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We are staying at home for another month – March 23

Hello dear friends! If you read my other update from today, about the situation in Austria, then you know the COVID-19 numbers are still increasing faster and faster in Austria.

That is why I am so glad I won’t have to go out, for nearly a month. In the beginning of the Pandemic, I was out my mind from worry about Ralph potentially catching the Virus. Now that I see how well our government is handling this crisis and that patients are not left without their medication, I feel a lot better. We have what we need at home, including my medicine and of course more than enough supplies for the cats. I’m much more at ease, especially because it keeps Ralph safe when I stay at home and avoid people altogether.

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

Austria shuts down anything that is not important and people have to mostly stay home – Corona Pandemic 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, because the infection rate keeps going up faster and faster.

As of 3pm this afternoon, we have 860 confirmed Coronavirus Infections. In our state of Styria, they doubled over the weekend. We have 111 here.

Restaurants and cafés were supposed to stay open until 3pm starting Monday, so that people would be able to get lunch there. But since the number of new Coronavirus Patients is multiplying at increasing speed, with 100s more every day over the weekend, the government decided to have all restaurants, cafés, pubs etc close completely. But not just them, all stores are staying closed, except for supermarkets, pet supply stores, pharmacies and gas stations.

Basically, anything that is not needed for daily life, like food for humans and pets, and medications is being closed down. Government offices, that are not needed, will shut down for the public, but they will continue to work behind closed doors, and things can be worked out through phone, 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.

Only 3 reasons to leave the house (enforced)

The government said that there are now only 3 reasons to leave our homes:

  • 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.

This will be enforced by police. So when I go out to the pharmacy as always, I will have the copy of my current prescription with me, as well as the receipt that shows that I paid for it, just because it proves which pharmacy I’m going to.

There are high fines if groups of people are found to hang out outside and walk about for no good reason. People are supposed to go out by themselves for important things.

No going for runs, no going for walks, no hanging around outside, except to go straight from A to B. People are allowed to walk their dogs though.

Parks and playgrounds are closed, as well as anything else that isn’t necessary.

At first, people were asked to adhere to it on their own. But as I expected, there were still way too many people who are not taking it seriously. Especially in Vienna, people went out to parks in large numbers, sitting together in groups, walking in groups and hanging around in groups. Even parents went to the playgrounds with their kids. Basically these people were doing everything they were begged not to do.

Many of the groups that were hanging around in parks and the city for no reason were the usual troublemakers.

In Graz, the 2nd largest city of Austria (Vienna is Nr. 1), the streets were pretty much empty. But there were people who ignored the pleas from the government to stay home, just not as many as in Vienna. Most groups were hanging around in the bad areas of Graz, like always.

So within just a day, it became clear that the lock-down and the restrictions would have to be enforced.

For now, people walking alone will not be stopped or asked where they are going, only groups. But depending on how people behave, this might change. I’m expecting many more restrictions and the lock-down of cities and areas, to stop the movement of people and stop the spread of the Virus.

Since it can take up to two weeks for people to actually become ill from the Virus, and many will still have become infected before the restrictions, and they’ll also infect their families most likely, the peak of the outbreak will most likely be in about 3 weeks. I’m no expert and have no idea, but maybe that’s about how it will be.

One thing is for sure, the drastic measures are now going to stop more people from becoming infected. So hopefully, after 3 weeks, we will see the effect of it in decreasing numbers of new confirmed cases, while the number of people who recovered will have increased.

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

Neither Ralph, nor I are surprised by the measures the Austrian government is taking. Seeing how things are going, it was to be expected. I am actually glad that they’re putting these restrictions in place, because then hopefully, the outbreak can be stopped.

I feel very tense and anxious, just like countless others, but I hope we can get through this alright.

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. I’m certain they can sense how tense I feel.

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

My anxiety treatment

That’s what the bed is like every day and every night. I’m able to cuddle myself between all the cats, and then I feel a whole lot more calm. 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. Once everyone is in bed, I feel relaxed enough to sleep well for a few hours.

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 well as sadly another huge increase in confirmed cases. But maybe soon, there will be good news again. Until then, stay safe, stay home if you can and keep in touch. I’m thinking about everyone, and send out lots of love and hugs.

Love, Natascha & the cats 💕

Everything · Nature · Pictures · The Cats

The Seasons in the garden

On Saturday I noticed just how low the sun already sits in the sky as it slowly sinks below the roof of the house across from us at 4:55pm (summertime). During the summer, the sun is still high in the sky and the tall tree gives us shade from it in the late afternoon, early evening.

Here are a few photos of the sun’s positions

On October 8, 2019 at 5:17pm (summertime) the sun was already vanishing behind the roof. Now, the sun is going down behind the roof much farther to the left, and at 4:55pm (summertime).

October 8, 2019 at 5:17pm
October 8, 2019 at 5:17pm – The sun going down behind the roof of the house across from us

On September 5, 2019 is still reached the tree before it sank behind the other houses at 6:14pm (summertime).

September 5, 2019 6:14pm
September 5, 2019 6:14pm

In the summer, on June 25, 2019 the sun was high in the sky at 5:06pm (summertime) and it would stay sunny for many more hours during that time of the year.

June 25, 2019 5:06pm
June 25, 2019 5:06pm

It’s amazing how quickly the seasons change and it’s interesting to see the seasons change in the plants and trees of the garden. So I thought it might be interesting to post a bunch of pictures showing the different seasons in the garden.

I was worried the number of photos would be too much for one post, but considering I decreased the size of all the photos a lot, it should not cause a big impact on loading time and bandwidth.

Over the two years we lived here, I took a lot of photos of the garden. Many times when it was cloudy, because I just love to photograph clouds and cloudy skies. So it might look like it’s often cloudy here, even though it’s not 😉 Also, the photos are from different years, so things are looking different in some photos, like the small tree in the middle, which was destroyed more and more over the course of a couple of storms.

The season’s changes in the garden

January

January 1, 2019 3:40pm
January 1, 2019 3:40pm

January 23, 2019 8:24am
January 23, 2019 8:24am

January 23, 2019 08:24am Murli
Murli – January 23, 2019 08:24am

February

February 22 2019 2:00pm
February 22 2019 2:00pm

March

03 29 2019 5-27pm
March 29, 2019 5:27pm

March 3, 2019 3:11pm Samantha
Samantha – March 3, 2019 3:11pm

April

April 15, 2018 12:49pm
April 15, 2018 12:49pm

April 28, 2018 Samantha and Murli
Samantha and Murli – April 28, 2018

May

May 28, 2019 9:44am
May 28, 2019 9:44am

May 8, 2019 5:29pm Murli
Murli – May 8, 2019 5:29pm

June

June 4, 2019 1:38pm
June 4, 2019 1:38pm

June 7, 2018 5:22pm Sonic and Samantha
Sonic and Samantha – June 7, 2018 5:22pm

July

July 21, 2019 12:39pm
July 21, 2019 12:39pm

July 9, 2018 9:41am Murli
Murli – July 9, 2018 9:41am

August

August 16, 2019 4:43pm
August 16, 2019 4:43pm

August 24, 2019 9:55am Murli
Murli on the bathroom window – August 24, 2019 9:55am

September

September 9, 2019 6pm
September 9, 2019 6pm

September 20, 2019 Sonic and Samantha
Sonic and Samantha – September 20, 2019

October

October 18, 2019 11:17am
October 18, 2019 11:17am

October 24, 2018 10:36am Murli
Murli – October 24, 2018 10:36am

November

November 13, 2017 10:27am
November 13, 2017 10:27am

November 26, 2017 11:14am
November 26, 2017 11:14am

Sonic and Samantha November
Transported Sonic and Samantha in with the chairs from the balcony, because it was just getting too cold to have them stay out there for long, despite the sun.

December

December 15, 2018 09:09am
December 15, 2018 09:09am

December 2017 Samantha
Samantha on the bedroom window – December 2017

Time change to Wintertime

The cats and I aren’t used to the daylight savings time change. Sonic comes up meowing for me to come to bed at 9pm, because to him, it still feels like 10pm. He doesn’t care that silly humans have silly time changes twice a year. Murli and Samantha don’t care either, they want their breakfast at about the same time. So, of course, they feel like I’m late in getting up. Therefore, I’m getting up at 7am at the moment, since it would be 8am normally.

Just like with the cats, my feeling for the time is screwed up and exactly an hour wrong too. I keep feeling as if it’s exactly an hour later than it is.

Today I had to use my bicycle light again for the first time since last winter. It was completely dark by the time I was on my way home from the pharmacy and grocery shopping at 5pm. It was a dark day anyway, with thick overcast and rain all day. The temperatures are a lot lower now.

In another sign that winter is definitely coming now, they are starting to put up the Christmas lights in the city. Usually, I saw them mount the lights near my old home on November 1st. Though they have probably always started earlier in other areas of the city and I just never noticed it. The huge Christmas tree on the main square will be put up around the 1st of November as well usually and the Christmas markets will be opened soon after. The Christmas lights remain dark until the 1st of December though.

I really can’t believe how fast time goes by. I’m not feeling any Christmas vibes at all yet, but I’m looking forward to decorating our home in a few weeks 😉

Also looking forward to the long weekend! Hope you all have a great week ❤

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

Looking back on our September

Hello everyone! The late evening of October 7 already! Unbelievable. September was a busy month and a month with lots of migraines and fatigue, unfortunately. But as of now, I’m getting into a good phase again, feeling well. Hope it will last a bit longer than the last.

Sweet Sonic is doing really really well! He’s not had any issues anymore with his tummy. His digestion is working like it should now with the new food. He’s happy and playful.

The weather has turned to autumn for good by now. But it started getting rather cold at the beginning of September already. Since then we had more days with rain or heavy overcast than sunny days. Though we had two wonderfully sunny and warm days the previous Thursday and Friday. So the cats were able to enjoy the sun on the balcony again. Sonic enjoyed the sun on the bed, while Murli and Samantha were on the balcony.

Sonic on the bed
Sonic on our bed, enjoying the sun

October 4, 2019
Murli and Samantha

Samantha
Happy Samantha in the sun

Recently it had been too cold to leave the balcony door open all day, even with the sun it had been too chilly. But the cats have to get used to that again for the winter…

Now I will often put a chair in front of the balcony door when it’s sunny, because the girls absolutely love to curl up on chairs in the sun. But especially Murli really isn’t too happy with the door closed most of the time now.

Everyone a the door
Murli right at the door, Samantha on the chair and Sonic sitting behind them.

I recently started to give them kitty grass again and they can’t get enough of it. They just absolutely love it! I only put it down for them a couple times a day, because otherwise, they would be at it constantly.

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As I mentioned, the weather turned cold right at the beginning of September. We had planned to go to a huge Airshow not too far away from Graz, which only takes place every two years. We had looked forward to this one for so long! Though, right at the weekend of the Airshow, the weather had turned from summer to autumn from one day to the next. The temperatures had plummeted, it was raining, windy and the visibility was low. That is why we decided not to go, as we would have been in the cold and rain all day. Hopefully, we can go to a different Airshow next summer!

The Birds

The Sparrows and Pigeons are all quite happy! The swarm of Sparrows is very active and lovely to watch. I feed them every day and they’re not afraid of me, coming really close sometimes.

Sparrow nearby
Cute Sparrow near our balcony

Sparrows
The flock of Sparrows on a bunch of freshly mowed grass, that has been laid around this tree.

The pigeons are coming really close to me too! Most days there will only be one or two visiting. But sometimes it seems they have a party going on and bring all their friends.

Pigeon Party
Pigeon party on our bedroom window and balcony

Of course, it’s great entertainment for the cats inside, when the birds sit on our bedroom window.

Pigeon 2
This pigeon likes to sit on our bedroom window shutters

The Bathroom

Two weeks ago, they fixed and sealed off the area around our shower tap, so no shower water can get into the wall anymore. Also, it was found that the shower tap itself did not even have a problem… That was great, as it made the work a lot easier.

Tomorrow morning, the man from the company who measured the humidity, in the beginning, is coming again to see if the humidity is decreasing. Since the repairs dragged out for so long, it’s kind of early to measure now, since it was sealed off only two weeks ago. But we will see what comes out of that. I guess he’ll have to come again at some point when more time has gone by.

There are many more posts coming

I have lots I want to write about and share! I’ve got many ideas and hopefully my health (migraine, fatigue issues) will be holding up as well as possible, as there is so much I would love to do.

We’ve been doing great and are really happy! Though we feel the summer was too short for us. Ralph isn’t looking forward to the cold winter… But I’ll make sure it’s going to be comfy, warm and cozy at home.

All the uncertainty regarding Brexit isn’t nice and no one really knows what will happen in regards to Brexit, but hopefully things will get worked out. It will already be good to have an end to the uncertainty regarding it.

Hope you’re all well! Thank you for stopping by.

Love and Purrs!

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 ❤