Everything · Ralph and I · Society and News

Update – We are in a bit of a situation – Maybe you have ideas or can help

Hey my dear friends!

It’s been months again… Where do I even start?

First off, we’re ok mostly and the cats Hero and Lisa are perfectly fine and happy. Ralph has a bad back, after a sneeze, which triggered his old injury to hurt again. I had a very hard time coming to terms with the loss of Sonic and Samantha. I’m finally coming to a better place emotionally though. Aside from the physical problems, we would be perfectly fine. Our life would have gone on as usual, without any problems or additional worries.

But, you have probably heard about Austria implementing a general V mandate for all adults. They first announced this in mid November and it came as an absolute shock. I would have never in a million years expected this. I expected the continuation of the restrictions for not having the V, but not this. (I don’t want to write the word out on purpose, as the backlash can be very severe for saying anything about it.)

We didn’t even know how this mandate law would manifest in the end. For a while, they were even talking about jail time in addition to fines, and then about jail of up to one year, if people are unable to pay. The protest from the wider population was enormous since then and has only kept growing since. Everyone was hoping that the parliament would not vote this mandate into law. Especially because at the time many countries started easing or even ending restrictions and mandates. Also in January it was pretty much known that the V does not prevent injection, so implementing a mandate with the argument that the V would stop transmission, seemed to be unlikely. But, despite everything, despite many law suits that had been filed and the massive continued protest, the parliament voted the mandate into law.

The mandate and the fines: Starting March 15, the government will send out fines to every adult who is found to not have had a V or not to be up to date on their latest V.

The Cov V is now mandatory for all adults. Only pregnant women are exempt from punishment for the duration of their pregnancy. Any adult, who has not had any V, or hasn’t gone for their 2nd or 3rd, will receive large fines, 4 times a year. As with other fines and debts to the government, if people can’t pay, it will be automatically taken from their pay checks, or a government Repo person comes to take anything of worth from your home and possessions. But the jail time is off the table.

The fines are 600€ (679$ or 506£) for each adult and that 4 times a year. So just the first fine for us both will ad up to 1200€. If you try to fight it in court, the fine automatically increases to 3600€, for court costs they say.

Our reasons for not wanting the V: We had decided long before this, that we didn’t want to get this particular type of V for this illness, due to the increased risk from our existing chronic conditions: For me, it’s my chronic migraine, an auto immune disorder (Psoriasis which also affects my joints), Sciatica and a history of blood clots and strokes in my family and chronic fatigue.

For Ralph it’s the Essential Tremor, also Psoriasis, to a lesser degree than mine, and problems in his back with a pinched nerve due to an accident years ago.

After studying the adverse event databases for months, I only found our initial worries confirmed, as neurological adverse events, basically anything related to the nerves, auto immune conditions and cardio vascular issues are the most common. The risk that my migraine would get worse and becomes untreatable is too much of a risk to take, plus the risk of my other issues. The same is true for Ralph’s Essential Tremor. He is already frustrated to be limited in so many things he would like to do. The risk of this condition to get even worse is also too much of a risk. Basically, our risk benefit ratio is clearly pointing in the direction of not having the V.

Despite our issues, we have one thing in common that is working exceptionally well. Our immune system. We rarely get sick. I can’t remember when I last had the actual flu. We also take the right supplements to make sure everything works as best as it can and we are at home the vast majority of our time, besides me going out for errands, my doctors appointments, the pharmacy and the Vet.

There is no possibility for us to get a medical exemption, since there are only 3 medical reasons that can be exempted, and they do not include ours. Though, even if you have one of the few conditions, except for the pregnancy one, you’ll be unlikely to find a doctor willing to write one for the other two reasons, since they are too afraid to be punished, as it happened to so many of them already.

There are no religions exemptions or deeply held personal convictions.

The financial side: There were a lot of expenses in 2021, trying to save Sonic and Samantha, which would not have been a problem, but we didn’t expect the insane expenses with these mandate fines. It’s going to be a huge problem and it will ruin us.

This is why I am reaching out for help after all. I have a little support page for my blog, if anyone is able to help with even just tiny donations: buymeacoffee.com/CatladyNatascha

I was initially waiting in hope for the mandate to be repealed, but nothing has happened.

Our plan for this year: Pay the first fines and hope the mandate will be repealed during that time, due to the problems it will cause. The courts won’t even be able to cope with all these fines and cases and most people will end up losing their homes since they will not be able to pay.

If the mandate is not struck down by mid summer, we will have to make plans to move to another country. This will require even more funds. So I hope to God we will not have to move out of country and only move to the country side within the country, as the rent is cheaper there and things are a bit safer.

To keep you all updated: I am going to start posting small updates throughout the week, to share how we are doing and how things are going. Not just upsetting things or worries, but the cats and their cuteness and just our everyday life to connect with you all. Especially because I know how so many of you miss hearing from Ralph.

I can’t even express how uncomfortable it feels to me to even ask for help. And any help so much appreciated! Don’t worry if you can’t help financially, most people haven’t got much after these last two years. But maybe by sharing my post, someone who can help and wants to help will see it. Maybe you have other ideas for us! And we absolutely love all your wonderful comments! This is why I am glad to have a little bit more energy again, to start posting small updates throughout the week to connect back with all of you and stay in contact. I miss you all.

I’ll post a proper normal update tomorrow.

The support links

Here is the link to my Buy me a Coffee: buymeacoffee.com/CatladyNatascha

(I went back into this post, to delete the fundraising link, since I deleted the fundraiser itself, after the gov at temporarily suspended the compulsory jab mandate.)

Feel free to use either of them, or contact me if you prefer a PayPal link.

You can’t share my blog link on FB anymore unfortunately, because months ago, when I posted a video of the kitties that also had my blog link in it, FB decided to call it spam and ban it. I disputed it right away, but they never reacted to it. No matter how many times I tried to contact them about it, it was ignored.

Thank you so much if you read all the way down to this point. Ralph, the kitties and I send you lots of hugs and love! Hope you all are doing well and everything is fine!

Love, Natascha

Everything · Pictures · The Cats

Sonic – Resilience, tenacity of life and love.

This is going to be a very long post. I tried to make it shorter, but it still ended up ridiculously long. But I can’t tell all of what’s been going on with Sonic in fewer words than in this post.

Sonic and Hero

If you have read the previous post about Sonic, then you know what he went through and how I have been trying everything to have him improve and gain weight. So you know about his problem with constipation…

Another scare with Sonic last week. But now we are hopefully on the right track for this to never happen again.

Last weekend, late on Sunday evening the 31st of January, Sonic started struggling to pass the remaining bit of bowel movement, after passing some hard stool. It was the last bit that the new stool softener couldn’t make soft enough. A while before that, I had to temporarily change his stool softener, because I found that the previous stool softener was the reason why Sonic kept throwing up so often. In addition, of it not working well enough. I am giving him fibre with malt paste to soften his stool now. Which is enough at the moment anyway, since Sonic only gets liquid food (a special formula for sick and weakened cats) and after that he’ll get kitten formula.

During the night from Sunday to Monday, poor Sonic kept trying and trying to pass that remaining bowel movement. He just wasn’t able to do it. To make matters worse, he started throwing up from exhaustion and being upset. (Sonic always throws up as soon as he gets upset or stressed out about something). Every little bit of water he got in, came right back up.

I stayed by his side the whole time, trying to comfort him any way I could, hoping he would try to sleep a bit. Unfortunately, he kept trying the whole night, repeatedly throwing up the water I was giving him. By the morning, he was absolutely exhausted and dehydrated. Since he is still below a normal weight, exhaustion and dehydration like that becomes life threatening.

Off to the Vet

I called the Vet right in the morning and told them what was going on. Before I left with Sonic, both Ralph and I thought that this might be it. Ralph thought he might never see his boy alive again and had to say good bye to him, just in case the worst would happen and the Vet would not be able to save him. I was in a near panicked state, barely keeping it together.

Taxi Driver wasn’t happy with us – I called a Taxi and off we went. But before I got out of the Taxi, and after I paid, the driver told me that I should inform the Taxi company that I would have an animal with me the next time, because he doesn’t accept animals in his Taxi normally and that it has to do with his religion and that animals are unclean, therefore creating a problem for him and others with the same belief. He wasn’t shouting at me or anything, just calmly saying it. But after using Taxis most of my life for Vet visits, it’s the first time ever I heard about anything like it. Especially, it’s just a kitty in a carrier, a leak proof one at that. But now it made sense why the driver didn’t even greet me and kept looking back to Sonic with an annoyed look on his face.

So I got out and into the waiting room of our Vet, which was thankfully empty and we didn’t have to wait at all. I was so worried and expected the worst.

Our lovely Vet took sweet Sonic out of his carrier and had a good look at what’s going on, while I told her all the details. Like I was expecting, there was only one solid and rather hard poo left in him, which he was unable to pass. The Vet gave him two tiny enemas to soften it all up and then massaged his tummy, to break the piece up as much as possible. Thankfully it all worked and it was out without too much difficulties. Although by that time, Sonic’s rectum was all swollen up and in pain from trying desperately all night.

Sonic stayed at the Vet for a few hours

Because of how dehydrated, exhausted and weak he was, the Vet decided it would be best for him to stay with them for a few hours. That way they would be able to give him a long intravenous drip for rehydration, while also being able to keep an eye on him and able to help if he get’s worse. She explained that the subcutaneous drip, which creates a little pocket of liquid under his skin for rehydration, would not be taken up by his body fast and well enough, as his general body temperature was also a bit lower than normal.

Before the access was laid, the Vet listened to Sonic’s heart and breathing, which was thankfully perfectly normal. His heart was beating strong and perfectly regular, and his breathing was normal as well. So the access for the vein was put in, after shaving a small area on a front leg above the vein. That way they were also able to take some blood easily, to check on his kidneys, blood sugar and some other important things. Everything turned out to be fine with the blood results, which was such a great sign in itself. Then through the vein access, he received pain medication as well. An antibiotic was given too, but subcutaneously.

And so Sonic was put into his hospital bed cage / carrier, with the drip attached to the outside of it. The Vet also made him a pillow, because I told her Sonic always wants to rest his head on something. I said good bye to the sweet boy, but felt very hopeful he would be fine. Sonic is always so calm and brave at the Vet and never complains or panics. He seems to trust the Vet fully, as he’s been there so many times already (not just for emergencies though). He didn’t seem to worry or even look distressed.

Just so you know what it looks like… The following photo of Sonic in his a Vet Carrier Cage was taken a year prior, when he was there to resolve his constipation. In the picture, Sonic was put in the Vet Carrier, while we were waiting for the enema he received, to do it’s work. Only last week, he had his blanket with him as well, which the Vet made into a head rest for him, and there was an IV attached to the outside. Btw, Sonic stayed in the recovery room last week, where it’s quiet, warm and the light is dimmed.

Sonic a year ago, in January 2020

I took the tram home instead of another Taxi just for myself. On the way, I told Ralph everything and that I am going to pick him up again in the afternoon.

Back at home, I could hardly sit still while we were waiting for the time to go by, until I could go to pick him up again. Though I was reassured by not receiving a call from the Vet while waiting at home. Because the Vet said she would call right away if Sonic would suddenly get worse, or has to be picked up sooner in case he gets upset and wants to go home.

Though thankfully, the time went by and I could finally go and pick him up. It was a lovely sunny day and not cold. Therefore I decided I would use my bicycle instead of calling a Taxi again. I took an additional blanket with me so I could wrap Sonic up and keep him warm on the way home. Btw, Sonic actually prefers the bicycle rides. He is not complaining much on the bicycle, just in the beginning when I put him in the carrier. In a car on the other hand, he stays upset the whole ride and cries a lot.

Once I was back at the Vet office, I didn’t have to wait again and was called in quickly. The Vet brought Sonic out from the back and put him on the examination table and Sonic was already sitting and looking around, visibly feeling a lot better. His IV was still attached to him. Apparently he started to perk up after the IV had been going in for half an hour. Though Sonic didn’t start to cry or struggle in there. In all, he stayed at the Vet for about 4 hours and spent that time either looking around a bit, or sleeping.

It was such a relief! God was I glad to see Sonic and he was glad to see me too! Sonic got another little drip, but subcutaneous, which would rehydrate him some more over the next few hours. After that, we put him in his carrier and we were on our way home again. This sweetie actually enjoyed the ride home and watching everything interested. It’s not a long ride anyway. Once I got us home, I opened the carrier and let him step out.

Back at home

Lisa, Hero and Samantha all came to check on him. He was still weak and unsteady, but that was no surprise after everything.

Sonic went straight for a drink. A really really long drink and then he walked into the bedroom, followed by everyone.

Everyone followed Sonic and stayed with him in the bedroom

The reason for Sonic’s struggles and the way to the solution

Now we also know what is always causing constipation. Sonic has a slight abnormality in the way his rectum is shaped, which makes it very easy for things to get stuck if the stool isn’t soft enough. The shape also results in the stool getting too big to pass easily once it gets stuck there.

His constipation problems were one of his two big issues that nearly took his life repeatedly. The other issue is the auto immune disorder, which affects his gums and causes a runny nose and runny eyes. Although the disorder is under control, his gums are very sensitive. There are no wounds or anything anymore, but it seems to be a nerve issue that make his gums sensitive in some way, although not painful. This is why Sonic kept losing weight, despite eating. Sonic is also extremely fussy and picky with food, which does not help at all of course.

It took me quite a while to figure out how to stop him from losing weight. Everything I tried to feed him, he refused, due to his pickiness. He just has a little sniff at something and then goes “Yuck, no…” and walks off. Sometimes also trying to bury it before walking off.

For a long time I kept failing when trying to give him liquid food with a syringe in his mouth. He was struggling against it and if I got anything in at all, he would refuse to swallow it and everything would run out of his mouth. A second try after that was always even more impossible. I was considering to talk to the Vet about a feeding tube, but Ralph and I knew that would never work and only stress him out.

Success with feeding – As you know, I’m not giving up. So out of desperation, I kept trying to work out how to feed him with a syringe. For some reason, and by some more trial and error, I finally found the right way to feed him with a syringe. I just have to put the food on the back of his tongue and it’s fine. Not only that! He actually loves it! It’s unbelievable, but he LOVES getting his formula like that now. He doesn’t want to lick it up himself, because he dislikes anything that he thinks is messy. I use a 1ml syringe, so I have to keep pulling up some more milk for him. And you can see that he is looking forward to more while I am doing that. Then amount from the 1ml syringe is just right for a mouth full that he swallows in one go. He’s getting 100ml a day of a formula very high in nutrients and energy.

The improvement was amazing

Just 24 hours after feeding him like that, he had a whole lot more energy. Within not even a week, he was walking fast and steady, no wonky legs, no weakness. On the bad Monday last week, he was so weak, he could not even drink water properly. He couldn’t hold up his head or used his tongue properly, he was that weak. So the difference was enormous to say the least. The formula is Royal Canin’s Convalescence Support support btw. Unfortunately, it’s not being produced anymore and the last remaining stock in the stores is now almost gone. Thankfully though, Kitten Formula is going to work just as well. I’ll probably just have to feed him a bit more of it.

This big comfy chair next to the living room window is now Sonic’s favourite spot. He’s decided to hang out there while he recovers and becomes stronger. I took the photos during the beginning of last week. Lisa and Hero often stay close to Sonic, especially when he was still rather weak. The blankies are on there to protect the chair from getting ripped to bits lol. Sonic also has his little cushions to rest his head on.

How Sonic is doing now

Sonic still prefers to hang out on the big chair by the window. He can see everyone from there and it’s soft and comfy. His body temperature was a bit low in the beginning of last week and we kept covering him with a blanket to keep him warm.

  • Since Wednesday of last week, Sonic’s body temperature is back to normal.
  • Digestion is working and he’s not struggling with hard bowel movements. Sonic also gets up and has drinks of water often.
  • Sonic is walking rather fast and normal again. He jumps up on his chair with ease.
  • He’s interested in things again, purrs and enjoys cuddles and brushing and is even playing when I get out his favourite toys.
  • Sonic’s appetite is huge now and he loves getting fed with the milk formula and enjoys some boiled chicken breast.
Sonic enjoying some chicken

I only had one wish for Christmas and my birthday, which was today, and my wish is for Sonic to keep getting better, gain weight and stay with us for a lot longer! So far it seems, my wish has been granted! I keep praying for Sonic’s wellbeing and I’m thankful that the sweet boy is still with us and still fighting to get stronger! What a boy!

I have a couple more posts coming up that I didn’t post because my attention and mind was all on Sonic. Thank you so much for all your sweet comments and your kindness.

Lots of love from us all!

Everything · Ralph and I · The Cats · Videos

Our 2 New Years Eve Videos

I filmed these little videos while lying on the bed, to be able to film the fireworks from the surrounding apartments. You can see Lisa’s silhouette, when she sat on the window sill, watching the fireworks. Hero was to the right, on a lower level of the kitty tree, because he was worried. Sonic was right next to me, to my left. He absolutely LOVES colourful lights, especially flashing or blinking lights. The fireworks were an amazing sight for him and he was mesmerized by them, not looking away the whole time. He’s deaf, so he isn’t scared or worried about the noise. Little boy absolutely loved it. Samantha is never worried about the fireworks, and she simply continued to sleep on the rocking chair next to the radiator.

Part 2 – You can hear little Lisa talking to Ralph in the 2nd video

There was no official firework by the city. Also, we’re under lockdown Nr 3 with general stay at home order and most of everything closed. In addition, there is a strict curfew from 8pm to 6am, including on New Years Eve. So people launched their fireworks from windows, balconies and patios, even more so than the other years, since everyone had to stay at home.

Thanks for all your wonderful and kind comments and wishes in the last post! You are the sweetest! So glad to have you all. I’ll start replying to you tomorrow.

Hugs!!!

Everything · Murli the cat · Pictures · Ralph and I · Society and News · The Cats

Is it really Fall already?

Because it looks and feels like fall for us here. The leaves are dropping faster and faster and the days are getting shorter, the nights decidedly colder. We had to put the heating on over two weeks ago, for the most part only for the nights though. Thankfully, on most days the afternoons are still warm enough for the kitties to spend a few hours out on the catio.

What we’ve been up to since the last time

Ralph and I needed some more storage space for all our combined stuff in our home. We especially wanted a storage unit for the living room. But the furniture we saw in the stores were not really what we liked. So I went to look for a storage unit from private sellers. There is a very large site in Austria with all sorts of categories of stuff that people are selling. You can find just about anything there. The only problem is you have to pick it up yourself, which isn’t all that easy with large pieces of furniture.

Minutes into me browsing the site for storage units, I saw countless beautiful pieces for a very good price. One advert was especially great since the seller also provided transport for a small charge!

It was a lovely Lady who had to sell a bunch of her things because they were moving into a smaller home and had to get rid of a few large things. So, two weeks ago, the Ladies son and one of his friends came with their huge truck and delivered the storage unit to us! The unit comes in two separate pieces, the top and the bottom. The two guys brought them in and put it together for us. It was all done within a few minutes.

And here it is!

Of course, Hero and Lisa, who are terrified of strangers, were hiding. Samantha didn’t care too much and Sonic didn’t notice anything, since he was outside on the balcony with Ralph.

I had been hoping Hero and Lisa would stay out on the balcony with Ralph, as well, where they would not have noticed as much. It didn’t even take long for Hero to come back out!

Sonic followed Ralph into the living room and had quite the surprise to see the new storage unit there! As you know, Sonic is completely deaf, so he really had no idea anything was going on while he was out on the balcony with Ralph. Hero and Sonic were first to inspect everything!

Samantha came out soon afterwards, and Hero coaxed his sister Lisa out a few minutes later.

The first thing I did was to move Murli’s urn into its new spot in the storage unit. Finally, I had a safe pace for her, where I could also see the urn all the time.

Murli’s urn and her paw print in a clay heart below

Next to Murli’s urn are her favourite mousie, her wooden toy ball, her valerian root cushion, and below is her paw print in a clay heart, that the lovely people from the pet crematory made for me back then. It feels good to be able to honour her physical remains in that way. I know her beautiful soul is watching us sometimes. One day, we will all be reunited again.

Ralph and Hero ❤

That’s my view now when I move my head to the right from my desk ❤️ Hero loves to hang out on Ralph’s desk, and also loves to walk all over his keyboard…

Continuing my crochet and starting to sew!

You might remember that I started to crochet a curtain with a cat motive at the end of last year?

This is what it will look like, although mine will be wider, to fit our window in the living room.

I was working on it at the end of 2019 and when Murli passed, I lost all motivation for anything. I just felt too sad to engage in any of my hobbies. Only by the end of this summer did I finally feel all the motivation come back, to engage in the little hobbies I love again.

In addition, I wanted to learn how to sew my own clothes, as well as mend things and create toys for the cats. Luckily I found a lovely sewing machine and ordered it!

This sewing machine had some really great reviews and wasn’t expensive. Of course, the bag I chose for it has kitties on it!

I also have a few sewing patterns for a dress and a top, that are rather easy and for beginners. I sewed before, just easy little things, but that was over 15 years ago.

Covid

We’ve been at home ever since the beginning of Covid. Ralph does not want to take a chance with anything, just in case. I only left to go buy what we need, go to the doctor for my regular prescriptions and pick up meds for Sonic and Samantha at the Vet. It’s not much different to me than any other year, since I am so limited by how much I can do physically in a day, due to the chronic migraine and fatigue. But I do really miss going for little walks with Ralph.

I’ve only been out for fun about 3 times since August, and that was to visit my best friend Conny and her two kitties.

The current data for Austria

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/austria/

Today

I can’t believe it’s the 8th of October already, because this year went by faster than all the years before. And the previous years felt like they were over in a flash already!

Samantha on the window sill, Sonic on the kitty tree, Lisa on the bed near the tree, and flopped out Hero on the bed.

We had another sunny and warm afternoon. But as soon as the sun is gone, it gets chilly quickly. Some days were cold despite the sun, then the 4 kitties go into the bedroom to soak in the sun. Now that the bed is right beside the window, they absolutely LOVE it. They can lie around in the sun and see the birds while on the bed.

Cuddling up with cats

During the night, I usually have Sonic to my right, with his head next to mine on the pillow and my hand on his side. That’s how he cuddles up every time I go to bed. Lisa and Hero will either sleep along or on my legs, or one of the two will sleep way up on the left side of my head, leaning onto my pillow. Samantha will usually stay to my right and when Ralph comes to bed, she’ll cuddle up on his legs.

My only problem is that I get a bit hot sometimes with all the kitties around me…

I’ll end this post now, but I’ll post another one soon. I will go catch up on all of your blogs now. I hope all your furbabies and yourselves are well!

Ralph, the kitties and I send love to all! Take care!

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

Late night post ;-) and update about Ralph’s blog

First off… Ralph deleted his blog. He felt better that way, because it was wearing on him that his blog is online, but he can’t blog anything himself.

Although I saved his complete blog. I exported the whole blog through WordPress and imported it into a new private blog on my WordPress account. It’s there, 100% complete with all the comments and everything in a fully functional blog, just private. It could be posted on again if Ralph and I find something that reduces or cures the shaking of his hands due to Essential Tremor.

Just wanted you all to know that we’re fine and everything is alright. You can always reach Ralph through my blog and email address, or his email address. Ralph also always reads the comments on my blog posts.

It’s in the middle of the night

It’s past 2am and it’s raining. We’ve had a thunderstorm come in every afternoon since Monday. The rain that started this afternoon is of the ‘constant nonstop rain’ variety. It’s nice to fall asleep to, but not so nice when the kitties want to hang out on our balcony catio all day in the sun and warm weather.

Earlier, Ralph and I were watching a movie and sweet Sonic joined us, cuddling up between us on the couch.

Now, the kitties are all asleep. They were really tired, after playing all evening.

Hero and Lisa started to party early in the day, by getting into a valerian root pouch that they ripped to bits. Then they rolled around in the mess of strewn about valerian root bits on the carpet 🤣 They were all silly and happy from it and having a really great time!

There’s always so much to post about… countless pictures and updates on how we’re all doing. Since that’s accumulating all the time and makes it a huge post in the end, I’ll just try to post often from now on. Just our every day life sure keeps me busy… Ralph could tell you about that and all my silly shenanigans when I am absent minded because I get distracted by cute cats…

So for now I will go to sleep, and post again tomorrow.

I hope you all are well! Stay safe and cuddle your kitties and loved ones 💁🏻‍♀️😽😽😽😽❣️