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Austria shuts down anything that is not important and people have to mostly stay home – Corona Pandemic Update March 15

Things continue to move faster than I can keep up with. Measures and restrictions that were planned on Friday, kept changing throughout the weekend, because the infection rate keeps going up faster and faster.

As of 3pm this afternoon, we have 860 confirmed Coronavirus Infections. In our state of Styria, they doubled over the weekend. We have 111 here.

Restaurants and cafés were supposed to stay open until 3pm starting Monday, so that people would be able to get lunch there. But since the number of new Coronavirus Patients is multiplying at increasing speed, with 100s more every day over the weekend, the government decided to have all restaurants, cafés, pubs etc close completely. But not just them, all stores are staying closed, except for supermarkets, pet supply stores, pharmacies and gas stations.

Basically, anything that is not needed for daily life, like food for humans and pets, and medications is being closed down. Government offices, that are not needed, will shut down for the public, but they will continue to work behind closed doors, and things can be worked out through phone, email, fax and letterboxes.

The military reserve is being called up

Although I don’t know what they’re going to be doing yet. But I think they will help to ensure the protection of supermarkets, pharmacies and help to keep the peace in the city.

Only 3 reasons to leave the house (enforced)

The government said that there are now only 3 reasons to leave our homes:

  • To get anything that is needed for life, like groceries, medication, pet food. Of course to go to the doctor for medication and treatment that can’t be postponed.
  • To go to work, but this means jobs that are needed to keep the country running. Doctors, Nurses, Firefighters, Police, Military, people working in jobs that are important for the infrastructure (power, gas, water, public transport, delivery of goods, parcels and mail, jobs in the communications industry like phone and internet etc). Anyone that can work from home, has to work from home.
  • The 3rd reasons to go out is to help others. For example, to help disabled or elderly and supply them with food and medications, so that they don’t have to go out to the store, doctor or pharmacy themselves.

This will be enforced by police. So when I go out to the pharmacy as always, I will have the copy of my current prescription with me, as well as the receipt that shows that I paid for it, just because it proves which pharmacy I’m going to.

There are high fines if groups of people are found to hang out outside and walk about for no good reason. People are supposed to go out by themselves for important things.

No going for runs, no going for walks, no hanging around outside, except to go straight from A to B. People are allowed to walk their dogs though.

Parks and playgrounds are closed, as well as anything else that isn’t necessary.

At first, people were asked to adhere to it on their own. But as I expected, there were still way too many people who are not taking it seriously. Especially in Vienna, people went out to parks in large numbers, sitting together in groups, walking in groups and hanging around in groups. Even parents went to the playgrounds with their kids. Basically these people were doing everything they were begged not to do.

Many of the groups that were hanging around in parks and the city for no reason were the usual troublemakers.

In Graz, the 2nd largest city of Austria (Vienna is Nr. 1), the streets were pretty much empty. But there were people who ignored the pleas from the government to stay home, just not as many as in Vienna. Most groups were hanging around in the bad areas of Graz, like always.

So within just a day, it became clear that the lock-down and the restrictions would have to be enforced.

For now, people walking alone will not be stopped or asked where they are going, only groups. But depending on how people behave, this might change. I’m expecting many more restrictions and the lock-down of cities and areas, to stop the movement of people and stop the spread of the Virus.

Since it can take up to two weeks for people to actually become ill from the Virus, and many will still have become infected before the restrictions, and they’ll also infect their families most likely, the peak of the outbreak will most likely be in about 3 weeks. I’m no expert and have no idea, but maybe that’s about how it will be.

One thing is for sure, the drastic measures are now going to stop more people from becoming infected. So hopefully, after 3 weeks, we will see the effect of it in decreasing numbers of new confirmed cases, while the number of people who recovered will have increased.

More news: Germany is closing it’s borders with Austria

Germany will partially close its borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg and Denmark as it steps up efforts to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

What Saturday night looked like from the main square webcam

The main square in Graz, which is normally a very busy place on a Saturday evening, was very empty, except for a few people. The main square is usually always busy, especially during the weekend, since it’s right next to an area with a lot of pubs and clubs. But at 7:41pm, only a few people were out that evening. Nothing would have been open anyway.

How we’re doing

Neither Ralph, nor I are surprised by the measures the Austrian government is taking. Seeing how things are going, it was to be expected. I am actually glad that they’re putting these restrictions in place, because then hopefully, the outbreak can be stopped.

I feel very tense and anxious, just like countless others, but I hope we can get through this alright.

Our street was again extremely quiet. The building itself is quiet as well, you hardly hear anything. Only for our sweet cats the world is like always, at least for the most part. I’m certain they can sense how tense I feel.

It’s rather cold, unfortunately, but the sun was shining. So the babies were able to enjoy the sun for a little on the balcony. Samantha enjoyed the sun at the window and Sonic on the bed.

Lisa and Hero
Samantha at the bedroom window

My anxiety treatment

That’s what the bed is like every day and every night. I’m able to cuddle myself between all the cats, and then I feel a whole lot more calm. Ralph usually goes to sleep later than myself, but he is able to get in as well. Sonic, Hero and Lisa usually pile up around me and on me, while Samantha cuddles up to Ralph’s legs. Once everyone is in bed, I feel relaxed enough to sleep well for a few hours.

It’s now 11:40pm, and I’ll go to bed after publishing this post.

I’m sure tomorrow will bring many changes again, as well as sadly another huge increase in confirmed cases. But maybe soon, there will be good news again. Until then, stay safe, stay home if you can and keep in touch. I’m thinking about everyone, and send out lots of love and hugs.

Love, Natascha & the cats 💕

Everything · Murli the cat · Our friends · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

Thank you all for your love and kindness after the sudden passing of my sweet girl Murli

You all have been so sweet and your many comments all over WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and the Emails mean so much, I can’t even describe how much. It helped my broken heart to keep going.

Internet problems since last WednesdayI just want you to know that we’ve been having really bad trouble with our internet since last Wednesday. It got so incredibly slow, that no site would load properly, or time out altogether. Trying to comment failed mostly and the few replies I got out took multiple tries. Due to my phone internet running on the same network, it had the same issues. Many people in Austria had the same problems with the same provider these days, which is probably due to the big changes they are working on. Thankfully it seems to be working again today and hopefully, it stays that way.

I will reply to all your kind comments as soon as I can, starting tomorrow and during the next days.

Thank you so much for creating this beautiful card for Murli, Sherri-Ellen and BellaDharma and for your thoughts in your blog post. You’re purrfect friends and fur family and we love you both!

BellaDharma LadyMew for Murli
BellaDharma and LadyMew’s card in remembrance of sweet girl Murli

Many of you knew Murli and me for years. I shared so many posts and photos about our everyday lives and what we’re up to, way back before I even knew Ralph. Murli and I made so many wonderful friends, who became really close friends. It does not matter how far apart some of us are living, we feel close to each other and due to how we share our lives with each other. We all had our hearts stolen by each other’s furbabies and feel real heartbreak if one of them passes on. You all know very well about how I feel, so I don’t even need to describe the deep pain I feel in my heart.

It really is thanks to the love and friendship that I keep going. It’s all of it… My love for and from my other sweet furbabies Samantha, Sonic, Hero and Lisa, and of course the love for my wonderful caring and loving husband Ralph, and the love and support of all of you kind friends. Otherwise, I think I would have just lied down in bed and give up for a while.

But I keep my head up for my other kitties and Ralph. It’s not good for the kitties if I cry constantly and give into my heartbreak. I keep busy by caring for everyone and pouring my love on all of them.

It was difficult when everyone slept and I could not go online in any way to reach out or reply to any of you, due to the internet problems. It’s the quiet hours that are the most difficult, which is why I still can not sleep well. It’s only once I become so exhausted from lack of sleep, that I can get some hours in. Eating is another challenge.

I did not expect it to happen so soon. In fact, I was sure we would have a decade or even more left with Murli. I was hoping she will reach her 20s at least.

The only thing that is a slight comfort, is to know that Murli just slept away. She simply laid down to sleep and passed away. Her body had no signs of distress or pain, she was just like she always liked to sleep when she lied down by a heater.

And so I keep on living, carrying the love for Murli in my heart for the rest of my life, together with my beloved family, Ralph, Samantha, Sonic, Hero and Lisa.

The last couple of days

I have candles burning in between the window panes for Murli and I will keep having candles burning for her at the least until the new year. Sonic also loves watching them, as he absolutely loves lights.

CandlesforMurli

CandlesforMurli2

In our home, it’s not just Ralph and me who have been sad and missing Murli. Murli was loved by Sonic, Samantha and also the babies Hero and Lisa. There was something special about her, something that made other cats feel comfortable around her. Everyone wanted her friendship. Sonic especially loved Murli, he really did. It was obvious that he felt very sad for the first couple of days.

Sonic_watching_Candles
Sonic watches the candles I put in between the window. I put them there for Murli. As a sign for her that we’re thinking of her, that we keep a light going for her. The candles will be burning all the way until the new year at least.

Sonic, who is a pretty vocal kitty boy normally, was very quiet, hardly a peep from him and he kept to himself, just sleeping mostly. Though he did eat and drink properly thankfully. But anytime he did get up from sleep, he would walk around the apartment, looking everywhere for Murli. Sniffing at everything that had her scent, trying to follow it, hoping he would find her. He kept that going for a few days but has given up now. Though I am sure he is still missing her. He is thankfully though much more himself again. Sonic bonded with Hero and Lisa as soon as he met them. I think the friendship he has with the siblings is doing him well now.

20190818_Murli_Samantha_02
Murli and Samantha relaxing

 

Samantha always enjoyed hanging out with Murli on the balcony in the summer, for hours and hours. I don’t think she even realises exactly what has happened yet, due to her not walking around with her cone. She hasn’t been around in the apartment except on the few cat bed spots she wants to be at.

PoorSamanthaWithCone
Samantha with her cone these days

Regarding her cone, I was not able to use anything that covers her stitches, due to them being wire stitches, as they had to be strong after she ripped out the initial ones. Anything on top of these would make it more difficult for healing, due to the wire stitches getting stuck in anything and with Samantha’s body movement, it would cause irritation. It also helped to not cover it, because it had to drain a bit.

I will use something different, like the wonderful suggestions I got, for my sweet little girl Lisa, when she gets spayed.

We’ve been to the Vet with Samantha today: Everything has healed really well! The stitches have been removed! There is only a little crust hanging on by a little corner still, which is slightly bleeding if it’s being pulled at. It’s only superficial. But she has to keep her cone until tomorrow morning, just to give it a tiny bit more time. As soon as I get up tomorrow morning, I will free her!

Hero and Lisa on Bed
Hero (left) and Lisa

The babies Hero and Lisa haven’t been here long enough yet to be impacted as heavily by Murli’s passing. But they too loved Murli right away. They enjoyed hanging out with her looking out the balcony door, or the bedroom window to watch the birds. They were not worried about her or obviously felt comfortable around her right away. It was so cute to hear them talking to Murli with friendly meows, with their tails straight up.

There was a special moment with Hero and Murli after she passed – Not long after I had found my sweet girl Murli lying on a blanket next to a heater, after she had passed away in her sleep, Hero came along and lied down beside her. Then he took one of his front paws and gently laid it on one of Murli’s front paws. It was very special and words are not doing justice to how it was in reality.

Hero and Lisa are special. They were meant to come into my life at the time they did. I’m sure an angel was looking out for us, knowing about what is going to happen. Maybe it was my beloved Mama?

These two sweet kittens went through so much already in their short lives. They almost died themselves from starvation and dehydration after being abandoned. Hero with his severely injured and infected leg was so very close to death. If they had not been found when they did and by the right person, who did everything to save them, they would not be here. But now they are, and I gained their trust with lots of patience and love. They are healthy and thriving! Happy and feeling right at home with us.

Their lives just started. Murli will always be part of our family, always present in our hearts and minds. I know we will be reunited again once I have to go, but until then, I’ll treasure every single day with the ones I love, as every moment is special and will not return and you may not get another chance.

Love to all of you.

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 · Murli the cat · Pictures · Social media

January 7, 2017 Ice cold Caturday

The temperatures dropped lower yesterday and even lower over night. An ice cold wind was blowing all day, and the cold stung and hurt in my hands within just a few seconds, just when I opened the window for a short period to get fresh air in. At night, at about 10pm, the wind was even colder than during the day and it was a clear sky. Which meant of course that the temperatures are going to drop even more over night.

These ice flowers formed yesterday. It was 10pm when I took these photos and the temperature was -8°C / 17.6°F

Over night the temperatures dropped even more of course. I woke up at about 5:30am, while it was still dark outside and I could hear by the sound the tram makes on their rail, that it must be ice cold outside. Because when it gets really cold, they make much more noise in their rails. During more mild temperatures you can’t hear it at all from where I am. It has been very quiet over night, the street empty. No one wants to walk around in these temperatures lol. I also find things sound kind of muffled when it gets to -10°C / 14°F

Yesterday, Friday, was a holiday here. And the delivery with Murlis food for the month arrived today. Of course I got her some more toys again…😹

January 7 2017 10:05am

January 7 2017 10:11am

Yay and she’s all over them! Happy Caturday Murli! And Happy Caturday to all my pals on cat blogs, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook 😸💗💗💗💗

More photos on my new flickr: flickr.com/photos/catlady-natascha