closed the door to keep the cats in the bedroom and living room area. There was lots of meowing and scratching at the door from Murli. Sonic and Samantha just sat in front of it quietly for a while. All of them looked thoroughly confused.

But thankfully it did not take long at all. So I was able to put everything back to normal soon later again.

The contractor will come to measure the humidity in the walls again a while later after the tap in our shower has been replaced with a new one and the plate sealed. If the humidity decreases after that, then it will be clear that it was just the shower tap causing the wet walls.

We’ve got household insurance now!
I finally got us household insurance, and I found a really great one too by comparing all household insurances and insurance companies. I should have done that a long time ago really. This insurance protects us really well. If I had gotten it much sooner, it would have covered anything we might have to pay to get the tap changed. We might not have to pay anything, it all depends on what the landlord’s insurance company will do after the appointment on Tuesday morning. Still, I feel much better just having it now. It’s not even expensive at all, which is awesome.

I’m working on a second post right now, because it would have been way too much to put everything in one single post.

Hope you all had a nice weekend and have a wonderful remaining Sunday!

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Sometimes, I can’t find a fitting title, so I just use the current date…

You might have heard about the heatwave in Europe? We did have a few really hot days, but it cooled down to normal levels again for this weekend. Though, the temperatures are rising again and according to the forecast, the coming week will be even hotter than the previous one.

With my ongoing quest to spoil the cats as much as possible, I wanted to create more shade for them on the balcony. So I ordered a cover for the railing, which will shade the floor of the balcony. I ordered this blue and white striped one, because I love things to be as colourful as possible.

Balcony - railing cover June 29, 2019

Of course, I could just mount a cover for the whole length of the balcony railing, but then the cats would not be able to see into the garden as easily. Therefore, I folded the cover in half and mounted it so the cats would still be able to look out on both ends easily. I left more uncovered on the right side, where the bird feeder is.

The mats I had previously used for shade were by now almost falling apart from taking them up and down constantly. With this balcony cover, I don’t have to worry about taking it down all the time, since it’s made for being outside. It’s working nicely and creates full shade.

Balcony June 29, 2019 2

The wooden privacy fence and the big blue umbrella together with the new cover make the balcony really comfortable and also more private, while still giving the cats enough unrestricted view to watch everything going on outside of the balcony.

Balcony June 29, 2019 3
The right end of the balcony, where the bird feeder is.

Then, while I was shopping yesterday morning, I discovered a mat that I knew would be great for the cats to lie on outside. It is quite long and makes it much softer and comfortable.

Balcony June 29, 2019 Murli and Samantha
Murli and Samantha

I still covered the mat with their blankies and they absolutely love it. They’re out on the balcony even more now!

Balcony June 29, 2019 Murli and Samantha 2
Murli and Samantha
Balcony June 29, 2019 Murli
Murli

The reason why we don’t really need an umbrella for the right side of our balcony is this very tall Sycamore tree. In the late afternoon, it will shade the whole balcony. Although there is a span of time where the right side is in full sun for a while, before the sun gets behind the tree, but it’s not too much of a problem.

Balcony - Sycamore tree June 29, 2019

Sweet little boy Sonic prefers to stay inside for the most part. He’s always been that way and usually only stays out on the balcony for a short time, unlike the two girls who stay out there for hours.

Sonic has his favourite spots and also loves to flop down wherever he feels like, even if he is totally blocking the way.

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The nights at the moment

With the hot summer days, people leave their windows open all night, including us. It is normally absolutely quiet in our block, which is really amazing considering how many apartments there are. I can leave the bedroom window wide open all night and there is just no noise and it’s wonderful!

Or it was… The lovely quiet night has been broken up by the screaming and moaning of a woman, every night for the last week.

Edit: I forgot to clarify… It’s not a woman in pain btw… She’s at it with a man and it’s totally obvious, so that there’s no mistaking what’s going on. Seriously, it’s so annoying! We heard a man moaning for a while as well the other night, that’s why I know it’s a woman with a man.

It sounds like it’s coming from the ground floor level of the building next to our building. She is really loud and it will go on ALL NIGHT. She will start at like 1 or 2 am and then keep going until it’s morning. She will stop for maybe 15 minutes in between and then start up again. Of course, it keeps waking us up. I had to close the window last night, because we needed sleep, even though I would really need the fresh air overnight when it’s hot like that. It prevents getting a migraine from stuffy air.

Here is a google maps screenshot of the part of our block where our building is. I concealed the street name with the flowers lol. It’s just safer that way I think since you never know who finds your public images and blog.

Anyway, here it is:

Google Maps screenshot of our block

The blue arrow points to our building and the area of our apartment. The red arrow points to where the moaning comes from. We can’t see the building like that from our point of view, so we can’t be sure which apartment it comes from exactly, but it’s definitely this building.

It’s just crazy! I’m certain it won’t be any different tonight either. I’m currently thinking about what to do if it does not stop. I’ve heard other people calling out to them to keep it down, but she does not seem to care at all.

Some people…

Otherwise, we all have been doing well! I’m currently looking forward to getting all my pain medicine for 18 days, starting the coming Friday. This means I don’t have to pick up my bottles every afternoon from the pharmacy. Maybe we can go up on the mountain near Graz on one of those days and take lots of photos and videos! I love doing things together with Ralph, we always have such a lovely time, no matter what we do.

Have a wonderful rest of your Sunday everyone! The cats are sending out purrs and paw hugs!

Everything · Pictures · Places · Ralph and I · The Cats

Our nice weekend

Friday started out much warmer and more sunny than it has been for many weeks. But Caturday felt almost like summer, as did Sunday, when it was even warmer. So of course the balcony door and the windows were open all day for the cats to enjoy, and for us too.

It was nice to feel warm air coming in from the open balcony door for a change. I put the umbrella up and some hung two mats on either end of the balcony for shade, and put the chairs out.

Samantha jumped right through the string curtain and onto this chair…

Samantha with string 01
Samantha: “What? Do I have something on my face?”
Samantha with string 02
Samantha does not care… Bird watching is more important.

No, she could not care less about the string on her head. The birds were up and down at the feeder and it was just nice out there in the shade.

Murli and Samantha stayed out there most of the afternoon on Saturday.

Samantha and Murli
Murli and Samantha

They like to change the chairs every now and then. Thankfully we have more than those two chairs, so I was able to get a chair for myself too.

Unlike Samantha, Murli tends to get hot more easily with her longer fur, so she went in to rest on the fridge for a while.

Murli on the fridge 01

Murli on the fridge 02
Murli on the fridge

Later in the afternoon, more and more clouds came up, and the wind started picking up too. We really thought rain would be coming again.

Clouds 01

It was totally overcast by the time I went to bed later that night, but to my surprise, the next morning (Sunday) was clear and sunny!

This lovely Sunday became the first really beautiful warm day this year. We all really enjoyed the warm air coming in through the windows and the balcony door all day, and how nice it was outside.

Even Sonic, who only really likes to go out for longer when it is warm, was enjoying it out there. The birds were active at the feeder as usual, providing entertainment for Sonic, Samantha and Murli.

Sonic
Sonic
Sonic and Samantha
Sonic and Samantha
Murli on the balcony 01
Murli

Also on that Sunday, Austria voted in the European Elections. I went to my local voting station right in the morning, because it might have been much more busy later that day, since we live in the biggest district in our city. It was just down the street from us in a school building.

Election at the local school
The building where I voted

Above the entrance it says “Mädchen”, which is German for “girls”. It is an old school building and still has the writing from when schools used to be separated into girls and boys houses. The second half of the building, which is farther to the left and not in the picture, the writing above the entrance says “Knaben” which is an older German word for “boys”.

It was quite busy in our street that day from all the people going to cast their votes. This school was just one of many voting stations in our district. Every district in the city has many of them. It’s usually very close to where you live and schools and other public buildings are used as voting stations.

Anyways, I went back home to enjoy the rest of the day with my awesome husband and my sweet kitties. So we truly had a great weekend, despite having had two migraines.

Today, Monday, I woke up with yet another migraine… The weather had changed again and it was dark, cold and raining. It kept raining all day too and we had to put the heat back on lol. But we’re already looking forward to the weekend again, because the forecast says it will be nice!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend and had a pleasant start into the new week <3

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

Spring is coming, cat sitting and Ralphs apartment in Spain

March 24, 2019
Samantha

This afternoon was warm enough to leave the balcony door and the windows open! I put up the protective cat net on the living room window as well! It’s lovely. The cats really enjoy being out on the balcony and getting some fresh air on the windows. Samantha took the chair for herself right away of course, and had a nap on it. But we have enough chairs.

Murli was out too, but first she had her nap on the stove this afternoon. Just like the other day, when I took the following picture.

March 21, 2019
Samantha and Murli

But after her nap and having some food, Murli got some sun as well.

I put our umbrella up on the balcony every day now, because it’s just so bright in the kitchen otherwise, which easily gives me migraines. But it’s lovely at the same time that it’s finally getting warm.

I just took these pictures before I started this post. The trees are blossoming and there are primroses and daisies and all kinds of other flowers on the lawn.

Samantha is doing a lot better now with her tummy. The chronic inflammation has gone down and she’s not throwing up (except for furballs sometimes) or having the runs.

img_7781

Samantha just before, waiting while I was preparing the kitties food. That’s how she sits and looks at me when it’s time for food. 

Murli is doing perfectly well too. Her mouth is healing without problems and she’s eating properly. The latest blood test results came back a few days ago and it shows that she’s doing very well. The thyroid meds are working and everything else is perfectly fine. But she’s going to have her milligrams for her thyroid medication reduced, since the blood test shows that it’s just slightly above the desired level now.

Sonic is still on his month long treatment with the tablets that help his immune system and he’s the usual happy boy he always is. His eyes aren’t as runny anymore and his nose is better too. But he’ll be getting some long term medication for his auto immune disorder after this round of tablets is done.

March 24, 2019
Samantha and Sonic after they just woke up

In all, the cats are happy and doing well!

Also, we had an idea…

As many will know, I had to stop working because my migraines and my joint condition had gotten so bad, that I just could not do it any longer. That was in 2012. My day to day life feels so much better, but even with just normal household chores and/or grocery shopping, I reach my limits regularly. Because it does not take much for something to feel physically exhausting to me. Yet I still wonder if there is anything I can do. Now with Murlis quite expensive medication, I felt that it would be great if I could at least earn that little bit with SOMETHING.

Then Ralph said I should be a cat sitter, since I am good with cats, including cats that don’t know me, and I just love everything that has to do with cats. I did think about it before, but I thought there are so many pet sitters/cat sitters, that I would not have much of a chance without official cat sitting experience.

Still, if there is something I can do and that I can do really well, then it’s dealing with cats. I can do it physically and should not reach my limit, even if I had to visit a home with cats once or twice a day. It’s just a bit different and does not require a long stretch of strenuous activity, and does not cause stress. Even if I do get a migraine while visiting a home to care for cats, then I just take my medicine and let it work, while I sit down to pet the cats, or brush them, or play with them, without having to move around a lot.

Anyway, I thought why not. It’s not going to hurt to try. So I used my FB account to make a page for myself, offering cat sitting for Graz. You might have seen it in my sidebar already. It’s in German since it’s for my local area. But I’ll put 2nd description on it, that will be in English, since there are also a lot of English speaking people living in Graz.

What I noticed so far, and expected anyway, is that people looking for someone to feed / care for their cats in their absence, are asking specifically for someone experienced in that job. I mean I’d be really picky too if I would look for someone coming into my home while I’m not there, to take care of my fur-babies. That person would have to be really trustworthy and nothing but kind to the cats.

So we will see what happens with that adventure 😄

And another thing…

Ralphs apartment in Spain still needs to be sold. After nothing really happened with people wanting to buy it, we knew we needed to do something. So the first thing I did was to create a blog to show case the apartment, since ads usually have a limit on photos and text. Maybe some sites where I can put up ads will allow me to link to it. It will probably take a while, but it would be such a relief for Ralph if the apartment is finally sold.

That’s it for now 😊 The kitties and myself wish you all a lovely Sunday! It’s already past 9pm here, so I’ll be off to bed in a bit.

Love and hugs, Natascha and the cats 😺😸😽

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

How the cats get their medicine and new blog address

Maybe you have noticed that I’ve changed the address of my blog
from https://freecatlady.wordpress.com/ to https://catladynatascha.wordpress.com 

Changing my username and the address of the blog itself was something I wanted to do for a long time now, but I was worried it would be such an inconvenience for everyone. But because I want to start getting into blogging a lot more again, I just went ahead and did it finally. The reason is that the old username and url just did not fit anymore. Before I met Ralph, I was sure and content with staying happily a single catlady for the rest of my life, which freecatlady was representing.

But being happily married to Ralph and having my little family of us and the 3 kitties, it just didn’t fit anymore.

Now back to the cats…

As you read in my last post, all 3 are being medicated for different reasons. I found that putting the tablet into a treat works best for us and I wanted to share how I do it.

I found those soft cat sticks, which are wide enough to fit a tablet into them. 

What I do is, I cut a piece off, as small as possible, but still big enough for the tablet. In Samanthas case, it’s half a tablet, but I’ve done it with whole tablets in that size too.

Then I’ll make a hole to fit the tablet into the piece of cat stick.

Then I’ll carefully stick the tablet into the hole. Afterwards I’ll squish the end a bit. Like this, I’ll either give it to them like a treat, all by itself, or I’ll just put that on their food. Both seems to work. 

I’ll basically use anything the cats like that can hide a tablet well enough, so that it wont fall out right away when they eat it up.

Murli started to have tooth ache on Thursday, and it was obvious she was in pain. The tip of her tongue out most of the time, not wanting to eat despite being hungry, and being really quiet and apathetic. And so, as I went to pick up more medication for Samantha, I also told the Vet about Murli. She agreed that it sounds like she’s being in pain from her teeth and gave me pain meds for Murli for the weekend. Because tomorrow morning, Monday, March 11, 2019 we’ll have an appointment at the Vet, to see what’s going on with her teeth exactly and trying to fix it.

A while after I gave Murli her the first pain tablet on Friday, Murlis demeanour totally changed. She was suddenly her cheery happy little self again and started to eat. It was obvious she must have been in quite some pain before the tablet. I was just glad it helped. Over the weekend, she got a pain tablet every 24 hrs and she’s been fine and continued to be her happy self.

I’m of course anxious again, worried and hoping that everything will be fine. It’s likely that I’ll have to leave her with the Vet for a few hours and that’s always really difficult. But it’s important, she needs to have her teeth sorted out and I’m already looking forward to have Murli back home later tomorrow, reunited with all of us.

I’ll post an update for Murli tomorrow night.

Thank you all for your wonderful comments on the previous post and on Ralph’s blog post too. You’re all absolutely lovely!

The link below was nessessary to update the blog with the new address on my account at Bloglovin. They ask you to put a code with a link into your post, to confirm that it’s actually your blog when you claim an url there.

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