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, 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s now officially a Pandemic. But that was apparent for a while now anyway.
I really wasn’t sure if I should write regular updates about how things are going here in Austria and in general, since I didn’t want to add to the constant Corona Presence in every headline, posting and new article. As people are hearing about nothing else anymore almost.
But then I thought it’s going to be a record of our life, that I can look back on years later, and in this way I can let everyone know how we’re doing and that we’re ok.
Case 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 case counts are multiplying extremely fast now, and there is panic and fear among people in many countries, 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 still normal in Graz
While the Corona cases are multiplying every day, things are still as always pretty much. Thankfully, we do not have a huge number of cases in our state and city yet. 18 for the whole of Styria, our state. They aren’t mentioning where those cases are, or if they’re spread out over the state or concentrated in an area, I don’t know why. But in the way it began and the few cases they mentioned, the cases were in the east of our state, and just one in our city of Graz. But it was about 10 days ago when they mentioned that patient from Graz, so I’m sure there are more by now, and probably people who were in contact with that person.
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.
I can still go out without worry as of now, but I do take all the precautions I can possibly take. I keep away from people and I’m always using my bicycle to go where I need to go even more.
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. 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
Since the risk to become ill myself is still very low for Graz, especially with the precautions I take, I still go out to pick up a few necessities, but I go during times when hardly anyone else goes shopping. Though seeing how fast the cases multiply, I will stop any shopping in stores by next week possibly.
Also, I will try to talk to my, doctor on Monday, to use all my vacation allowance and pick up all my months medication at once to take home with me. Not only would I not have to keep worrying to suddenly stand in front of closed doors at my pharmacy, if they have to shut down because of a case, and I won’t have to keep going out so much, and put Ralph at risk with it.
My immune system is really good and strong, I never become sick, my health problems are pain related, but organically I’m perfectly fine. Though since everyone above the age of 60 is at a higher risk to develop severe problems if infected with the Virus, I really don’t want to risk anything, even if the chances to catch it, as of right now in our area, are rather low.
That’s why I don’t like people getting dismissed with their worries, as it keeps happening at the moment. People here are so used to nothing bad ever happening, that they can’t seem to grasp the possibility that it could be different this time.
I much rather take precautions as much as possible and not need it, than risk the health of my most beloved husband and the well-being of our little family.
Lets hope I’ll be able to get this done, so I can stay home for the next 4 weeks. Of course it might not be over by then, but it might start to get better by then. Also, it might be foreseeable in which direction the pandemic is going by then.
Please stay safe my friends, especially in all those areas with a high number of cases. Also be careful, as people are unpredictable when panicked. Stay home as much as you can, until this “storm” has passed.
Murli and I have been friends with LadyMum Sherri-Ellen for a few years now, and during that time Sherri-Ellen became a wonderful friend, as did her littul mankat Purrince Siddhartha Henry; he stole my heart instantly. Hearing about his story, about their daily lives and all those countless long emails and comments we send back and forth over the years. Always full of love, kindness and fun.
The littul Purrince had the same white spot on his eye as Sonic does, both stemming from the same problem as kittens. So they called Sonic a “brother from another mother”.
There are no words for the loss of a beloved pet, who was and is loved like a family member. He was only 4 years old, but he was very sick and has been since he was a kitten. They did all they could to fight that disease, but recently he was getting so much more unwell and he was in pain.
There are no words enough to make the pain that Sherri-Ellen is in right now any less. Only I will always keep that friendship to the sweet Purrince alive in my hearts and mind, and I’ll always be there for my dear friend Sherri-Ellen.
Your friends furever, Natascha, Murli, Sonic and Samantha
We hope you all will have a wonderful Easter! Lots of love and kitty paw hugs!
Ps: Ralph and I received the marriage certificate of Ralph’s previous marriage from the UK and we sent it off to another office in the UK, to get the Apostille added to it. As soon as we get that back, we will hopefully finally get our wedding date from the registrar. Hopefully… Possibly… Probably…
Enjoy the Easter weekend dear friends! Love, Natascha
This was the backyard this morning. It had started to snow again.
Winter seems to come back to Europe again. After endless rain on Friday and Saturday, the temperatures are dropping again and icicles are forming.
On Friday, Ralph’s papers came back from the legalisation office in the UK. We’ve been really waiting for them so much, as the legalisation of all 3 documents would have meant for us that we could have gotten married finally. I say “would” because as I opened the envelope with my heart beating heavily and my hands shaking, I saw a letter right away, explaining that they were unable to legalise all documents.
Oh no! Sigh…
They were able to legalise and put an Apostille on Ralph’s birth certificate and his divorce paper, but not the marriage certificate that Ralph got as it is from the registrar in England back then.
Deep sigh…. Some more waiting and hoping then… Again.
But there’s no giving up!
So on to yet another bureaucratic hurdle to overcome:
Ralph has to fill out a form online, on the UK gov site, to apply for a new marriage certificate from his previous marriage, which will then be sent to us. Once it arrives, we have to fill out the form for the legalisation office again, and send the new marriage certificate off to their office in the UK by courier. Again.
You would think it should be enough to have an Apostille for the divorce paper, which is in our opinion, the actually important paper. That divorce paper would not exist if the marriage on the marriage certificate would not have been valid.
But the Graz registrar wants everything certified, legalised and translated, certified of course. I don’t even understand why the Graz registrar even requires the certificate of no impediment (Ehefähigkeitszeugnis) from the British Embassy, who checks the same documents to make sure they’re all genuine, and that Ralph really is free to marry, if one has to have the same documents checked by the British government in the UK as well.
So basically Ralph’s documents have been checked and certified twice. It’s not right, those laws and regulations, as it’s unnecessary and it’s costing a whole lot of money that we would actually need for other things. And it’s costing time, sanity and sleep.
We’re always worried there will be some other bureaucratic hurdle thrown at us at every step.
Oh the certified translations arrived as well in the week before and they did a great job with it.
After getting a new marriage certificate and having an Apostille put onto it should be the last thing now. We can only hope. I definitely lost my usually positive attitude and am now always worried at each new hurdle that we resolve, as there’s always another one thrown at us.
Lol, I kind of see it coming that by the kind of luck we’ve been having, the registrar official who will (hopefully) marry us, is going to be on vacation for a couple of weeks or so, by the time we’ve got all the new paperwork finished.
Writing about those bureaucratic shenanigans and get it off my chest and onto my blog makes me feel a lot better, it always does! But enough of that.
Both of us are fine and well, although our sleep isn’t as good because of the upsets. But we’re totally happy together and we love having a home together with our 3 kitties!😽😽😽
Sonic, Samantha and Murli are all fine, happy and healthy. I’m sure they would love for spring to come finally though. Can’t wait to make our balcony beautiful and cat safe, and make it nice for us and the cats.
For now, they are usually cuddled up in their baskets and / or near the heating 😸
Samantha loves to sleep on and surrounded by valerian root pouches, next to the heater…
Murli likes to sleep in her comfy warm basket.
Or like yesterday, on the round chair in the living room, while I sit at the computer nearby.
Murli also had some fun with boxes. She just loves them!
Little boy Sonic and usually likes to come into bed, surrounded by stringy things 😸
At this very moment, I am already in bed, with Sonic cuddled up on my legs, as I finish writing this post.
Hopefully the next time I have an update regarding us trying to get married, I’ll finally have good news 🙏
Hope you all had a nice weekend! Stay warm and comfy! And lots of purrs and pawhugs!😽😽😽