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We are staying at home for another month – March 23

Hello dear friends! If you read my other update from today, about the situation in Austria, then you know the COVID-19 numbers are still increasing faster and faster in Austria.

That is why I am so glad I won’t have to go out, for nearly a month. In the beginning of the Pandemic, I was out my mind from worry about Ralph potentially catching the Virus. Now that I see how well our government is handling this crisis and that patients are not left without their medication, I feel a lot better. We have what we need at home, including my medicine and of course more than enough supplies for the cats. I’m much more at ease, especially because it keeps Ralph safe when I stay at home and avoid people altogether.

There’s no getting bored in our home anyway. Not with the 4 cats and each other, and the internet, which lets us connect to our friends and lots of entertainment.

Every day is a lovely day with our cats

As soon as I open my eyes in the morning, this is usually what I see…

Hero 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 · The Cats

Just letting you know we’re fine! New update post coming tomorrow.

Hello my dear friends! I hope all of you are well and safe.

Lisa preventing me from using my laptop during the day ;-)

I’m sorry I didn’t reply to all the comments yet. I have been extremely tired every day this week, that I didn’t get to do much aside from the normal daily tasks of every day life. Ralph thinks it must be the anxiety I’ve had for the last 3 weeks, where I felt absolutely stressed out, worried and upset.

But I am much better now, because everything is going to be fine with my medication and I will also be able to stay at home for the next 4 weeks. Which will keep Ralph safe.

I’ll have another update post up tomorrow. Lots to talk about, lots of news and lots of cat pictures and just sharing how our life is going right now.

For now, I will go to bed. Can’t wait to get back to reading everyone’s blogs, writing my own post and replying to your comments in the morning. Let’s hope I will feel more awake then.

As always, please take good care of each other and yourselves! Stay healthy and at home if you can.

Big hugs & purrs!

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

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 · The Cats

Update about Lisa’s Spaying Surgery

Oh it was a long day! Especially for poor Lisa. I wanted to let you all know that she is fine and the surgery went fine, no problems.

I went to pick her up from the Vet at 4:45pm. It took a while though until we were able to leave, since there was a little emergency dog who was being treated, when I arrived. It was about an hour later than I finally got to pick up sweet little Lisa.

But I knew that everything was fine and she was doing well, so I didn’t have to worry.

Lisa was wide awake, and freaked out. She was struggling, so it wasn’t possible to put the pet shirt on her, that is her size and made for after surgeries, to prevent them getting to the surgery site. So for now all that was possible to quickly slip on was the dreaded cone.

Of course she’s upset about having a cone now. But I will try again tomorrow to put the protective garment on her, as at least she would be able to move freely and be able to use all her senses. With the cone, the whiskers are of no help, the hearing and especially the directional hearing is impaired, as well as her view.

I wish it would be easier to put something like that on a kitty.

I will let you know how it goes and how Lisa is doing over the next days.

Anyway, I am going to bed now. Lisa is staying quiet on the window in the bedroom, one of her favourite spots. She’ll come into the bed later I’m sure.

I’m just glad that both, Hero and now Lisa had their neutering / spraying surgery behind them. Now we look forward to when Lisa is healed up and won’t need a cone or protective garment.

Good night from us! Lots of love, and thanks so much for all your lovely comments! Will be replying as soon as I can.

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.