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 · Nature · Pictures · The Cats · Videos

This week on Kitty-TV

It was bucketing it down for most of the week, all the way until Thursday. This is my post for the days before this weekend.

It was really dark, rainy and cold. The rain kept going day and night for most of the week. Except for Murli, the cats didn’t even want to go on the balcony. But the birds were just as busy at the feeder, no matter how hard it rained.

Though I could see the birds fluffing themselves up, trying to sort out their wet feathers, like this cute Great-Tit that was sitting in the tree across from the balcony.

Little Great Tit 001Little Great Tit 002Little Great Tit 003Little Great Tit 004

But even Murli had to watch Kitty-TV from inside for most of the week. Though she was quite happy to hang out on the chair I put close to the balcony door.

Murli on the chair at the backdoor
Murli

Samantha rather cuddled up in her warm basket and Ralph covered her up, which she actually enjoyed, since it had cooled down a bit. Samantha doesn’t usually stay under a cover. If she stays underneath, she needs it. To me it did not feel too cold, but I did put the heater back on after this.

Samantha
Samantha

Sonic stayed in the bedroom most of the time, it’s his favourite room. He also had his favourite ball with him, which he fell asleep with after we were playing.

Sonic with his ball in the bedroom
Sonic

But despite the bad weather, the Woodpecker finally came back! We haven’t seen him or her since last year in June. It just kept raining and raining, and he was busy digging for bugs and worms in the trees, especially the broken off branches.

After it stopped raining for just a little bit and even the sun almost came out, we could see him have a little rest on the tree right across from our balcony.

Woodpecker003
Sweet Woodpecker having a rest after it stopped raining

Woodpecker001

Woodpecker002
Not long after he had a rest, he was busy in the garden again

I also have a video of him trying to sort out his wet feathers after resting on that branch before:

But we got another surprise! This year, the Woodpecker did not come alone! No, this year it’s a pair! Now this sweet pair are feeding each other and helping each other get food. We see them visiting the garden every day and they might have a nest somewhere close by.

It’s the sweetest thing and we feel so very lucky to be able to see birds closely like this.

The sparrows and the Great-Tits are just as cute. They have their nests near by as well and we’ve seen the babies once they start flying, or trying to. The cats absolutely enjoy their Kitty-TV, as do we.

Sparrow close 001
The feeder at the balcony. I took these photos from our bedroom window with zoom.
Sparrows at the feeder 002
Great-Tit about to land
Sparrows at the feeder 003
It’s busy like this in the morning and later afternoon
Sparrows at the feeder 004
This is the newer and bigger feeder with 4 seats. There was too much complaining and chasing with just two seats on the smaller feeder before lol.

I’ll post about our weekend as well, but in a separate post.

We hope you had a pleasant week! I’ll catch up with you all in a bit <3

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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 · The Cats · Videos

A rainy cold and windy spring. The cats want some sun!

Like almost all over Europe, it’s been mainly cold, windy and rainy this spring. Again and again, the alps got snow, and the temperatures dropped as the ice cold wind came through. We did have a few really nice and war days, but they were usually just a day between rain and cold.

Cats all over miss the sun, as do their humans. Ralph especially does not like the cold and so we keep the heat going. It’s just that sometimes I have to turn down the heat, because I get hot so easily, but then Ralph feels a bit chilly. The heating we have is awesome and really creates a lovely warm apartment. So it’s all lovely and nice in our home. But the cats, especially Murli, would love to be able to go in and out onto the balcony as they please, but it’s too cold to leave the balcony door open. The same goes for the windows. I put a cat safety net on the windows in the summer, so I can leave them open and the cats can hang out there, enjoying the fresh air and the sun.

I always think about what else I can do to make the cats happy, so I got them a board with a cushion on it (this one), to create an even surface for them to lie on. Because the window sill on our living room window isn’t even and has different levels. This window design is typical for old buildings like ours here. This is what it looks like:

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Sonic on a photo from last spring last year

And now with the cushion board, they have a comfy little place to relax or watch what’s going on outside:

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Samantha on a sunny morning

I have to wrap a towel around it, because otherwise Samantha would rip the cushion to shreds lol.

But isn’t she a sweetheart? She loves it on there. After I took this picture, I filmed her for a bit as well:

(Excuse the dirty window. We just had a construction site creating a lot of dust, and then it rained…) She loves the soft board and now she can finally lie down at the living room window properly. it’s lovely to see that happy little girl <3 Murli and Sonic enjoy it just as much.

The other new things I got for them are two water fountains / water dispensers for cats. Because it keeps the water clean all day. The absolutely love it and drink even more than before. It’s awesome. Sonic is the one who has the longest drinks and so it was easy to take a picture with him drinking.

Murli, Samantha and Sonic are all doing really well with their medicines. They are all happy and feeling their best. Murli is back to normal now, full of life again, happy and  talkig a lot, and following me around. She is really busy watching the birds at the moment. I feed them and have two bird feeders, one in the bushes and the other on the metal pole for our washing line on the balcony, so it’s not right in or near the balcony. Murli is out there as much as possible right now with the cold. But we did have a few warm days, like when I did this video of her.

It’s purrfect kitty TV for Murli. Thankfully she does not try to jump up to get to the birds, she just likes to watch them and talks to them. Samantha and Sonic would not jump at them either.

May 10, 2019 10:27am
Murli
Sonic on the balcony Spring 2019
Sonic watching the birds on a sunny day

Today, the icy wind is still blowing, it’s cloudy and dark and it will probably rain again. We all are waiting for the summer and hope it will come eventually. It’s still spring now anyway, even if it does not seem like it with snow on the surrounding mountains… The following images are of the webcam that is located on a nearby mountain, that’s just outside of the city and about 1400m. That’s why it’s so cold.

I want to go up there with Ralph in the summer, because it’s lovely and I haven’t been up there since my childhood. There’s a restaurant up there which serves awesome sweet things as well. You get up there by cable car, which I really look forward to. The times I was up there as a kid, we walked up or we got taken up by car. So it will be my first time with that cable car, and I’m sure to film and take pictures of it all.

Hope you’re all well! Ralph, the kitties and myself wish everyone a nice day <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.

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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 😺😸😽