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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 <3

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

Spring is coming, cat sitting and Ralphs apartment in Spain

March 24, 2019
Samantha

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

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

March 21, 2019
Samantha and Murli

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

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

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

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

img_7781

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

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

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

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

In all, the cats are happy and doing well!

Also, we had an idea…

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

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

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

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

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

So we will see what happens with that adventure 😄

And another thing…

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

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

Love and hugs, Natascha and the cats 😺😸😽

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

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.

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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
Everything · Ralph and I

February 17, 2018 – A little update about things just dragging out so much

Hello everyone! It’s been just really a long long while since my last post. I just can’t seem to feel motivated, because of anxiety and feeling a bit stressed. As you know, we’ve been trying to get married for months now, and every time it seems, we are being sent away, because there’s something else that is required by the law.

It would have been easier somewhat, if at least they could have told us what exactly we need to get all at once, instead of bit by bit every time we come back. Especially with things we need to get from the embassy in Vienna. It’s not exactly right around the corner and it’s not cheap to get there either.

If we would have been told everything we need to get, we could have done so when we were at the embassy in December. But in the office, they just tell us “Oh you just simply go to the embassy for that…”

Like the first time we’ve been to the registry office in Graz, where we’ve been told we need to get the certificate from the British embassy that confirms that Ralph is free to marry and that all his papers / documents are genuine. The other thing we’ve been told is that we need to have Ralph’s documents translated into German. I even asked if it has to be a special translator, like a court-approved one and I got the answer “No, it just needs to be simply translated into German and I can get that done by whomever I want “. That was all.

It took us a couple of weeks until we were able to go to Vienna. But eventually, we went to the British embassy in Vienna to get the certificate, which is called “Ehefähigkeitszeugnis” in German. Roughly translated it would be “MarriageAbilityCertificate”. The British embassy also specified that the document they give out is the “Ehefähigkeitszeugnis” and that they give out hundreds of them every year in Austria when a Brit marries an Austrian.

So, after that, we sorted out the translation of the divorce and marriage certificates of Ralph, except for his birth certificate, since we thought it’s silly to translate that, as it’s so obvious and easy to understand since its simply names and birth dates and places.

After that, we went back to the registry office in the end of January, and then suddenly, we were told that Ralph might have to get a new birth certificate and that it probably needs to be translated as well. The first time we’ve been at the registry office, the same person had seen us and that person did not say anything about the birth certificate eventually having to be new, even though they looked at it back then as well. Upon asking where we would get a new birth certificate, the answer was like I wrote above “You just simply go to the embassy in Vienna for that.” Why could they not mention that the first time? We can’t simply go to Vienna like that all the time, not to mention that it’s expensive.

But on that day, they took in our documents and everything and they said it might be fine like that anyway. We were told that the registrar would contact us.

And that contact happened this Friday, the 16th of February, via email to me. In that email, it said that there were some more documents needed for us to be able to get married.

So we need to get all the English documents translated by an official translator who would be court. As well, we need to get an Apostille for each of Ralph’s documents, which we can hopefully get via mail from the British government. But it seems like we can do that according to the British government website. I think it’s about 50£ for each Apostille.

Nothing about needing an Apostille was mentioned the previous times we have been there. Nothing at all.

Not even on their website. But it’s in the state laws, but how are we to know. You would think that the registry office would know and tell you everything that is needed.

But the last thing listed as being needed was exactly the document we had already given them, the certificate from the British embassy in Vienna.

Upset, I wrote back right away, explaining that we had already given them that document and that they should have it. And to let me know what’s up with that.

Later on, the person called me, telling me that the document was found, but that they’re not sure it will be accepted as “Ehefähigkeitszeugnis”. Seems like they haven’t seen it before. Apparently no British / Austrian marriages in my city, otherwise they would have known it. The embassy gives those out all the time and they’re accepted just fine in the rest of Austria apparently.

The thing is, that Austria is a bit similar to the US in the way that there’s federal law and state laws. Each state has their own laws to some degree.

But still, it’s an official document, it’s the exact thing they wanted. That’s just the way the British one is. Every countries documents look different. That’s what you get from them and we would not get anything different from the embassy, even if they won’t accept it.

I have been seriously thinking about getting married in England now and I will be looking into it. Since Ralph and I live here, I don’t know if it would be possible to just go to Ralph’s home country England, just to get married and then back to Austria again. But I will find out.

It might even work out easier and cheaper.

Though, I will get a call on Thursday, where we will be informed if the embassy certificate will be accepted or not.

So we will see.

Sigh… I’m really upset and Ralph is really upset. Even the cats were upset when we were totally upset on Friday, since they pick up the worried feelings up from us.

We feel a little better today, but not by much. We don’t sleep right, as it’s constantly in our minds.

I would have not been too upset about the other things, but that the highly official certificate from the British embassy might not be accepted, that’s just something we would have never expected.

We love each other so much, and we want to be family and married. It’s security also, as once we’re married, we have rights. If something were to happen to either of us, we would have no right to speak to doctors or make decisions we know that the other would want. And most of all, we found in each other the love of our lives, and we want to be husband and wife forever.

We’re about to go to sleep now lol. I hope that this blog post will help me feel better since I could get it out like that.

Otherwise, we’re happy and healthy, as are our 3 kitties 😽😽😽

I will reply to the sweet comments tomorrow and post a couple more uplifting things, like cat pictures!😸 Yay!

Thanks everyone for reading and for being the lovely kind friends that you are.

Night, night from Ralph, Murli, Samantha, Sonic and me☺️😽😽😽☺️✨🌙💤💤💤💤💤