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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.

Coronavirus Pandemic update

Now with the temperatures rising, we would normally leave the street-facing front window fully open, with the cat safety net on it, or at least leave it slightly open like in the following photos with Samantha:

But due to Covid-19 worries, we rather keep this one closed. I only open the front window to get some fresh air in for a few minutes, when the street is not busy every day, but that’s it.

The cats always love to sit there and watch the street, especially with the window open. Hero and Lisa didn’t even get to experience this yet, since they came to us in November and it’s just now getting warm enough.

That window is a little more than 2 meters up from the ground. So people could be a source of infection, possibly, when they walk by and happen to cough right underneath our window. The rest of our apartment faces out the back, towards the garden and there are no people hanging around or passing by in the back.

I see that other people with windows even lower than ours, who don’t seem to worry at all and leave their windows open.

The lockdown is ending now, but people started to act like it was over back during Easter

After Easter, our government announced that by the beginning of May, the lockdown will be lifted gradually. Ever since then, people started ignoring the lockdown measures more and more. Well, the majority of people still adhered to it, but the number of people who don’t was increasing steadily.

Every week since, I saw more and more people on the street and I noticed people were starting to have visitors over again increasingly. Some neighbours in our hours, for example, have been doing so for weeks now, even having parties with multiple people over at least twice a week.

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.

Thanks to the full lockdown though, the number of infections has gone down and the curve has been flattened most definitely.

Our state of Styria is by now the 2nd worst affected with 382 active cases, after Vienna, which still has 567 cases in Austria. The numbers are of course lower than what they had been and we only get a few new cases every day.

But now with a bunch of stores opening again, as well as restaurants, pubs and cafes and the end of the stay at home order, I can’t help but feel it’s too soon for all of that. The schools and universities are probably going to open again before the summer break, which makes even less sense, since they would close by the beginning of July anyway.

There is, of course, the requirement for everyone to wear face masks in closed spaces and now there are many who simply always keep their masks on when out and about. The majority of people, however, remove them as soon as they get out of a store, despite meeting up and talking with other people outside of the stores.

It was pretty obvious that the chancellor and health minister would have rather kept the lockdown going for longer, as they have been warned and are still being warned by many doctors that this is too soon and a 2nd wave is being risked. But the pressure from business owners has been increasing and they are worried about the economy. I just think that the economy is going to take an even bigger impact if we get hit by a 2nd wave.

Social distancing is still being enforced as much as possible, but people are now allowed to visit each other again.

Ralph and I are still going to stay at home and I will be the only one going out to get what we need from the store every week or less. I’ve only been visiting one single store close to us, which is never overrun by people and they are disinfecting every shopping cart in front of your eyes and then they squirt a bunch of hand sanitiser into your hands. Everyone wears a mask, which is given out for free at the store entrance. People are also very good at keeping their distance in there. I still carry my own bottle of hand sanitiser or sanitising alcohol with me anytime I go out and I use it a lot.

Ralph, the cats and I are all well thankfully. We will keep doing everything the same way, until the Pandemic is actually over for good, or until there is a vaccination available. I am so thankful that we didn’t get sick when the virus was spreading like wildfire through our country.

But so many other countries are still experiencing the worst of it.

How are you all doing? How are things where you are?

Lots of love from us! Big hugs and purrs!

Everything · Nature · Pictures · The Cats

The Seasons in the garden

On Saturday I noticed just how low the sun already sits in the sky as it slowly sinks below the roof of the house across from us at 4:55pm (summertime). During the summer, the sun is still high in the sky and the tall tree gives us shade from it in the late afternoon, early evening.

Here are a few photos of the sun’s positions

On October 8, 2019 at 5:17pm (summertime) the sun was already vanishing behind the roof. Now, the sun is going down behind the roof much farther to the left, and at 4:55pm (summertime).

October 8, 2019 at 5:17pm
October 8, 2019 at 5:17pm – The sun going down behind the roof of the house across from us

On September 5, 2019 is still reached the tree before it sank behind the other houses at 6:14pm (summertime).

September 5, 2019 6:14pm
September 5, 2019 6:14pm

In the summer, on June 25, 2019 the sun was high in the sky at 5:06pm (summertime) and it would stay sunny for many more hours during that time of the year.

June 25, 2019 5:06pm
June 25, 2019 5:06pm

It’s amazing how quickly the seasons change and it’s interesting to see the seasons change in the plants and trees of the garden. So I thought it might be interesting to post a bunch of pictures showing the different seasons in the garden.

I was worried the number of photos would be too much for one post, but considering I decreased the size of all the photos a lot, it should not cause a big impact on loading time and bandwidth.

Over the two years we lived here, I took a lot of photos of the garden. Many times when it was cloudy, because I just love to photograph clouds and cloudy skies. So it might look like it’s often cloudy here, even though it’s not 😉 Also, the photos are from different years, so things are looking different in some photos, like the small tree in the middle, which was destroyed more and more over the course of a couple of storms.

The season’s changes in the garden

January

January 1, 2019 3:40pm
January 1, 2019 3:40pm

January 23, 2019 8:24am
January 23, 2019 8:24am

January 23, 2019 08:24am Murli
Murli – January 23, 2019 08:24am

February

February 22 2019 2:00pm
February 22 2019 2:00pm

March

03 29 2019 5-27pm
March 29, 2019 5:27pm

March 3, 2019 3:11pm Samantha
Samantha – March 3, 2019 3:11pm

April

April 15, 2018 12:49pm
April 15, 2018 12:49pm

April 28, 2018 Samantha and Murli
Samantha and Murli – April 28, 2018

May

May 28, 2019 9:44am
May 28, 2019 9:44am

May 8, 2019 5:29pm Murli
Murli – May 8, 2019 5:29pm

June

June 4, 2019 1:38pm
June 4, 2019 1:38pm

June 7, 2018 5:22pm Sonic and Samantha
Sonic and Samantha – June 7, 2018 5:22pm

July

July 21, 2019 12:39pm
July 21, 2019 12:39pm

July 9, 2018 9:41am Murli
Murli – July 9, 2018 9:41am

August

August 16, 2019 4:43pm
August 16, 2019 4:43pm

August 24, 2019 9:55am Murli
Murli on the bathroom window – August 24, 2019 9:55am

September

September 9, 2019 6pm
September 9, 2019 6pm

September 20, 2019 Sonic and Samantha
Sonic and Samantha – September 20, 2019

October

October 18, 2019 11:17am
October 18, 2019 11:17am

October 24, 2018 10:36am Murli
Murli – October 24, 2018 10:36am

November

November 13, 2017 10:27am
November 13, 2017 10:27am

November 26, 2017 11:14am
November 26, 2017 11:14am

Sonic and Samantha November
Transported Sonic and Samantha in with the chairs from the balcony, because it was just getting too cold to have them stay out there for long, despite the sun.

December

December 15, 2018 09:09am
December 15, 2018 09:09am

December 2017 Samantha
Samantha on the bedroom window – December 2017

Time change to Wintertime

The cats and I aren’t used to the daylight savings time change. Sonic comes up meowing for me to come to bed at 9pm, because to him, it still feels like 10pm. He doesn’t care that silly humans have silly time changes twice a year. Murli and Samantha don’t care either, they want their breakfast at about the same time. So, of course, they feel like I’m late in getting up. Therefore, I’m getting up at 7am at the moment, since it would be 8am normally.

Just like with the cats, my feeling for the time is screwed up and exactly an hour wrong too. I keep feeling as if it’s exactly an hour later than it is.

Today I had to use my bicycle light again for the first time since last winter. It was completely dark by the time I was on my way home from the pharmacy and grocery shopping at 5pm. It was a dark day anyway, with thick overcast and rain all day. The temperatures are a lot lower now.

In another sign that winter is definitely coming now, they are starting to put up the Christmas lights in the city. Usually, I saw them mount the lights near my old home on November 1st. Though they have probably always started earlier in other areas of the city and I just never noticed it. The huge Christmas tree on the main square will be put up around the 1st of November as well usually and the Christmas markets will be opened soon after. The Christmas lights remain dark until the 1st of December though.

I really can’t believe how fast time goes by. I’m not feeling any Christmas vibes at all yet, but I’m looking forward to decorating our home in a few weeks 😉

Also looking forward to the long weekend! Hope you all have a great week ❤

Everything · Nature · Pictures · Places · The Cats · Videos

Lots of Autumn pictures, the kitties and a cute hedgehog

By now it really looks like Autumn here. Back in the beginning of September, it was just a few leaves here and there, while everything was still green. But within the last two weeks, the leaves really started dropping fast. The temperatures we’re having are great though! Very warm in the afternoons. 20°C / 68°F to 25°C / 77°F and sunny every day. Only the mornings can be quite foggy, and the temperatures overnight and the mornings drop to around 10°C / 50°F or 7°C / 44.6F.

During the day, I don’t even put the heating on.

Foggy Morning October 18, 2019
Foggy Fall Morning

This is one of the foggy early mornings these days. But as soon as that clears, the sun comes out and we have beautiful sunny Autumn days.

Since the afternoons have been so warm, we put everything outside for the cats and us of course, and we’re able to leave the balcony door open and the windows too.

Autumn afternoons mid October 2019
Murli, Sonic and Samantha

Murli loving it in the afternoon sun
Murli loving it in the sun

Samantha and Sonic
Sonic and Samantha

Sweet Sonic enjoying the warm sun
Sonic

But even if it’s too cold to be out, the cats still have sunny spots to hang out at if they want.

Murli in the kitchen
Murli enjoying the sun in the kitchen. The door was only open for a little when I took this pic. It was too chilly for Murli outside.

Samantha on the Cat tree
Samantha loves the little cat tree by the bedroom window. She’s lying on a valerian root cushions. It’s barely visible underneath her front legs.

Samantha_Sonic_SalonWindow
Samantha and Sonic at the living room window in the morning

We have a sweet little hedgehog we often see wandering around in the garden at night, so it was always too dark to get a pic or video. But I was lucky on Saturday and got a lovely video of him/her digging for worms and looking for slugs/snails. He found quite a bit and I hope this sweetie had a nice full tummy afterwards. Unfortunately, the video always loses lots of quality once it’s uploaded to YouTube, even though I record it in full HD.

I picked up the kitties meds from the Vet and I always go through this park to avoid the busy street with my bicycle. This awesome and huge tree is so lovely! It’s so big, I can’t even get it all into the frame (I also can’t go back much farther either…). This tree already looked huge like that when I was a little kid (I was born in 1980). I really wonder how old it really is. When this park was founded sometime in the late 1800s, there were only fields and farms with lots of trees already in place. So this tree could have easily been there before the park.

Autumn_Park_02

October 18, 2019 Park near the Vet
Another area of the same park

The sunsets we’re getting in fall are stunning as well! Here’s a little slideshow of the sunsets in the last couple of days.

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Love from the cats and me ❤

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Sometimes, I can’t find a fitting title, so I just use the current date…

You might have heard about the heatwave in Europe? We did have a few really hot days, but it cooled down to normal levels again for this weekend. Though, the temperatures are rising again and according to the forecast, the coming week will be even hotter than the previous one.

With my ongoing quest to spoil the cats as much as possible, I wanted to create more shade for them on the balcony. So I ordered a cover for the railing, which will shade the floor of the balcony. I ordered this blue and white striped one, because I love things to be as colourful as possible.

Balcony - railing cover June 29, 2019

Of course, I could just mount a cover for the whole length of the balcony railing, but then the cats would not be able to see into the garden as easily. Therefore, I folded the cover in half and mounted it so the cats would still be able to look out on both ends easily. I left more uncovered on the right side, where the bird feeder is.

The mats I had previously used for shade were by now almost falling apart from taking them up and down constantly. With this balcony cover, I don’t have to worry about taking it down all the time, since it’s made for being outside. It’s working nicely and creates full shade.

Balcony June 29, 2019 2

The wooden privacy fence and the big blue umbrella together with the new cover make the balcony really comfortable and also more private, while still giving the cats enough unrestricted view to watch everything going on outside of the balcony.

Balcony June 29, 2019 3
The right end of the balcony, where the bird feeder is.

Then, while I was shopping yesterday morning, I discovered a mat that I knew would be great for the cats to lie on outside. It is quite long and makes it much softer and comfortable.

Balcony June 29, 2019 Murli and Samantha
Murli and Samantha

I still covered the mat with their blankies and they absolutely love it. They’re out on the balcony even more now!

Balcony June 29, 2019 Murli and Samantha 2
Murli and Samantha

Balcony June 29, 2019 Murli
Murli

The reason why we don’t really need an umbrella for the right side of our balcony is this very tall Sycamore tree. In the late afternoon, it will shade the whole balcony. Although there is a span of time where the right side is in full sun for a while, before the sun gets behind the tree, but it’s not too much of a problem.

Balcony - Sycamore tree June 29, 2019

Sweet little boy Sonic prefers to stay inside for the most part. He’s always been that way and usually only stays out on the balcony for a short time, unlike the two girls who stay out there for hours.

Sonic has his favourite spots and also loves to flop down wherever he feels like, even if he is totally blocking the way.

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The nights at the moment

With the hot summer days, people leave their windows open all night, including us. It is normally absolutely quiet in our block, which is really amazing considering how many apartments there are. I can leave the bedroom window wide open all night and there is just no noise and it’s wonderful!

Or it was… The lovely quiet night has been broken up by the screaming and moaning of a woman, every night for the last week.

Edit: I forgot to clarify… It’s not a woman in pain btw… She’s at it with a man and it’s totally obvious, so that there’s no mistaking what’s going on. Seriously, it’s so annoying! We heard a man moaning for a while as well the other night, that’s why I know it’s a woman with a man.

It sounds like it’s coming from the ground floor level of the building next to our building. She is really loud and it will go on ALL NIGHT. She will start at like 1 or 2 am and then keep going until it’s morning. She will stop for maybe 15 minutes in between and then start up again. Of course, it keeps waking us up. I had to close the window last night, because we needed sleep, even though I would really need the fresh air overnight when it’s hot like that. It prevents getting a migraine from stuffy air.

Here is a google maps screenshot of the part of our block where our building is. I concealed the street name with the flowers lol. It’s just safer that way I think since you never know who finds your public images and blog.

Anyway, here it is:

Google Maps screenshot of our block

The blue arrow points to our building and the area of our apartment. The red arrow points to where the moaning comes from. We can’t see the building like that from our point of view, so we can’t be sure which apartment it comes from exactly, but it’s definitely this building.

It’s just crazy! I’m certain it won’t be any different tonight either. I’m currently thinking about what to do if it does not stop. I’ve heard other people calling out to them to keep it down, but she does not seem to care at all.

Some people…

Otherwise, we all have been doing well! I’m currently looking forward to getting all my pain medicine for 18 days, starting the coming Friday. This means I don’t have to pick up my bottles every afternoon from the pharmacy. Maybe we can go up on the mountain near Graz on one of those days and take lots of photos and videos! I love doing things together with Ralph, we always have such a lovely time, no matter what we do.

Have a wonderful rest of your Sunday everyone! The cats are sending out purrs and paw hugs!

Everything · Nature · Pictures · The Cats · Videos

This week on Kitty-TV

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

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

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

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

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

Murli on the chair at the backdoor
Murli

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

Samantha
Samantha

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

Sonic with his ball in the bedroom
Sonic

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

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

Woodpecker003
Sweet Woodpecker having a rest after it stopped raining

Woodpecker001

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

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

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

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

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

Sparrow close 001
The feeder at the balcony. I took these photos from our bedroom window with zoom.

Sparrows at the feeder 002
Great-Tit about to land

Sparrows at the feeder 003
It’s busy like this in the morning and later afternoon

Sparrows at the feeder 004
This is the newer and bigger feeder with 4 seats. There was too much complaining and chasing with just two seats on the smaller feeder before lol.

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

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

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