Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

Only took me a week to finish this post…

First, I just want to say thank you to all of you, for leaving all your absolutely wonderful and kind comments! You are always amazing to me, to Ralph and the kitties. Thank you!

Just in general, I rarely get to sit down and write a post in one go, because there’s always something going on that I have to get up for. But I love those reasons, because it’s for Ralph and the cats!

This time, it took me days to write this post was simply editing it over and over again, unsure if I should even mention what has been bothering me.

I’ve already been dealing with anxiety since my teens, but it’s been pretty much the same for many years, not too bad. But since about February it’s gotten a lot worse, which has not happened like this since my teens.

It’s the result of a combination of outside influences, a lot of it probably subconsciously. In the most simple terms, it’s the fear losing control over my / our life in various ways due to government decisions / laws / regulations / mandates / restrictions because of covid.

These fears have always been part of my anxiety disorder, but with the difference that I was always able to realise that it’s just part of my anxiety disorder has no base in reality. Nowadays, observing different western countries (mine included) and their law changes due to covid, I’m not so sure anymore.

My disorder is likely rooted partially in all the hospital stays, treatments and medical check ups throughout my childhood (starting at 5) due to migraines. As a young child, I was totally attached to my Mum, my family and home itself, including my kitty Minky. Most of these hospital stays happened suddenly and unexpected. From then on I was worried every time I had a medical appointment, that I might get sent to hospital again suddenly. To this day I am getting panic attacks if I have an appointment at a new doctors office, especially before check ups and medical procedures.

But back to the present… Where I unfortunately feel as if anything could be changed or mandated all of a sudden. That’s just the way my anxiety has always worked. Everything feels a lot worse than it normally is, by far.

Working my way out of that anxious hole I’m in

With this going on, I could not concentrate well on writing a post or anything, especially in the past month. I just tried to distract myself a bit on the laptop when I had the time, with Sims 4… Which is amazing as distraction! I had Sims 2 and Sims 3 as well over the years. It’s the only game I have ever been interested in. I have lots of kitties in various households in my game… It’s awesome.

In addition, I also tried to relax as much as possible and focus on our life and everything I love and like to do. Basically just try to get on with life and try not to worry. I found some new things I might do as well, like live streaming! As well as posting regularly and staying in contact with you lovely friends.

Publishing posts in a more daily / journal like fashion is something I wanted to do in forever. Keeping some structure and something regular like this might help a lot and I know it would be fun. Even if I can’t concentrate well, I can still do a little post with photos from the day or something.

How Ralph and the kitties are doing

Ralph is doing well, aside from the shaking hands. We’re happy and looking forward to the weather finally warming up for good! Sonic is doing amazing! He keeps slowly gaining weight and he’s zooming around the home by now! He is walking really fast and jumping up on anything with ease! He joins the others on the balcony a lot and on the windows. There are lots of cuddles and washes between Sonic and the others. His digestion is working really well too! I’m feeding him with the syringe still in addition to what he eats on his own. I give him all sorts of pureed meats he loves.

Sonic also has a collar with a little bell by now… He is totally deaf, so he can’t hear it and the collar didn’t bother him at all. He didn’t even feel bothered by it when I put it on him. The reason is that I know when Sonic is moving about or what he’s up to. I still always keep my eyes on him and it gave me a lot of peace of mind being able to hear him when I’m in another room. The other don’t care about the little bell at all and neither does Ralph.

Hero, Lisa and Samantha are doing well too! They are really enjoying the warm sun now and spend a lot of time on the windows and the balcony.

I’ll be posting more soon!

Lots of love from Ralph, the kitties and me! Thank you for being here!

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

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 ❤

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 · Videos

Looking back on our September

Hello everyone! The late evening of October 7 already! Unbelievable. September was a busy month and a month with lots of migraines and fatigue, unfortunately. But as of now, I’m getting into a good phase again, feeling well. Hope it will last a bit longer than the last.

Sweet Sonic is doing really really well! He’s not had any issues anymore with his tummy. His digestion is working like it should now with the new food. He’s happy and playful.

The weather has turned to autumn for good by now. But it started getting rather cold at the beginning of September already. Since then we had more days with rain or heavy overcast than sunny days. Though we had two wonderfully sunny and warm days the previous Thursday and Friday. So the cats were able to enjoy the sun on the balcony again. Sonic enjoyed the sun on the bed, while Murli and Samantha were on the balcony.

Sonic on the bed
Sonic on our bed, enjoying the sun

October 4, 2019
Murli and Samantha

Samantha
Happy Samantha in the sun

Recently it had been too cold to leave the balcony door open all day, even with the sun it had been too chilly. But the cats have to get used to that again for the winter…

Now I will often put a chair in front of the balcony door when it’s sunny, because the girls absolutely love to curl up on chairs in the sun. But especially Murli really isn’t too happy with the door closed most of the time now.

Everyone a the door
Murli right at the door, Samantha on the chair and Sonic sitting behind them.

I recently started to give them kitty grass again and they can’t get enough of it. They just absolutely love it! I only put it down for them a couple times a day, because otherwise, they would be at it constantly.

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As I mentioned, the weather turned cold right at the beginning of September. We had planned to go to a huge Airshow not too far away from Graz, which only takes place every two years. We had looked forward to this one for so long! Though, right at the weekend of the Airshow, the weather had turned from summer to autumn from one day to the next. The temperatures had plummeted, it was raining, windy and the visibility was low. That is why we decided not to go, as we would have been in the cold and rain all day. Hopefully, we can go to a different Airshow next summer!

The Birds

The Sparrows and Pigeons are all quite happy! The swarm of Sparrows is very active and lovely to watch. I feed them every day and they’re not afraid of me, coming really close sometimes.

Sparrow nearby
Cute Sparrow near our balcony

Sparrows
The flock of Sparrows on a bunch of freshly mowed grass, that has been laid around this tree.

The pigeons are coming really close to me too! Most days there will only be one or two visiting. But sometimes it seems they have a party going on and bring all their friends.

Pigeon Party
Pigeon party on our bedroom window and balcony

Of course, it’s great entertainment for the cats inside, when the birds sit on our bedroom window.

Pigeon 2
This pigeon likes to sit on our bedroom window shutters

The Bathroom

Two weeks ago, they fixed and sealed off the area around our shower tap, so no shower water can get into the wall anymore. Also, it was found that the shower tap itself did not even have a problem… That was great, as it made the work a lot easier.

Tomorrow morning, the man from the company who measured the humidity, in the beginning, is coming again to see if the humidity is decreasing. Since the repairs dragged out for so long, it’s kind of early to measure now, since it was sealed off only two weeks ago. But we will see what comes out of that. I guess he’ll have to come again at some point when more time has gone by.

There are many more posts coming

I have lots I want to write about and share! I’ve got many ideas and hopefully my health (migraine, fatigue issues) will be holding up as well as possible, as there is so much I would love to do.

We’ve been doing great and are really happy! Though we feel the summer was too short for us. Ralph isn’t looking forward to the cold winter… But I’ll make sure it’s going to be comfy, warm and cozy at home.

All the uncertainty regarding Brexit isn’t nice and no one really knows what will happen in regards to Brexit, but hopefully things will get worked out. It will already be good to have an end to the uncertainty regarding it.

Hope you’re all well! Thank you for stopping by.

Love and Purrs!