Everything · Pictures · The Cats · Videos

First snow for Hero and Lisa

During the night from December 2 to the morning of December 3, it dumped about 3 or so inches of fluffy snow on us. Unfortunately, our balcony only got what little the wind blew onto the edge, due to the other balconies above and a roof. Hero and Lisa were amazed nonetheless!

Before I opened the balcony door to let them out, I had my phone ready to film their reaction:

December 3, 2020 Hero and Lisa experience snow for the first time!

Of course I have a few adorable photos too!

Hero and Lisa “What is this?!!”

And this is what it actually looked like outside

Can you believe that it’s now a year and more than 1 month that sweet Hero and Lisa came into our lives? They are thriving and happy!

Samantha is doing really well! These days, she loves to cuddle up in the rocking chair next to the heater with her beloved catnip cushion or she hangs out by our desks, watching what we’re up to on the Internet.

Lisa being watched by Samantha on the rocking chair 😽
Samantha watching us 😸

Sonic has a new basket, which we actually put on our bed. He loves it! As does Lisa. She regularly cuddles up with Sonic in the new basket. Hero will then often cuddle up to the basket on the outside.

The black blob are Lisa and Sonic. But I don’t know where one starts or the other ends🤣 I took this pic in the dark with flash, so I woke poor Hero up…
Sonic in his basket 💜

Sweet boy’s age is noticeable. Not by his great blood results and still healthy organs, but he’s sleeping a lot and slower. I just want him to be nice and warm and comfy, as well as close to us at all times. The only worry is his digestion, which is slow. So he’s getting extra fibre and drops which increase the digestive systems activity a bit. It works great! Though he does have days with problems, especially if he got into Samantha’s kibble for a bit. Regarding getting to her food, he can be real fast!

I’ll stop for now, since it’s almost midnight and I am getting real sleepy!

I’ll write another update tomorrow night, about a bunch of things, and the changes that are happening and about how I’m increasingly concerned about the economy and our freedoms.

I hope you and your furbabies are all well! Love to you all 💖 and purrs 😽 😽 😽 😽 💕

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 · 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.

The lockdown is ending now

After Easter, our government announced that by the beginning of May, the lockdown will be lifted gradually. There is a huge difference in how people acted in the beginning of the lockdown and now. People were actually rather stepping into the street than pass you by too closely and everyone was very conscious about everyone else’s proximity and tried to avoid it. This is quite different now, as people are acting almost completely normal again.

During most of the lockdown, the streets were empty and quiet, as were the buildings. There was nobody visiting anyone and hardly anyone was walking around outside. Now I can see people starting to visit each other again and the streets are becoming more lively.

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.

The Government numbers say our state of Styria is by now the 2nd worst affected with 382 active cases, after Vienna, which still has 567 cases in Austria.

Ralph, the cats and I are all well!

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 · Society and News · The Cats · Videos

My medication worries are gone – Update Part 2 March 23

Hello dear friends!

Even if we’re locked down and stay at home for who knows how long, I will always be happy and content with my lovely little family!

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 on me, Sonic farther down to the right
Lisa is usually all up in my face, once she realises I woke up

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

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.

This video has clips from yesterday and today. I could have kept going for much longer too, she just loves it. Here is the link to my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCK1Ls5UurAYojCxqRRveVw

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.

Hero fast asleep in the sun
Sonic and Lisa at the bedroom window
Samantha and Lisa on the balcony last week, a day before it got cold again

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.

The purple circle is Graz, where we are. The other markings show the earthquake. More details to this earthquake at: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us70008dx7/executive

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.

Sending love from Ralph, the cats and myself!

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

Life at the moment – Covid Update March 11

I really wasn’t sure if I should write regular updates about how things are going here in Austria and in general, since Covid is now unavoidable and it’s all that’s being talked and written about in the news and on all social media site and I didn’t want to add to that as well. As people are already getting fed up with hearing about it and nothing else anymore.

But then I thought it’s going to be a record of our life, and it’s the details that I would otherwise forget about.

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 the media is full of panic and fear is spreading from it everywhere, 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.

The late afternoon sun, seen from the balcony with the cat safety net

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.

Hero, Lisa and Sonic. Lisa is giving Sonic a friendly nose greeting and a few licks on his head.
Lovely warm sun! Samantha is hardly visible, but she is in the top left area of the picture, in the shadow, lying on a white mat under the side table. The sun had been there a while ago, but was now gone.
So Samantha decided she would try to get into the sun puddle on the bed.

Our life is going on as always

I’m sure there will be many changes and restrictions soon, like everywhere else. They are already talking about measures that might need to be taken.

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.

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 (yet). 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

I will try to talk to my doctor on Monday, to use all my vacation allowance to get a month’s worth of my pain medication, instead of having to go to the pharmacy every day. Because I don’t want to suddenly stand in front of closed doors at my pharmacy one day and have no pain medicine for God knows how long. I’d rather have a few weeks worth of medication right now, while they are figuring out what to do. At the moment, everyone I ask at the pharmacy, or even at the health department, they have no idea what will happen. None of them could reassure me that I would not end up without my medication soon.

Please stay safe, as some people tend to go crazy in times like these and others are bound to try and use the confusion for their own gains.

Lots of love from us all ❤