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Hot summer days

Hello dear friends! I hope you and your loved ones are all well! I continue to feel great! But I’ve been seriously busy every day, with just the usual chores, that are more exhausting due to the heatwaves we’ve been having. The heat would not be a problem, as it’s not extremely hot compared to other places, but the humidity is through the roof constantly.

The kitties, who love to hang out on the balcony cation when it’s nice, have been flopping all over the place during the day.

Eating and drinking is done as comfortable as possible…

Aside from the humid heat, we’ve had a couple of really severe thunderstorms, with unbelievable amounts of rain, high winds and hail.

The storm in the video below came through in the afternoon of August 14, 2020. It rained so heavily at times, that all you saw was white when looking out of the windows.

The flower tray below, filled up within 15 minutes, if not sooner and was then simply overflowing. It was empty because I took the flower pot with my Lavender out of it before the storm.

We’ve had some severe thunderstorms here, but I’ve never seen that amount of rain within such a short time.

The leaves on all the trees and bushes look like they’ve stood in a war zone. They are completely ripped to shreds by the few hail storms we’ve had recently. The leaves are just shreds or have multiple round holes in them.

The photo below is from August the 5th, after just one severe thunderstorm with hail. It’s the bush to the right of our balcony. By now they look much worse and are simply shredded. I still need to take photographs of how it looks currently.

Though as I mentioned, for the most part, all of August has been very hot. In the morning and the late afternoon, the kitties and I love to hang out on the balcony catio. It’s just lovely.

In the following photos, it’s pretty much obvious that it’s really hot and humid. The kitties are just simply totally flat out and try not to move at all.

Thankfully the living room window is always a cool spot. The sun moves to the west and the whole street is in the shade after midday. But even before then it’s lovely and cool. There’s always a nice breeze and the cats just love to watch what’s going on out there.

These blinds are absolutely wonderful in creating shade and keeping the heat out. The living room and the bedroom are always nice and cool. The old wooden shutters on the bedroom window keep the bedroom perfectly cool, even though the sun is on them all afternoon. It’s quite amazing.

Covid19

We’re still staying at home due to Covid19. The case numbers have been going up and down. Recently they went up again quite a bit, as vacationers came back from other countries infected with the Virus. By now I just hope they find a vaccine, so this plague will finally come to an end.

In other news

I’m full of ideas.. and there are so many things I enjoy doing and want to do. Like crocheting and learning how to sew clothes. It’s all a slow progress, as my energy allowance for each day is rather low and easily used up. I will find a way to sort it all out and plan my days a bit better. Now that my migraines aren’t as frequent, I want to do all kinds of things at the same time. There are also about a million jobs to do just around the home, like organising the wardrobe in the bedroom, the books, paperwork and bits and pieces in the living room and the kitchen.

Although all of the mentioned comes after what’s most important: Ralph and the cats, all daily tasks, then the blog and all the wonderful friends we made. Love and friendship are where I get my energy from!

I will leave you with this photo-filled post now and we wish you all a lovely Sunday evening! Big hugs and purrs!

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

Happy Easter from us!

It’s a very different Easter, but despite everything, I wish you all a lovely Easter and that you can enjoy it as much as possible. Stay healthy and safe dear friends!

Despite the difficult times, I am still very lucky to have a home that we’re safe in, that we’re healthy and together, and that we have everything we need and won’t have to worry too much. I’m happy to spend Easter with my little family of Ralph and the cats Samantha, Sonic, Hero and Lisa. I’m also happy and thankful to have all of you wonderful friends! I just want everyone and their furbabies to be safe and well.

I am writing on a post, that I’ll hopefully be able to finish tomorrow. The migraines have messed all the blogging and updating up, again… I’m so sorry.

But I wanted to wish you all a lovely Easter and let you all know that we’re still perfectly fine. Still under lockdown and at home, not meeting anyone. It will be a long time before the lockdown will be lifted I think.

Sending lots of love from Ralph, the kitties and me!

Have fun watching Lisa fetching her toy balls in this video:

Not long after this video, she actually started bringing her balls right to me, so I can throw them again. She’s now actually fetching properly! Of course I’ll do a video about that soon.

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · Society and News

Update about the Coronavirus Pandemic – Austria, 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.

Here is the link to my 2nd post, about us and the cats: https://catladynatascha.com/2020/03/23/we-are-staying-at-home-for-another-month-march-23/

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 made sure everyone would be able to get their medications in the most uncomplicated way. People are able to call their doctors and order their script over the phone. The doctors office then sends the prescription electronically to the pharmacy. Narcotic long term prescriptions are sent to the health department office, as an original paper document. That office then approves and scans them into their computer system, and afterwards, they are sent to the pharmacy.

So basically, people don’t have to go anywhere, except to their pharmacy, to pick up their medications. Also, depending on the medication, people are able to fill up to 3 months worth of medications at once.

That electronic system was not even ready to be fully rolled out, but since the technology and computer systems for it had already been installed in doctors offices and pharmacies, they simply activated it, due to the circumstances. It was due to be slowly implemented all over, but they’ve now done it within a few days. It’s working too! No problems at all.

The goverment is doing whatever they can to reduce the number of people that have to leave their homes.

For patients like me, this meant that I was able to pick up 4 weeks worth of medication at once, instead of going to the pharmacy numerous times every week.

Coronavirus infections are still increasing faster and faster

With the Coronavirus infections still rising unbelievably fast, it is now a huge relief that I won’t have to leave our home for the next 4 weeks. Any risk of catching the Virus and passing on to Ralph is too high of a risk to take.

As had been expected, the cases of Coronavirus infections are still increasing unbelievably fast. People were still getting infected at a high rate before the lock-downs took effect on March 16. By the time two weeks will have passed after that date, 1000s more will have fallen ill with Covid-19.

The restrictions I talked about in my other post (LINK) are still in place and will stay in place at least until April 12. Of course, there could be additional measures put in place, or existing ones adapted, depending on the situation.

4097 Coronavirus Infections, March 23 at 5pm

The governments update from today at 5pm. Of the 4097 patients with COVID-19, 132 have to be treated in the hospital and 15 very severe cases are currently in the ICU

The increase over the last few days has been enormous. Two weeks ago, we went from over 100 on Monday, March 9, to over a 1000 by last Sunday, March 15. Then within this week, the increase was to over 3000. I’m sure we will have another huge increase in infections over the coming week. After that, it will hopefully flatten out and then decrease.

I used the public government data to create a slideshow, showing the increase of infections in Austria over time. The screenshots are from the data graphs published by the Austrian government at: https://info.gesundheitsministerium.at/

Because a further large increase in COVID-19 patients is expected, temporary hospitals are being prepared in huge halls which are normally used for large conferences, concerts, exhibitions and other events. One of these large halls that are being prepared, is just a few blocks away from our home. It will have beds for up to 1000 people. Additionally, hospitals which had been closed not too long ago, are being prepared for COVID-19 patients as well.

Staying home, toilet paper craziness and panic buying

We are staying at home! As does about 95% of the Austrian population. 5% don’t really care though and do whatever they want and behave as if it’s all just a big holiday season everyone. The problem is that these 5% tend to crowd the same places, (partying, large groups in parks and at other typical hangout spots throughout the city). There is hardly any distance between these people and anyone who has to walk past and through these crowds. But that happens in many other countries, despite curfews and lockdowns. They’re getting fined big time though.

Toilet paper is still being bought like crazy. 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?

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.

The best and the worst in people

People are helping each other. In many apartment buildings, young and healthy people are offering to go out and buy groceries, or pick up medications for older people and people who are especially vulnerable to complications from COVID-19.

I have a lot of respect and gratitude for everyone who is now working right now. The pharmacists and people at the cash registers in grocery stores have no face masks, due to a massive shortage of protective gear. They have to deal with some awful customers during the best of times, but I’ve heard stories from all over the world, about how absolutely rotten some people are behaving at the moment. It’s true that emergencies bring out the best and the worst in people.

I’m thankful for every single one who keeps our country and all the other countries running and functioning. Every single one of them, from the people who keep picking up the rubbish bins from our apartment buildings, to the people who deliver our mail and parcels, to the doctors, nurses, and police and to the people who keep the infrastructure running, so we all have power, gas, water, phone and internet. I’m also grateful that our government is simply doing what’s necessary without worrying about bureaucracy.

Stay safe

The official number of people infected by the Coronavirus is most likely not everyone. The number of people who are asymptomatic, or who are not even seeking help and dealing with it themselves, is thought to be very high as well.

So please stay safe by keeping your distance. Stay home as much as you possibly can, be mindful not to touch your face while outside and before you were able to wash your hands properly.

I know there are hardly any hand sanitizers available anymore, but 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 know it smells, but at least it works to kill the Virus.

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 · Ralph and I · The Cats

Just letting you know we’re fine! New update post coming tomorrow.

Hello my dear friends! I hope all of you are well and safe.

Lisa preventing me from using my laptop during the day 😉

I’m sorry I didn’t reply to all the comments yet. I have been extremely tired every day this week, that I didn’t get to do much aside from the normal daily tasks of every day life. Ralph thinks it must be the anxiety I’ve had for the last 3 weeks, where I felt absolutely stressed out, worried and upset.

But I am much better now, because everything is going to be fine with my medication and I will also be able to stay at home for the next 4 weeks. Which will keep Ralph safe.

I’ll have another update post up tomorrow. Lots to talk about, lots of news and lots of cat pictures and just sharing how our life is going right now.

For now, I will go to bed. Can’t wait to get back to reading everyone’s blogs, writing my own post and replying to your comments in the morning. Let’s hope I will feel more awake then.

As always, please take good care of each other and yourselves! Stay healthy and at home if you can.

Big hugs & purrs!

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 💕