Time flies as always, even during the lockdown and while we’ve all been under lockdown, spring has fully arrived here. The trees have blossomed, the first spring flowers have come and gone and now everything is turning green and lush.
And more flowers and blossoms from the garden in the following slideshow
The weather has been lovely and warm for the most part during the last couple of weeks. Of course, the cats love it!
Now that the sun is rising higher every day and it’s getting quite warm, I need shade for our balcony. I fenced in the balcony on all sides with netting that adds about 1 1/2 meters on top of the railing. Therefore, I can’t use my parasols like I did in previous years, as they’re too big to fit into the fenced-in area.
I was thinking about all kinds of things you can do, but the easiest way was to get a shade sail, which I’ve ordered yesterday. I’m really looking forward to having shade again on our balcony.
Before Hero and Lisa, we didn’t need to fence in our balcony so high, because the older cats didn’t care to jump onto the railing or do anything silly. With young cats like Hero and Lisa however, I knew I have to make sure they are safe and can’t do anything to get themselves hurt or lost, if they were to jump off the balcony.
While the cats have been enjoying their time on the balcony, I noticed that the amount of pollen increased over the days. It’s gotten so bad, that the balcony and everything else is covered in yellow pollen. Heaps of it even on the sidewalks and on cars. Even though I kept wiping the balcony floor down every two hours, it was no use. The air was absolutely saturated with mostly Birch pollen, as well as some Ash tree pollen.
I gave them all a good long brush a couple times a day and tried damp towels to get them cleaned up. It was really difficult to get it out, as the pollen mess went deep into their fur and stuck to it.
Thankfully after a couple days with heavy rain, it seems a lot better. The kitties fur is also clean by now.
The lockdown is ending now
After Easter, our government announced that by the beginning of May, the lockdown will be lifted gradually. There is a huge difference in how people acted in the beginning of the lockdown and now. People were actually rather stepping into the street than pass you by too closely and everyone was very conscious about everyone else’s proximity and tried to avoid it. This is quite different now, as people are acting almost completely normal again.
During most of the lockdown, the streets were empty and quiet, as were the buildings. There was nobody visiting anyone and hardly anyone was walking around outside. Now I can see people starting to visit each other again and the streets are becoming more lively.
Last week, as I went to pick up Samantha’s medicine from the Vet, I saw that the streets were full of people again. It looked just like before the pandemic.
The Government numbers say our state of Styria is by now the 2nd worst affected with 382 active cases, after Vienna, which still has 567 cases in Austria.
Ralph, the cats and I are all well!
How are you all doing? How are things where you are?
I really wasn’t sure if I should write regular updates about how things are going here in Austria and in general, since Covid is now unavoidable and it’s all that’s being talked and written about in the news and on all social media site and I didn’t want to add to that as well. As people are already getting fed up with hearing about it and nothing else anymore.
But then I thought it’s going to be a record of our life, and it’s the details that I would otherwise forget about.
Update for Austria, March 11, 2020 at 3pm
246 cases so far in all of Austria. Cases for each state: Lower Austria (45), Vienna (50), Styria, our state (25), Tyrol (57), Upper Austria (35), Salzburg (14), Burgenland (4), Vorarlberg (13) and Carinthia (3).
New temporary emergency laws and recommendations during the Corona Pandemic in Austria
Anything with gatherings of more than 100 people indoors (which also includes any staff) is temporarily forbidden.
Outdoor gatherings with more than 500 people, including staff, is temporarily forbidden
Universities and any schools for higher education are being closed
No entry into Austria from Italy, except with an up to date document that proves the person is not infected with the Coronavirus
Austrian citizens still in the now locked down Italy will be brought home by the government, but they have to stay in quarantine for two weeks in Austria
People should avoid private contacts and gatherings and stay home as much as possible
Older people and people with compromised immune system should not receive visitors if it can be avoided
Life seems as it always is, in the city and of course at home
While the media is full of panic and fear is spreading from it everywhere, it’s very calm and normal here in Graz and Austria in general. Austrian people usually don’t panic quickly. It has to get really bad before there would be widespread panic.
Today was a wonderfully warm and sunny spring day, with temperatures over 20°C / 68°F. As I went out this this afternoon around 4pm, people were out in the usual numbers. The large park in our neighbourhood was filled with people sitting on the grass and taking walks, enjoying the warm sun. The outside seating area of every Cafe I saw in the city was quite full and the streets were just as busy as always around that time.
Just like last year, the spring flowers are everywhere, the birds are building their nests in the garden, the neighbourhood kitties are walking around in the garden. Hero and Lisa saw two of the neighbourhood kitties yesterday and got all excited. Unfortunately it was past sunset and too dark to take pictures of them.
It was a mostly sunny afternoon yesterday, and you can feel that the sun is getting warmer and warmer now, as the northern hemisphere is getting closer to the summer. Especially this year, we can hardly wait.
The kitties are crowding in every sun puddle, especially on the bed.
Our life is going on as always
I’m sure there will be many changes and restrictions soon, like everywhere else. They are already talking about measures that might need to be taken.
Thankfully, my doctors office, the pharmacy and the health department are all working as usual. I haven’t heard of any more closed doctors offices for Austria and haven’t heard of any pharmacy or other larger health care provider closing down. And there is no atmosphere of panic among people. I hope it’s going to stay that way.
There are just as many people around as always, from what I can tell. People are still sitting in Cafe’s, stroll through the city and stores, people are still doing they’re daily runs along the Mur and the parks, and you don’t really see any panic buying going on in the stores (yet). But the sanitizers, disinfectants, and tinned food are still sold out for the most part, although they’re being restocked.
We still have enough toilet paper in stores.
Even in the smaller stores, like the one I took this photo in, there is no toilet paper missing.
There was more toilet paper stored at the top of the shelf and even more around the corner.
Plans for next week
I will try to talk to my doctor on Monday, to use all my vacation allowance to get a month’s worth of my pain medication, instead of having to go to the pharmacy every day. Because I don’t want to suddenly stand in front of closed doors at my pharmacy one day and have no pain medicine for God knows how long. I’d rather have a few weeks worth of medication right now, while they are figuring out what to do. At the moment, everyone I ask at the pharmacy, or even at the health department, they have no idea what will happen. None of them could reassure me that I would not end up without my medication soon.
Please stay safe, as some people tend to go crazy in times like these and others are bound to try and use the confusion for their own gains.
Hello my absolutely wonderful friends! It took me all that time to finish my post… Unbelievable, but our days just have been that way, where I can’t get anything finished, because so many other things had to be done.
I really have to thank you all again, just so that you know how much all of your kind messages and comments mean to me and how thankful I am for all that support and love.
December 18, 2019
In the morning of December 18, 2019, little boy Hero had his neutering surgery. Everything went well and he did not seem to be in any pain at all. Just a bit tired and so he basically went to sleep not long after we arrived back home. Since we didn’t sleep much that night, we all just went to have a rest… Ralph, I and the cats in the bed.
At some point, I got woken up because my phone rang. It was the Crematory in Gleisdorf, where my sweet Murli had been cremated. Gleisdorf is a little less than half an hour away by car, depending on traffic. I was informed that I can pick up her Urn whenever I want. So I quickly looked up the times for the trains going to the town and told them I would arrive the next day at 11am. The Crematory is close to the train station.
December 19, 2019
In the morning, one of the first things I did was to finally free poor Samantha from her cone. I wanted her to be free of it and able to go to the toilet herself while I was gone for a few hours, to pick up Murli’s Urn in Gleisdorf.
Samantha simply looked exhausted after two weeks with the cone.
Thankfully the train I had to take was one of the local trains, which stop at all the stations, including the one that’s near our home, so I didn’t have to go all the way to the main train station in Graz. It’s not even 5 minutes from us with my bicycle.
The train ride itself lasts about 30 minutes, but it feels much shorter. It goes through the countryside with lots of woods and is really lovely. The train arrived a few minutes before 11am and I walked straight to the close by Pet-Crematory.
I thought I took many more photos from in front of the Crematory, but it seems the photos never saved on my phone. Something went wrong, which had probably more to do with the state I was in.
The sweet Lady I had already talked to one the one a few times greeted me as I walked in. It’s beautiful there. Much more beautiful than the Crematory for humans I’ve been to. It feels comforting as soon as you walk in. Friendly and warm. Not to mention that the people I had talked to and the sweet young man who picked up Murli, have been amazing. So understanding and kind. I knew about them for years and so I knew who to contact right away on the morning of Murli’s passing.
The Lady brought me to the room with Murli’s Urn. As soon as I got there, I greeted her as I always did with “Hey baby” and started crying right away. For quite a while. But they were just so kind there. They leave you alone, or stay with you, however you wish. You can also stay as long as you feel you need to before you leave with the Urn.
They offer to create a paw print on a ceramic and let you decide on the shape of it. I wanted it to be a heart, and the paw print in black, since Murli is a panfur with black paws. I had also asked them for some of Murli’s fur, back when I chose the Urn and paw print.
The Lady helped me to pack it up carefully, making sure it’s safe during my little travel back home. We also talked for a while, as she has cats herself and knows what it all feels like.
And so with Murli’s Urn safely with me, I went to catch the next train home. It definitely feels better now to have her urn back home with us.
It’s still going to be very difficult for quite a while, but that’s what I deal with within my own mind and soul. I want to be my normal and happy self for the other furkids, Samantha, Sonic, Lisa and Hero.
Everyone of you knows what it is like, so I don’t need, or even want to write about the sadness. Instead I want to remember and be grateful for every year, every day I got to spend with Murli my life. Murli was happiness, empathy, love and warmth all packed into a beautiful feline. All the kitties loved her right away. They all felt comfortable around her. When Hero and Lisa first came to us, and they were still absolutely frightened, they were for some reason feeling relaxed and less scared when they were near Murli. Her soul is alive and well and my bond with her will remain forever. I’m so grateful for my life with my beloved little family, which Murli will always remain part of.
We worried a lot about Samantha too, as she was really unhappy with her cone. Also, we think any movement for her felt uncomfortable, since the cut was really deep, since the Vet had to make sure to get everything during her surgery, to make sure weird growth can restart in that spot. Samantha was on pain meds of course, but it might still have been uncomfortable in some way.
Thankfully I was able to keep Samantha healthy during the whole two weeks with her cone; feeding her, giving her water with a syringe and carrying her to the toilet and everywhere else she wanted to be usually. Since she only ate chicken breast, I had to give her a supplement paste in the right amount, to make sure she still gets all the important nutrients and vitamins. When the day came to remove her stitches, Samantha was put on the scale and checked out properly. To my amazement, she had not lost any weight during that time and was well hydrated! The hydration was what I had worried about the most. I knew how much water an adult cat needs every day, and I tried my best to get as close to it as possible. Apparently it’s 50ml for every kg of body-weight.
Samantha started recovering from her ordeal and is doing really well again now. Her scar is healing up great! It’s wonderful to see her happy again.
To do something fun for the cats, I bought a little Christmas tree just for the balcony, so the cats have something interesting to smell at and investigate. They are only out for a few minutes at a time together with us, since it’s way too cold.
The other decoration I had on the living room window, had been on there since the beginning of December. But I kept candles burning ever since the day Murli had passed. That’s what this window looks like:
Later I also put up a tiny little Christmas tree which I decorated and put somewhere Lisa and Hero can’t get to. Samantha and Sonic never tried anything too silly with our Christmas trees anyway.
I bought that little tree where I had bought the bigger one for the balcony. It still smells lovely! Just for fun and because the cats need some decoration they like, I added some colourful mousies as well. Everyone got some nice Christmas gifts and tasty food. The weather station you can see behind the toys is what I got from Ralph for Christmas, since I’ve been wanting one for many years. It’s awesome!
The cats are having fun with their new toys!
Hero and Lisa are great at playing together!
Their new toy was quite helpful in trying to distract the cats from all the noise from the fire crackers and fire works at midnight on new years eve! Sonic of course was not worried anyway, since he can’t hear, but Samantha, Hero and Lisa were worried. Though we did quite well in calming them down and making them feel safer. Luckily, it’s not as crazy where we are. It would be a different story right in the city centre.
I didn’t even look at the fire works, and instead stayed with the cats, comforting them.
The last sunset of 2019 was absolutely beautiful.
And there we are, another year gone by. Actually, a whole decade gone by. But it does not feel like it’s been so long. Despite how fast the time goes by, I am thankful for every second of it. Every moment I got to spend with everyone I love. I am holding on and loving every moment I can spend with Ralph, Samantha, Sonic, Hero and Lisa. And I’m thankful for every single friend I found through posting about Murli and about our life now.
Thank you all for every lovely word of yours and for continuing to visit, despite me not being able to keep up with my replies lots of times. Though I do read and appreciate every single one of them and I’ll reply, even if I’m late.
Ralph, the cats and myself, wish everyone of you happiness for the new year. Wishing good health and wellbeing for human and furry friends, and may everyone be able to spend as much time as they want and can with their loved ones.
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).
On September 5, 2019 is still reached the tree before it sank behind the other houses at 6:14pm (summertime).
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.
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
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 ❤
It’s been lovely, but hot and unfortunately very humid, which is the actual problem. The temperature itself would not be so hard on them. The apartment is nice and comfortably cool. During the worst heat of the day, the cats don’t even want to go out, not even Murli, which says a lot.
Murli spends most of the afternoon up on the fridge…
Samantha and Sonic like to hang out in the bedroom when the window is open with just the cat safety net on. It’s impossible to make the bed in the morning like that. If you try, they will help, but with their help, it will take longer than to just wait until they are somewhere else (which will be about midday or even later).
But in the evening they like to hang out on the balcony again.
In other things…
There is a forecast for thunderstorm and heavy rain for the afternoon today. Since my Dad is on vacation for two weeks, I take care of the flowers on the grave of my Mum and my grandparents. I usually go there in the morning, before it gets too hot. I love to take care of them and it’s a lovely bicycle ride, which I record on my GoPro. I was even able to keep my hat on without it flying off!
But with the forecast predicting so much rain, I’ll take a gamble and hope the rain will take care of the flowers today. I’ve been a bit exhausted these days from doing a lot and need a day of not having to go out (which would be today). But if no rain comes, I’ll go to the cemetery in the early evening.
Also, after having migraines every single day for more than a week, I finally got a bit of a break. Didn’t have one yesterday and as of right now, I feel fine too!
Ralph, the cats and myself, wish all the awesome Dad’s (which includes Cat Dad’s too of course) out there a happy Father’s Day! Hope you have a wonderful day!
Love, Murli, Samantha, Sonic and me ❤
PS: The cats told me to help them make a Father’s Day card for Ralph, their Daddy. So I used one of my apps on my phone and they told me what to do. Happy Cat Daddy Day!