Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · Society and News · The Cats

Spring has fully arrived and the lockdown is ending

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.

The safety net around our balcony

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.

Pollen everywhere!

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.

Lisa after rolling around on the floor. It didn’t help that it was windy and all sorts of plant material was being added to the mess.
Hero and Lisa

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.

Coronavirus Pandemic update

Now with the temperatures rising, we would normally leave the street-facing front window fully open, with the cat safety net on it, or at least leave it slightly open like in the following photos with Samantha:

But due to Covid-19 worries, we rather keep this one closed. I only open the front window to get some fresh air in for a few minutes, when the street is not busy every day, but that’s it.

The cats always love to sit there and watch the street, especially with the window open. Hero and Lisa didn’t even get to experience this yet, since they came to us in November and it’s just now getting warm enough.

That window is a little more than 2 meters up from the ground. So people could be a source of infection, possibly, when they walk by and happen to cough right underneath our window. The rest of our apartment faces out the back, towards the garden and there are no people hanging around or passing by in the back.

I see that other people with windows even lower than ours, who don’t seem to worry at all and leave their windows open.

The lockdown is ending now, but people started to act like it was over back during Easter

After Easter, our government announced that by the beginning of May, the lockdown will be lifted gradually. Ever since then, people started ignoring the lockdown measures more and more. Well, the majority of people still adhered to it, but the number of people who don’t was increasing steadily.

Every week since, I saw more and more people on the street and I noticed people were starting to have visitors over again increasingly. Some neighbours in our hours, for example, have been doing so for weeks now, even having parties with multiple people over at least twice a week.

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.

Thanks to the full lockdown though, the number of infections has gone down and the curve has been flattened most definitely.

Our state of Styria is by now the 2nd worst affected with 382 active cases, after Vienna, which still has 567 cases in Austria. The numbers are of course lower than what they had been and we only get a few new cases every day.

But now with a bunch of stores opening again, as well as restaurants, pubs and cafes and the end of the stay at home order, I can’t help but feel it’s too soon for all of that. The schools and universities are probably going to open again before the summer break, which makes even less sense, since they would close by the beginning of July anyway.

There is, of course, the requirement for everyone to wear face masks in closed spaces and now there are many who simply always keep their masks on when out and about. The majority of people, however, remove them as soon as they get out of a store, despite meeting up and talking with other people outside of the stores.

It was pretty obvious that the chancellor and health minister would have rather kept the lockdown going for longer, as they have been warned and are still being warned by many doctors that this is too soon and a 2nd wave is being risked. But the pressure from business owners has been increasing and they are worried about the economy. I just think that the economy is going to take an even bigger impact if we get hit by a 2nd wave.

Social distancing is still being enforced as much as possible, but people are now allowed to visit each other again.

Ralph and I are still going to stay at home and I will be the only one going out to get what we need from the store every week or less. I’ve only been visiting one single store close to us, which is never overrun by people and they are disinfecting every shopping cart in front of your eyes and then they squirt a bunch of hand sanitiser into your hands. Everyone wears a mask, which is given out for free at the store entrance. People are also very good at keeping their distance in there. I still carry my own bottle of hand sanitiser or sanitising alcohol with me anytime I go out and I use it a lot.

Ralph, the cats and I are all well thankfully. We will keep doing everything the same way, until the Pandemic is actually over for good, or until there is a vaccination available. I am so thankful that we didn’t get sick when the virus was spreading like wildfire through our country.

But so many other countries are still experiencing the worst of it.

How are you all doing? How are things where you are?

Lots of love from us! Big hugs and purrs!

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Sometimes, I can’t find a fitting title, so I just use the current date…

You might have heard about the heatwave in Europe? We did have a few really hot days, but it cooled down to normal levels again for this weekend. Though, the temperatures are rising again and according to the forecast, the coming week will be even hotter than the previous one.

With my ongoing quest to spoil the cats as much as possible, I wanted to create more shade for them on the balcony. So I ordered a cover for the railing, which will shade the floor of the balcony. I ordered this blue and white striped one, because I love things to be as colourful as possible.

Balcony - railing cover June 29, 2019

Of course, I could just mount a cover for the whole length of the balcony railing, but then the cats would not be able to see into the garden as easily. Therefore, I folded the cover in half and mounted it so the cats would still be able to look out on both ends easily. I left more uncovered on the right side, where the bird feeder is.

The mats I had previously used for shade were by now almost falling apart from taking them up and down constantly. With this balcony cover, I don’t have to worry about taking it down all the time, since it’s made for being outside. It’s working nicely and creates full shade.

Balcony June 29, 2019 2

The wooden privacy fence and the big blue umbrella together with the new cover make the balcony really comfortable and also more private, while still giving the cats enough unrestricted view to watch everything going on outside of the balcony.

Balcony June 29, 2019 3
The right end of the balcony, where the bird feeder is.

Then, while I was shopping yesterday morning, I discovered a mat that I knew would be great for the cats to lie on outside. It is quite long and makes it much softer and comfortable.

Balcony June 29, 2019 Murli and Samantha
Murli and Samantha

I still covered the mat with their blankies and they absolutely love it. They’re out on the balcony even more now!

Balcony June 29, 2019 Murli and Samantha 2
Murli and Samantha

Balcony June 29, 2019 Murli
Murli

The reason why we don’t really need an umbrella for the right side of our balcony is this very tall Sycamore tree. In the late afternoon, it will shade the whole balcony. Although there is a span of time where the right side is in full sun for a while, before the sun gets behind the tree, but it’s not too much of a problem.

Balcony - Sycamore tree June 29, 2019

Sweet little boy Sonic prefers to stay inside for the most part. He’s always been that way and usually only stays out on the balcony for a short time, unlike the two girls who stay out there for hours.

Sonic has his favourite spots and also loves to flop down wherever he feels like, even if he is totally blocking the way.

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The nights at the moment

With the hot summer days, people leave their windows open all night, including us. It is normally absolutely quiet in our block, which is really amazing considering how many apartments there are. I can leave the bedroom window wide open all night and there is just no noise and it’s wonderful!

Or it was… The lovely quiet night has been broken up by the screaming and moaning of a woman, every night for the last week.

Edit: I forgot to clarify… It’s not a woman in pain btw… She’s at it with a man and it’s totally obvious, so that there’s no mistaking what’s going on. Seriously, it’s so annoying! We heard a man moaning for a while as well the other night, that’s why I know it’s a woman with a man.

It sounds like it’s coming from the ground floor level of the building next to our building. She is really loud and it will go on ALL NIGHT. She will start at like 1 or 2 am and then keep going until it’s morning. She will stop for maybe 15 minutes in between and then start up again. Of course, it keeps waking us up. I had to close the window last night, because we needed sleep, even though I would really need the fresh air overnight when it’s hot like that. It prevents getting a migraine from stuffy air.

Here is a google maps screenshot of the part of our block where our building is. I concealed the street name with the flowers lol. It’s just safer that way I think since you never know who finds your public images and blog.

Anyway, here it is:

Google Maps screenshot of our block

The blue arrow points to our building and the area of our apartment. The red arrow points to where the moaning comes from. We can’t see the building like that from our point of view, so we can’t be sure which apartment it comes from exactly, but it’s definitely this building.

It’s just crazy! I’m certain it won’t be any different tonight either. I’m currently thinking about what to do if it does not stop. I’ve heard other people calling out to them to keep it down, but she does not seem to care at all.

Some people…

Otherwise, we all have been doing well! I’m currently looking forward to getting all my pain medicine for 18 days, starting the coming Friday. This means I don’t have to pick up my bottles every afternoon from the pharmacy. Maybe we can go up on the mountain near Graz on one of those days and take lots of photos and videos! I love doing things together with Ralph, we always have such a lovely time, no matter what we do.

Have a wonderful rest of your Sunday everyone! The cats are sending out purrs and paw hugs!

Everything · Pictures · The Cats

It’s summer here! Cats all flopped out all day.

Just look at them!

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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…

Murli_Fridge_001
Murli

Murli_Fridge_002
She enjoys when the fan is on too!

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).

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Sonic and Samantha

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Samantha telling me she’ll love to help make the bed

Sonic
Sonic – He’s not going to move… He’s enjoying the breeze from the window

But in the evening they like to hang out on the balcony again.

Murli_Balcony
Murli, and she even took a bit of string to play and later fell asleep on it

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Samantha on the other chair (I replaced the previous image with this one from the same evening, because I realised I already had the photo with Samantha on the blankie in my slideshow at the top of the post lol)

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!

Avocado
It’s this hat, that Ralph found in Ronda, Spain

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 <3

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!

16-06-2019 Happy Daddy Day Card
The Father’s Day card the cats made for Ralph (with my help)

 

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Everything · Pictures · The Cats

Weekend, June 1 and 2, 2019

Caturday, June 1, 2019

At 7am Sonic woke me up as he was trying to curl up on me… Once Murli knew I that I am awake, she came round as well. (Murli always knows. I don’t even have to move or make a sound. She knows as soon as I’m awake … ) Samantha has already been on the bed, curled up by Ralph’s legs. I was actually glad, since I really didn’t want to sleep anymore anyway.

I like mornings and getting up early usually. As soon as it’s morning (if it’s at least a more reasonable hour like 7am), I’m like “Yay! It’s finally morning! On to the coffee.” Before I get my coffee though, the cats get their breakfast. I can’t enjoy coffee while they look at me, pleading and meowing!

Again some new stuff for the cats…

After their breakfast, I put aside my coffee after about two sips, because I realised I can actually use the cat safety frame for the window that came the other day, since it was finally pleasantly warm today, even now in the morning. We already have a cat safety net for the whole living room window, but sometimes we just want to open it slightly, which is why I ordered it. I simply fixed it onto the window and it ended up being sturdy enough.

frame 001
The living room window with the safety frame

The size of the frame is exactly right. The width is perfect.

But now little Boss-cat Samantha needed to inspect it, to make sure I did it right and that it was good enough for the cats…

Samantha 001

Samantha 002

Samantha 003

Samantha 004

Samantha 005
“Purr, I like it!”

It works just fine and it’s on there tightly. The cats would not be able to try and mess with it. They usually don’t mess with things anyway, but it’s better to be safe. I like that we get fresh air in, but it keeps it from blowing through too much.

It was a warm Caturday, but there were lots of clouds for the first half of the day. Later, it started to clear up a bit and the sun came through. The cats were happy to be out on the balcony again in the fresh but warm air.

Murli
Murli

Murli loves to have a good wash out on the balcony.

Samantha 006
Samantha

Samantha took a few strings with her from the string curtain again, just in case nothing was going on on Kitty-TV.

Sonic
Sonic

But Kitty-TV was just as entertaining as always, so that even Sonic hung out on the balcony for quite a while.

Later the cats went in, because I think they got a bit too warm outside.

Samantha and Sonic 2
Samantha and Sonic

As every day, Samantha and Sonic gave each other a good clean. They usually end up having a little play-fight afterwards, which Sonic loves. The play-fighting never last long enough for Sonic, he always starts meowing to call Samantha back after she leaves…

Of course all of that is exhausting. So Sonic went to have a nice little nap in the bedroom.

Sonic2
Sonic

Murli went had her nap outside a little later, since the sun was already behind the big tree and there was shade for the whole balcony.

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Murli

Sunday, June 2, 2019

The morning was even warmer than yesterday and it was sunny, despite a lot of fluffy white clouds. I got up at 8am, and after a few sips of coffee, I decided to get my camera and go all the way up the stairwell to the last communal balcony, to see the view and the sky:

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I will go up there again to take better photos and probably for a video.

Sunday Morning 04
Murli

That is looking down to our balcony. The little black blob you see down there is Murli ;-) I got a bit dizzy looking down lol. I’m not used to being high up.

Sunday Morning 05
Murli

Sweet girl had no idea I was up there looking down on her, she was fast asleep after her breakfast. I went back down right after this picture.

Our day was quiet, but I did go out once to pick some sweets up from my Dad. When I was out, the sky had gotten so dark, I thought I would not make it back home dry. Thankfully though I did. But the weather stayed that way. The whole day we saw big black clouds. It stayed very warm, and the rain came in the early evening and only lastet a few minutes.

This is what the sky looked like for most of the day:

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I’m glad that it’s finally gotten much warmer and it’s awesome that we’re now able to leave the windows open. It’s so much better for me to have constant fresh air, since stuffy air often causes migraines too.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! Much love from us all and thank you so much for always writing such nice comments and for all the likes on my posts <3

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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