Everything · Murli the cat · Pictures · Ralph and I · Society and News · The Cats

Is it really Fall already?

Because it looks and feels like fall for us here. The leaves are dropping faster and faster and the days are getting shorter, the nights decidedly colder. We had to put the heating on over two weeks ago, for the most part only for the nights though. Thankfully, on most days the afternoons are still warm enough for the kitties to spend a few hours out on the catio.

What we’ve been up to since the last time

Ralph and I needed some more storage space for all our combined stuff in our home. We especially wanted a storage unit for the living room. But the furniture we saw in the stores were not really what we liked. So I went to look for a storage unit from private sellers. There is a very large site in Austria with all sorts of categories of stuff that people are selling. You can find just about anything there. The only problem is you have to pick it up yourself, which isn’t all that easy with large pieces of furniture.

Minutes into me browsing the site for storage units, I saw countless beautiful pieces for a very good price. One advert was especially great since the seller also provided transport for a small charge!

It was a lovely Lady who had to sell a bunch of her things because they were moving into a smaller home and had to get rid of a few large things. So, two weeks ago, the Ladies son and one of his friends came with their huge truck and delivered the storage unit to us! The unit comes in two separate pieces, the top and the bottom. The two guys brought them in and put it together for us. It was all done within a few minutes.

And here it is!

Of course, Hero and Lisa, who are terrified of strangers, were hiding. Samantha didn’t care too much and Sonic didn’t notice anything, since he was outside on the balcony with Ralph.

I had been hoping Hero and Lisa would stay out on the balcony with Ralph, as well, where they would not have noticed as much. It didn’t even take long for Hero to come back out!

Sonic followed Ralph into the living room and had quite the surprise to see the new storage unit there! As you know, Sonic is completely deaf, so he really had no idea anything was going on while he was out on the balcony with Ralph. Hero and Sonic were first to inspect everything!

Samantha came out soon afterwards, and Hero coaxed his sister Lisa out a few minutes later.

The first thing I did was to move Murli’s urn into its new spot in the storage unit. Finally, I had a safe pace for her, where I could also see the urn all the time.

Murli’s urn and her paw print in a clay heart below

Next to Murli’s urn are her favourite mousie, her wooden toy ball, her valerian root cushion, and below is her paw print in a clay heart, that the lovely people from the pet crematory made for me back then. It feels good to be able to honour her physical remains in that way. I know her beautiful soul is watching us sometimes. One day, we will all be reunited again.

Ralph and Hero ❤

That’s my view now when I move my head to the right from my desk ❤️ Hero loves to hang out on Ralph’s desk, and also loves to walk all over his keyboard…

Continuing my crochet and starting to sew!

You might remember that I started to crochet a curtain with a cat motive at the end of last year?

This is what it will look like, although mine will be wider, to fit our window in the living room.

I was working on it at the end of 2019 and when Murli passed, I lost all motivation for anything. I just felt too sad to engage in any of my hobbies. Only by the end of this summer did I finally feel all the motivation come back, to engage in the little hobbies I love again.

In addition, I wanted to learn how to sew my own clothes, as well as mend things and create toys for the cats. Luckily I found a lovely sewing machine and ordered it!

This sewing machine had some really great reviews and wasn’t expensive. Of course, the bag I chose for it has kitties on it!

I also have a few sewing patterns for a dress and a top, that are rather easy and for beginners. I sewed before, just easy little things, but that was over 15 years ago.

Covid

We’ve been at home ever since the beginning of Covid. Ralph does not want to take a chance with anything, just in case. I only left to go buy what we need, go to the doctor for my regular prescriptions and pick up meds for Sonic and Samantha at the Vet. It’s not much different to me than any other year, since I am so limited by how much I can do physically in a day, due to the chronic migraine and fatigue. But I do really miss going for little walks with Ralph.

I’ve only been out for fun about 3 times since August, and that was to visit my best friend Conny and her two kitties.

The current data for Austria

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/austria/

Today

I can’t believe it’s the 8th of October already, because this year went by faster than all the years before. And the previous years felt like they were over in a flash already!

Samantha on the window sill, Sonic on the kitty tree, Lisa on the bed near the tree, and flopped out Hero on the bed.

We had another sunny and warm afternoon. But as soon as the sun is gone, it gets chilly quickly. Some days were cold despite the sun, then the 4 kitties go into the bedroom to soak in the sun. Now that the bed is right beside the window, they absolutely LOVE it. They can lie around in the sun and see the birds while on the bed.

Cuddling up with cats

During the night, I usually have Sonic to my right, with his head next to mine on the pillow and my hand on his side. That’s how he cuddles up every time I go to bed. Lisa and Hero will either sleep along or on my legs, or one of the two will sleep way up on the left side of my head, leaning onto my pillow. Samantha will usually stay to my right and when Ralph comes to bed, she’ll cuddle up on his legs.

My only problem is that I get a bit hot sometimes with all the kitties around me…

I’ll end this post now, but I’ll post another one soon. I will go catch up on all of your blogs now. I hope all your furbabies and yourselves are well!

Ralph, the kitties and I send love to all! Take care!

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · Society and News · The Cats

Spring has fully arrived and the lockdown is ending

Time flies as always, even during the lockdown and while we’ve all been under lockdown, spring has fully arrived here. The trees have blossomed, the first spring flowers have come and gone and now everything is turning green and lush.

And more flowers and blossoms from the garden in the following slideshow

The weather has been lovely and warm for the most part during the last couple of weeks. Of course, the cats love it!

Now that the sun is rising higher every day and it’s getting quite warm, I need shade for our balcony. I fenced in the balcony on all sides with netting that adds about 1 1/2 meters on top of the railing. Therefore, I can’t use my parasols like I did in previous years, as they’re too big to fit into the fenced-in area.

The safety net around our balcony

I was thinking about all kinds of things you can do, but the easiest way was to get a shade sail, which I’ve ordered yesterday. I’m really looking forward to having shade again on our balcony.

Before Hero and Lisa, we didn’t need to fence in our balcony so high, because the older cats didn’t care to jump onto the railing or do anything silly. With young cats like Hero and Lisa however, I knew I have to make sure they are safe and can’t do anything to get themselves hurt or lost, if they were to jump off the balcony.

Pollen everywhere!

While the cats have been enjoying their time on the balcony, I noticed that the amount of pollen increased over the days. It’s gotten so bad, that the balcony and everything else is covered in yellow pollen. Heaps of it even on the sidewalks and on cars. Even though I kept wiping the balcony floor down every two hours, it was no use. The air was absolutely saturated with mostly Birch pollen, as well as some Ash tree pollen.

Lisa after rolling around on the floor. It didn’t help that it was windy and all sorts of plant material was being added to the mess.
Hero and Lisa

I gave them all a good long brush a couple times a day and tried damp towels to get them cleaned up. It was really difficult to get it out, as the pollen mess went deep into their fur and stuck to it.

Thankfully after a couple days with heavy rain, it seems a lot better. The kitties fur is also clean by now.

The lockdown is ending now

After Easter, our government announced that by the beginning of May, the lockdown will be lifted gradually. There is a huge difference in how people acted in the beginning of the lockdown and now. People were actually rather stepping into the street than pass you by too closely and everyone was very conscious about everyone else’s proximity and tried to avoid it. This is quite different now, as people are acting almost completely normal again.

During most of the lockdown, the streets were empty and quiet, as were the buildings. There was nobody visiting anyone and hardly anyone was walking around outside. Now I can see people starting to visit each other again and the streets are becoming more lively.

Last week, as I went to pick up Samantha’s medicine from the Vet, I saw that the streets were full of people again. It looked just like before the pandemic.

The Government numbers say our state of Styria is by now the 2nd worst affected with 382 active cases, after Vienna, which still has 567 cases in Austria.

Ralph, the cats and I are all well!

How are you all doing? How are things where you are?

Lots of love from us! Big hugs and purrs!

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · Society and News · The Cats · Videos

My medication worries are gone – Update Part 2 March 23

Hello dear friends!

Even if we’re locked down and stay at home for who knows how long, I will always be happy and content with my lovely little family!

There’s no getting bored in our home anyway. Not with the 4 cats and each other, and the internet, which lets us connect to our friends and lots of entertainment.

Every day is a lovely day with our cats

As soon as I open my eyes in the morning, this is usually what I see…

Hero on me, Sonic farther down to the right
Lisa is usually all up in my face, once she realises I woke up

Hero, Lisa and Sonic usually sleep on top of me, or cuddled up on my tummy, my legs, arms, or my side, depending on the way I’m lying. It’s usually these 3 in any order that are all over and around me. Samantha loves to either be curled up next to Ralph’s legs, or she watches the birds from the bedroom window (that’s where Samantha was when I took these photos).

It’s impossible not to smile first thing when I wake up with my little family of Ralph and the cats all around me. No matter how anxious I feel, or how bad my migraine is when I wake up, I still wake up feeling happy thanks to them.

Spring

Spring is definitely here with flowers everywhere and birds who are building their nests again. The temperatures before the weekend were amazing! Almost like summer. Unfortunately, it got really cold again over the weekend.

Especially today, the wind was awfully strong and ice cold. I really hope it will warm up again soon, the cats and us really missed the warm sun.

Despite the cold, Lisa and Hero always enjoy some fresh air and love to watch the birds for a few minutes. Also, Lisa and I have a little game where I throw one of the toy balls out onto the balcony and she will run out to bring it back in every single time! She usually carries her ball to the same spot, there she’ll wait for me to get it and throw it again.

This video has clips from yesterday and today. I could have kept going for much longer too, she just loves it. Here is the link to my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCK1Ls5UurAYojCxqRRveVw

But at long as it’s sunny, the cats are getting their fill of sunshine inside as well. With every day we’re getting closer to summer, the sun will shine into our apartment longer.

Hero fast asleep in the sun
Sonic and Lisa at the bedroom window
Samantha and Lisa on the balcony last week, a day before it got cold again

A small earthquake with the epicentre in Croatia

Yesterday, there was even an earthquake we slept through (at 5:24 UTC). Well, I’m sure the cats noticed, but Ralph and I didn’t. Here in Graz it wasn’t anything serious. The epicentre was in Croatia, a little less than 200km from us, where earthquakes aren’t anything unusual. I’ve experienced a couple of them when I was in Croatia myself as a child.

The purple circle is Graz, where we are. The other markings show the earthquake. More details to this earthquake at: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us70008dx7/executive

Small earthquakes with the epicentre within Austria are not unusual either, as the African plate meets with the Eurasian plate in the Alps. Especially our region is rather active for these little earthquakes.

Since it’s almost midnight again, I will go to bed in a bit. I’ll hopefully feel more rested soon, as the day seems way to short when I need more sleep than normal.

I keep thinking of everyone, hoping that you’re all safe and well, and have everything you need.

Sending love from Ralph, the cats and myself!

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · Society and News

Covid Update Part 1 March 23

It still took me until now to finish this post. Sigh… sorry about that. The weird tiredness still wasn’t letting up at all and it was impossible to think clearly enough to write in such a state. This post is simply an update about the pandemic and the current situation in Austria.

Like I’ve said, I publish these updates to document the historic circumstances we all are finding ourselves in, to have a record of it for myself and for whoever else is interested in reading about it again later on.

One of my huge worries is now gone! I will not lose access to my pain medication at any point. Everything has been sorted out wonderfully, for everyone.

It would be a long boring description of how everything works and was worked out right now, but basically: The health department and the national health care activated the new electronic prescription system a lot sooner than planned. With this system, people are able to call their doctors and order their prescription over the phone. The doctors office then adds / uploads the prescription into your file on the national health data system. Now people can go to any pharmacy they want, tell the pharmacist that a prescription has been put on their file, which the pharmacist can look up and access through your social security number. Then they simply print out the prescription and give you your medicines.

Narcotic long term prescriptions are not being sent through this electronic system though. They are added to your file and everything, but you still have to get the physical paper prescription from your doctor. At the moment, doctors offices are bringing these special prescriptions to the health department office themselves, as an original paper document. The health department then stamps the prescription, scans them into their computer system, and has them brought to the various pharmacies that the patient is receiving their medicine. Because with this prescription, you have to stay at the same pharmacy for the duration of that prescription, usually 28 days. Of course, most people will stay and not change every month.

So basically, I don’t have to go to my doctors office for the prescriptions for as long as this lockdown is going on. Also, depending on the medication, people are able to fill up to 3 months worth of medications at once. Except narcotics. Also, I am almost sure that not every doctors office will give their patients the 3 months worth of medicine at once, as they generally don’t like to do that. I know, because I have trouble every time my doctor goes on holiday and I need my migraine medication for the duration.

Thankfully, I got 4 weeks worth of pain medication at once. Which is a relief, as I was really worried they would just lock everything down, including pharmacies and the health department, and not care one bit if people get their pain medicine. That worry exists due to my horrible experiences throughout my life, with being in terrible pain, but not being helped. With specialist doctors just shrugging their shoulders, literally, and simply not caring one bit.

4097 Coronavirus Infections, March 23 at 5pm

The governments update from today at 5pm.

Staying home, toilet paper craziness and panic buying

So for whatever reason, toilet paper is still being bought like crazy. All over the western world. Maybe even all over the world. Shop keepers say it’s gone within a short time right after they open in the morning. I wonder if we will ever find out what that is all about? Why on earth toilet paper? Some even managed to buy massive amounts of toilet paper, thinking people will be desperate for toilet paper and that they can sell it to them at a high price.

Despite the fact that grocery stores are still being stocked up normally, people are still panic buying long-lasting food and the stores can’t keep up with it. It would be more than enough for everyone if it wouldn’t be for panic buyers. The panic buying seems to happen right when the stores open. For the rest of the day, there are only very few customers in the stores.

Break-ins

The emptiness in the streets during the night is now increasingly used by criminals to break into stores and to rob the few people that are out. Thankfully it’s not rampant here, but it definitely happens a lot more now.

Even my old pharmacy has been broken into and robbed on the first night of the lockdown last week. I am glad my current pharmacy is in a really public place with police CCTV. My old one was in an area that is always quiet and empty overnight, but especially now.

I know there are hardly any hand sanitizers available anymore, and the few that are sold are sold with massively hiked up prices. But before you buy insanely expensive sanitisers, you can use alcohol like Vodka and Schnapps to disinfect your hands while you’re out, if you fill it into a small bottle to carry with you.

I’ll keep updating as much as I can, about life and the cats and everything else going on. Should anyone ever feel worried about us, or simply just feel the need to contact us, you can always email me directly at:

catlady-natascha@protonmail.com

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

Austria shuts down – Covid Update March 15

Things continue to move faster than I can keep up with. Measures and restrictions that were planned on Friday, kept changing throughout the weekend.

Restaurants and cafés were supposed to stay open until 3pm starting Monday, so that people would be able to get lunch there. But the government decided to have all restaurants, cafés, pubs etc shut down completely. But not just them, all stores are staying being closed, except for supermarkets, pet supply stores, pharmacies, banks and gas stations.

Government offices that are not that important at the moment, will shut down for the public, but they will continue to work behind closed doors. Everything will be handled over phone, online forms, email, fax and letterboxes.

The military reserve is being called up

Although I don’t know what they’re going to be doing yet. But I think they will help to ensure the protection of supermarkets, pharmacies and help to keep the peace in the city.

Stay at home order

The government announced that there are now only 3 reasons to leave our homes and it goes as follows:

  • To get anything that is needed for life, like groceries, medication, pet food. Of course to go to the doctor for medication and treatment that can’t be postponed.
  • To go to work, but this means jobs that are needed to keep the country running. Doctors, Nurses, Firefighters, Police, Military, people working in jobs that are important for the infrastructure (power, gas, water, public transport, delivery of goods, parcels and mail, jobs in the communications industry like phone and internet etc). Anyone that can work from home, has to work from home.
  • The 3rd reasons to go out is to help others. For example, to help disabled or elderly and supply them with food and medications, so that they don’t have to go out to the store, doctor or pharmacy themselves.

People are allowed to walk their dogs though.

Parks and playgrounds are closed.

At first, people were asked to adhere to it on their own. But the government said that this didn’t work, therefore they said, they have to enforce it this way.

In Graz, the 2nd largest city of Austria (Vienna is Nr. 1), the streets were pretty much empty.

So within a very short time, the government decided that the lock-down and the restrictions would have to be enforced.

From what they announced, people walking alone will not be stopped or asked where they are going, only groups. But they said in their press conference, depending on how people behave, this might change. I’m expecting many more restrictions and the lock-down of cities and areas.

More news: Germany is closing it’s borders with Austria

Germany will partially close its borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg and Denmark as it steps up efforts to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

What Saturday night looked like from the main square webcam

The main square in Graz, which is normally a very busy place on a Saturday evening, was very empty, except for a few people. The main square is usually always busy, especially during the weekend, since it’s right next to an area with a lot of pubs and clubs. But at 7:41pm, only a few people were out that evening. Nothing would have been open anyway.

How we’re doing

Our street was again extremely quiet. The building itself is quiet as well, you hardly hear anything. Only for our sweet cats the world is like always, at least for the most part.

It’s rather cold, unfortunately, but the sun was shining. So the babies were able to enjoy the sun for a little on the balcony. Samantha enjoyed the sun at the window and Sonic on the bed.

Lisa and Hero
Samantha at the bedroom window

That’s what the bed is like every day and every night. I’m able to cuddle myself between all the cats which makes for the best sleep. I can’t sleep without cats. Ralph usually goes to sleep later than myself, but he is able to get in as well. Sonic, Hero and Lisa usually pile up around me and on me, while Samantha cuddles up to Ralph’s legs.

It’s now 11:40pm, and I’ll go to bed after publishing this post.

I’m sure tomorrow will bring many changes again, as probably almost every day in the near future.

Love, Natascha & the cats 💕