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

February 28, 2019 – All Cats to the Vet!

Hello dear friends!

The time flies by as fast as usual… or faster even than last year? We’ve been doing just fine and are still enjoying our life together with our cute little family.

We both got worried about Sonic though, because he became really sniffly and his eyes were running. He really had trouble getting air through his nose. So I made an appointment with our Vet Lady to get him checked out. And after Sonic, I planned to get Samantha checked out properly as well, since she started having days where she would be throwing up for a few hours and then have the runs. It would usually last for less than a day and then be fine again for a bit. Though recently those bouts happened more often, therefore she needed to go to the Vet too.

Murli had already been to the Vet towards the end of 2018 and got diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism. Since then she had to get a tablet once a day to get it sorted out, which she will have to get for the rest of her life. Murli was doing very well with it and it was obvious she’s feeling great. The second thing with Murli is her teeth problems. She started having problems with her gums and teeth, and had to be sedated to get the worst sorted out in 2016.  In the fall of 2018, she lost one fang.

On to the details of the recent Vet visits…

Sonic
Lumix 18-02-2019 17-31-24
He got that bandage after blood was taken, just to stop any more bleeding. We took it off soon after.
Lumix 18-02-2019 17-08-00
Sonic with his little bandage that he got after blood was taken from this leg. We took it off soon afterwards.

On Monday, February 18, 2019 I nervously wrapped Sonic in a blanket to pick him up and put him into the carrier. Once in the carrier, I freed him of his blanket so he could move. Instantly I felt so bad, because he really was meowing so loud, wanting to be let out again. But it had to be done, and so I quickly went outside with him, waiting for the Taxi to come.

Thankfully the Taxi came quickly and we arrived at the Vet a few minutes later. Sonic had stopped meowing as soon as I was outside with him and he remained quiet the whole time we were sitting in the waiting room, which wasn’t very long.

Ralph and I had anticipated that Sonic would be really difficult to keep still on the table, because he is usually so frightened that he tries everything to get away and run off. Though, none of that happened. The Vet was able to lift him out of the carrier with no problem at all. He kept still, not trying to flee at all. He was just looking around a little bit. Even his heart rate was completely calm and his muscles didn’t feel tense either. The Vet was able to check him out properly without any problem. He was fine as she carried him off to be x-rayed in another room, and he was fine when he came back. Even during the blood test, he didn’t even flinch, and even closed his eyes. When everything was done and the carrier was put back on the table, he got in all by himself. It was the most amazing thing that he remained as relaxed as he was.

So I called a Taxi again and arrived back home in no time. As soon as I entered our building, I could feel Sonic starting to move in the carrier… He knew he was home, even though we weren’t in our apartment yet.

I instantly sat the carrier on the bed to let him out, and I tried to film it as well:

He was really such a brave little boy!

About two days later we got called with the results. Turns out it was like the Vet thought anyway… He’s got an autoimmune disease which causes his symptoms. He got medicine for it now. Nose drops that are to be given as needed, in case his nose blocks up again and he got tablets that are strengthening his immune system, which he has to get for a month. Since I can crush that tablet, I just put it over his dry food, right at the top. He doesn’t mind it and eats it all up without a problem.

Still, we will have to see how he is doing and he might get more medicine later on if it’s not improving enough.

Samantha
Samantha in the carrier
Samantha in her carrier

We had already planned to get Samantha to the Vet next anyway, but after she had a really bad night of her throwing up repeatedly, I made an appointment for her the next morning. On Saturday, February 23, 2019 I packed poor little Samantha into a carrier and hung it around my shoulder and got on my bicycle to bring her to the Vet. The reason is, I am just as quickly at the Vet as I would be with a Taxi, it’s free and most importantly, and I usually feel really really uncomfortable with the Taxi drivers, who mostly bombard me with all kinds of questions, and often get very personal, or worse.

Anyway… Samantha always meows when she gets put into a carrier and she does NOT stop. Or rather, it will be quite a while before she stops. I recorded her meows on my way to the Vet. I was talking to her the whole way from leaving home to the Vet. She was looking at me the whole time while meowing. I felt so bad!

Below is a video I recorded as we were leaving the Vet. Just imagine the same pleading meow from that video going on the whole 10 minutes of our trip to the Vet and me constantly talking to her, responding to each of her meows. Poor little girl…

After we arrived at the Vet Samantha got quieter. Though, there was another cat in the waiting room, a boy. If he meowed, Samantha did as well. If Samantha meowed, he started again too. Those two went back and forth like that… Once we got called in, Samantha seemed a bit more calm. She didn’t struggle on the table with the Vet and was just as brave as Sonic. Though her heart rate was a bit quicker. She was checked out and everything was looking really good. She had perfect teeth, and according to the Vet, seemed like a much younger cat, because she was in such good shape. Except for her poor bowels though, which appeared to be having a problem. Samantha got a shot of vitamins and antibiotics.

When it was time to go home, and she was put back in her carrier, Samantha started meowing again… She did the whole way home. I did not film our way home and just left my camera in the bag. I just have a short video of her while we were outside near my bicycle, shortly before leaving for home.

Yesterday morning we got the call with all the results from the blood test, which confirmed the suspicions that Samantha has chronic inflammation going on in her bowels. Otherwise, the blood test results for her were perfect. No other problems at all.

Today I picked up Samantha’s medications at the Vet. As soon as I got back home, we tried to give Samantha the first tablet halve. I put the half in a bit of meat spread, made a little tiny ball and put it in her food, as that always works with Murli. But Samantha’s tablet probably has a smell to it that she can detect right away and so she ate everything BUT the bit that contained her tablet. Ralph held her while I opened her mouth and put the tablet in. I tried it with food and treats first, but she ate everything BUT the bit containing the tablet.

Next, I tried to put it into a little treat. But again, she ate everything BUT the tablet. So we decided we will just have to put it into her mouth… Which is something neither of us wants to do and I’m always getting really upset having to force anything with the cats. Though it could not be helped, she really needs the meds. So while Ralph held Samantha, I opened her mouth and put the tablet (still wrapped in a bit of meat) into her mouth and then closed it. Thankfully she swallowed it. I was so worried she would hate me now… But she doesn’t! She still gives me head rubs and everything. Unfortunately, she has to get those tablets twice a day… Oh dear.

Murli
Murli in her carrier
Murli in her carrier at the Vet
Murli in her carrier
Murli in her carrier at the Vet

Towards the end of last year, Murli has been to the Vet a couple times and like I wrote before, she was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism. She’s been on medication for it since then and is doing very well. She gets her tablet every morning with her food. I use chicken meat bread spread and put her little tablet in it, forming a little tiny ball. Then I just put it on top of her food and she’ll eat it all up. It has been working perfectly and she didn’t have any side effects either.

Aside from her Thyroid, she’s in really good health. Well and her teeth problems. I will bring Murli to the Vet again soon, to get her blood test done, to check on how the medication is working and if she needs a change in her dose, and to decide what to do to take care of her teeth. I don’t want her to be in pain, but I am really worried about her being put under anaesthesia. But thankfully we have a really wonderful Vet, who will only do what is necessary, with the least risk to Murli.

For now, we will just have to see how all of them are doing. Hopefully, the medications all work for Samantha and that she can gain some weight again.

There is a lot more that I need to write, and there are more photos and videos to post. But this post was just for the cats and it’s already really long!

Thank you all for reading and still coming by, despite that my updates have been so far apart. Hope everyone is doing well, and their furbabies too!

Lots of love from us all ❤️️❤️️❤️️

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

March 17, 2018 And again we have to wait some more

Hello, awesome friends and furends!

This was the backyard this morning. It had started to snow again.

Winter seems to come back to Europe again. After endless rain on Friday and Saturday, the temperatures are dropping again and icicles are forming.

On Friday, Ralph’s papers came back from the legalisation office in the UK. We’ve been really waiting for them so much, as the legalisation of all 3 documents would have meant for us that we could have gotten married finally. I say “would” because as I opened the envelope with my heart beating heavily and my hands shaking, I saw a letter right away, explaining that they were unable to legalise all documents.

Oh no! Sigh…

They were able to legalise and put an Apostille on Ralph’s birth certificate and his divorce paper, but not the marriage certificate that Ralph got as it is from the registrar in England back then.

Deep sigh…. Some more waiting and hoping then… Again.

But there’s no giving up!

So on to yet another bureaucratic hurdle to overcome:

Ralph has to fill out a form online, on the UK gov site, to apply for a new marriage certificate from his previous marriage, which will then be sent to us. Once it arrives, we have to fill out the form for the legalisation office again, and send the new marriage certificate off to their office in the UK by courier. Again.

You would think it should be enough to have an Apostille for the divorce paper, which is in our opinion, the actually important paper. That divorce paper would not exist if the marriage on the marriage certificate would not have been valid.

But the Graz registrar wants everything certified, legalised and translated, certified of course. I don’t even understand why the Graz registrar even requires the certificate of no impediment (Ehefähigkeitszeugnis) from the British Embassy, who checks the same documents to make sure they’re all genuine, and that Ralph really is free to marry, if one has to have the same documents checked by the British government in the UK as well.

So basically Ralph’s documents have been checked and certified twice. It’s not right, those laws and regulations, as it’s unnecessary and it’s costing a whole lot of money that we would actually need for other things. And it’s costing time, sanity and sleep.

We’re always worried there will be some other bureaucratic hurdle thrown at us at every step.

Oh the certified translations arrived as well in the week before and they did a great job with it.

After getting a new marriage certificate and having an Apostille put onto it should be the last thing now. We can only hope. I definitely lost my usually positive attitude and am now always worried at each new hurdle that we resolve, as there’s always another one thrown at us.

Lol, I kind of see it coming that by the kind of luck we’ve been having, the registrar official who will (hopefully) marry us, is going to be on vacation for a couple of weeks or so, by the time we’ve got all the new paperwork finished.

Writing about those bureaucratic shenanigans and get it off my chest and onto my blog makes me feel a lot better, it always does! But enough of that.

Both of us are fine and well, although our sleep isn’t as good because of the upsets. But we’re totally happy together and we love having a home together with our 3 kitties!😽😽😽

Sonic, Samantha and Murli are all fine, happy and healthy. I’m sure they would love for spring to come finally though. Can’t wait to make our balcony beautiful and cat safe, and make it nice for us and the cats.

For now, they are usually cuddled up in their baskets and / or near the heating 😸

Samantha loves to sleep on and surrounded by valerian root pouches, next to the heater…

Murli likes to sleep in her comfy warm basket.

Or like yesterday, on the round chair in the living room, while I sit at the computer nearby.

Murli also had some fun with boxes. She just loves them!

Little boy Sonic and usually likes to come into bed, surrounded by stringy things 😸

At this very moment, I am already in bed, with Sonic cuddled up on my legs, as I finish writing this post.

Hopefully the next time I have an update regarding us trying to get married, I’ll finally have good news 🙏

Hope you all had a nice weekend! Stay warm and comfy! And lots of purrs and pawhugs!😽😽😽

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

March 5, 2018 Snow, Ice and once more waiting for good news

Hey lovely readers! Here’s the latest of us trying to get married in Graz:

At the moment, we’re waiting and hoping for the best again. Since the registrar requires a certified translation by a court translator for each of Ralph’s documents, and Apostilles (Legalisation) for each of the same documents, we had to try and get that sorted out.

The translations are underway now, and hopefully, we’ll get them back by the end of this week.

For the Apostilles (Legalisation), we had to send Ralph’s original documents off to the UK via courier. We had to fill out an application form online for it and pay. The next morning (Friday), I had the documents shipped to the UK by courier. Now we can only wait and hope that the documents get legalised and that there won’t be any bureaucratic hurdles. If everything goes as it should, they will send the documents with each Apostille back to us by the end of this week.

And if all of that worked out, the last thing to hope for is that the registrar won’t come up with yet another requirement for certified certificates and/or translations.

This is, or should be the last hurdle now and according to the registrar, we can get married as soon as we have the translations and Apostilles. Which would be, or could be next week even! I’m not counting on that though. Until we have everything back and the registrar accepts it all without another request for certificates, I won’t get my hopes up too much.

Ralph and I will finally be able to relax and just enjoy everything after all of that. I will have my mind in the right place again to blog normally, be more cheerful and communicate more with all of you lovely readers.

As for everything else: It’s March, and like almost everywhere in Europe it doesn’t look or feel like it at all. Here in Graz, Austria, the last couple of weeks have been bitterly cold with nights and mornings temperatures between -18°C (-0.4°F) and -15°C (5°F). During the day, the temperatures didn’t go above -5°C (23°F), often it was even colder. We had lots of snow as well.

March 1, 2018 09-58-58
Icicles everywhere.
March 1, 2018 10-02-27
More icicles!

The temperatures increased to around freezing point over the weekend, but it’s been very foggy and overcast.

This was Sunday, the view over the city from the Schlossberg webcam. Today, it looked exactly the same…

It’s mostly for Ralph and the cats that I wish for more warmth. Although it’s lovely and warm in our apartment, and the snow looks beautiful, it’s no fun going outside like that. Ralph is cold a lot more easily than I am.

But even if it’s -100° and raining icicles, Ralph and I will go out to get married if we get our appointment soon! 😂

For now, we’re staying in most of the time. We enjoy being together all the time, every second of it.

Murli is happy, and so are Sonic and Samantha. I’m really looking forward to making our balcony pretty and cat safe, and the windows too. Will be lovely, for the summer breeze to come through the open windows and the open balcony door. All of us will love it!

Everyone in the kitchen
Our kitchen

There will be nice walks in the nearby park, where we can see a bit of the sunset.

March 1, 2018 4:38pm
This is the park near our home.
March 1, 2018 4:38pm
The sunsets will be nice from here

I will do my best to reply to all your sweet comments. Shame on me… It’s normally the first thing I do in the day as soon as I have time. Hopefully, things will get back to normal soon, once we can relax and all the worrying about bureaucrats is over.

Thank you so much, for always being so kind and leaving such wonderful comments on my blog.

The cats, Ralph and I love you all!

 

 

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

February 23, 2018 – News from the registrar, snow and cat pics

Hello dear friends!
First off the good news! Yesterday, the registrar called and informed us that the certificate from the British embassy (German: Ehefähigkeitszeugnis), which verifies that Ralph is legally free to marry me, has been accepted by the Graz registrar office.

What a relief! As I wrote in my previous post, the registrar office told us back then, that the embassy certificate might not be accepted, which came as a total shock to us. The British embassy issues hundreds of these certificates every year in Austria, so we assumed it was a standard thing the Austrian registrar offices deal with often, especially in bigger cities like Graz, which is Austria’s 2nd biggest city.

Anyway, thankfully that worry is now gone, and we’re getting a bit closer to getting married. What remains now, is to get the last batch of bureaucracy sorted out, that they asked of us. We need to get Apostilles for all of Ralph’s English documents, as well as certified translations by a court-approved translator of the same documents. Once this is done, we will send the scans of it all off to the registrar, and then we can finally get married within a few business days.

I don’t really know how long it will take to get this done, but we really hope it won’t be long.

Now it finally seems within our reach. Let’s just hope that the last things can get done easily, without additional bureaucracy, to get the Apostilles that we need. 

In other news… It has been snowing a lot! I haven’t experienced such weather for over a decade or more. We had days with heavy snowfall since the start of the new year. But now, we’ll have snowfall for the next 2 weeks, and the temperatures will drop over the weekend to around -15°C / 5°F according to forecast. 

Here is what it looks like from our balcony, overlooking the backyard and garden.

February 20, 2018 8:23am
Snow in the garden, February 20, 2018
22.02.2018 17-33-57
Snow in the garden, February 22, 2018
22.02.2018 17-31-31
Snow February 22, 2018

Samantha and Sonic watch the snow fall from the windows, but they don’t feel like going out onto the balcony at all. Samantha ran out for a second, curious as to what that “white stuff” on the balcony is, but turned right back around once she realised the “white stuff” is wet and cold. 

Murli, on the other hand, does not care, and still likes to go out onto the balcony with us. Of course, Murli has thick and quite long fur, and Samantha has not got much to keep her warm. Sonic and Samantha are from southern Spain and not used to the cold.

07.02.2018 08-26
Murli does not care about getting snowed on. She wants to watch the birdies!

All three kitties are happy and feel at home. Murli is so much better with the others too and she continues to get better and more relaxed with having other cats around.

17 02 2018 1-38pm
Murli and Samantha
13 02 2018 9-13am
Sonic on the bed, and Murli on the window.

I am so happy to have my Murli girl here with me, in our home, within our little family. We all love our new apartment, our home in Graz. But we can’t wait to finally put just one family name on our door: Whillier. Natascha and Ralph Whillier. It will be such a happy day once we have our long-awaited wedding!

The other thing we can’t wait for is spring and summer! But for now, spring seems a bit far away. The following slideshow shows what it looks like at the moment. It’s the park near our home.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thank you all for reading and for your wonderful and supportive comments, it really made us feel better. I will keep you updated a lot more from now on, as to how things are going with our quest to get married.

As I’m about to go to sleep now, I wish you all a good night. Take care and keep warm!

20 02 2018 10-43am
Murli
20 02 2018 11-04pm
Samantha and Sonic