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, 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Hello my absolutely wonderful friends! It took me all that time to finish my post… Unbelievable, but our days just have been that way, where I can’t get anything finished, because so many other things had to be done.
I really have to thank you all again, just so that you know how much all of your kind messages and comments mean to me and how thankful I am for all that support and love.
December 18, 2019
In the morning of December 18, 2019, little boy Hero had his neutering surgery. Everything went well and he did not seem to be in any pain at all. Just a bit tired and so he basically went to sleep not long after we arrived back home. Since we didn’t sleep much that night, we all just went to have a rest… Ralph, I and the cats in the bed.
At some point, I got woken up because my phone rang. It was the Crematory in Gleisdorf, where my sweet Murli had been cremated. Gleisdorf is a little less than half an hour away by car, depending on traffic. I was informed that I can pick up her Urn whenever I want. So I quickly looked up the times for the trains going to the town and told them I would arrive the next day at 11am. The Crematory is close to the train station.
December 19, 2019
In the morning, one of the first things I did was to finally free poor Samantha from her cone. I wanted her to be free of it and able to go to the toilet herself while I was gone for a few hours, to pick up Murli’s Urn in Gleisdorf.
Samantha simply looked exhausted after two weeks with the cone.
Thankfully the train I had to take was one of the local trains, which stop at all the stations, including the one that’s near our home, so I didn’t have to go all the way to the main train station in Graz. It’s not even 5 minutes from us with my bicycle.
The train ride itself lasts about 30 minutes, but it feels much shorter. It goes through the countryside with lots of woods and is really lovely. The train arrived a few minutes before 11am and I walked straight to the close by Pet-Crematory.
I thought I took many more photos from in front of the Crematory, but it seems the photos never saved on my phone. Something went wrong, which had probably more to do with the state I was in.
The sweet Lady I had already talked to one the one a few times greeted me as I walked in. It’s beautiful there. Much more beautiful than the Crematory for humans I’ve been to. It feels comforting as soon as you walk in. Friendly and warm. Not to mention that the people I had talked to and the sweet young man who picked up Murli, have been amazing. So understanding and kind. I knew about them for years and so I knew who to contact right away on the morning of Murli’s passing.
The Lady brought me to the room with Murli’s Urn. As soon as I got there, I greeted her as I always did with “Hey baby” and started crying right away. For quite a while. But they were just so kind there. They leave you alone, or stay with you, however you wish. You can also stay as long as you feel you need to before you leave with the Urn.
They offer to create a paw print on a ceramic and let you decide on the shape of it. I wanted it to be a heart, and the paw print in black, since Murli is a panfur with black paws. I had also asked them for some of Murli’s fur, back when I chose the Urn and paw print.
The Lady helped me to pack it up carefully, making sure it’s safe during my little travel back home. We also talked for a while, as she has cats herself and knows what it all feels like.
And so with Murli’s Urn safely with me, I went to catch the next train home. It definitely feels better now to have her urn back home with us.
It’s still going to be very difficult for quite a while, but that’s what I deal with within my own mind and soul. I want to be my normal and happy self for the other furkids, Samantha, Sonic, Lisa and Hero.
Everyone of you knows what it is like, so I don’t need, or even want to write about the sadness. Instead I want to remember and be grateful for every year, every day I got to spend with Murli my life. Murli was happiness, empathy, love and warmth all packed into a beautiful feline. All the kitties loved her right away. They all felt comfortable around her. When Hero and Lisa first came to us, and they were still absolutely frightened, they were for some reason feeling relaxed and less scared when they were near Murli. Her soul is alive and well and my bond with her will remain forever. I’m so grateful for my life with my beloved little family, which Murli will always remain part of.
We worried a lot about Samantha too, as she was really unhappy with her cone. Also, we think any movement for her felt uncomfortable, since the cut was really deep, since the Vet had to make sure to get everything during her surgery, to make sure weird growth can restart in that spot. Samantha was on pain meds of course, but it might still have been uncomfortable in some way.
Thankfully I was able to keep Samantha healthy during the whole two weeks with her cone; feeding her, giving her water with a syringe and carrying her to the toilet and everywhere else she wanted to be usually. Since she only ate chicken breast, I had to give her a supplement paste in the right amount, to make sure she still gets all the important nutrients and vitamins. When the day came to remove her stitches, Samantha was put on the scale and checked out properly. To my amazement, she had not lost any weight during that time and was well hydrated! The hydration was what I had worried about the most. I knew how much water an adult cat needs every day, and I tried my best to get as close to it as possible. Apparently it’s 50ml for every kg of body-weight.
Samantha started recovering from her ordeal and is doing really well again now. Her scar is healing up great! It’s wonderful to see her happy again.
To do something fun for the cats, I bought a little Christmas tree just for the balcony, so the cats have something interesting to smell at and investigate. They are only out for a few minutes at a time together with us, since it’s way too cold.
The other decoration I had on the living room window, had been on there since the beginning of December. But I kept candles burning ever since the day Murli had passed. That’s what this window looks like:
Later I also put up a tiny little Christmas tree which I decorated and put somewhere Lisa and Hero can’t get to. Samantha and Sonic never tried anything too silly with our Christmas trees anyway.
I bought that little tree where I had bought the bigger one for the balcony. It still smells lovely! Just for fun and because the cats need some decoration they like, I added some colourful mousies as well. Everyone got some nice Christmas gifts and tasty food. The weather station you can see behind the toys is what I got from Ralph for Christmas, since I’ve been wanting one for many years. It’s awesome!
The cats are having fun with their new toys!
Hero and Lisa are great at playing together!
Their new toy was quite helpful in trying to distract the cats from all the noise from the fire crackers and fire works at midnight on new years eve! Sonic of course was not worried anyway, since he can’t hear, but Samantha, Hero and Lisa were worried. Though we did quite well in calming them down and making them feel safer. Luckily, it’s not as crazy where we are. It would be a different story right in the city centre.
I didn’t even look at the fire works, and instead stayed with the cats, comforting them.
The last sunset of 2019 was absolutely beautiful.
And there we are, another year gone by. Actually, a whole decade gone by. But it does not feel like it’s been so long. Despite how fast the time goes by, I am thankful for every second of it. Every moment I got to spend with everyone I love. I am holding on and loving every moment I can spend with Ralph, Samantha, Sonic, Hero and Lisa. And I’m thankful for every single friend I found through posting about Murli and about our life now.
Thank you all for every lovely word of yours and for continuing to visit, despite me not being able to keep up with my replies lots of times. Though I do read and appreciate every single one of them and I’ll reply, even if I’m late.
Ralph, the cats and myself, wish everyone of you happiness for the new year. Wishing good health and wellbeing for human and furry friends, and may everyone be able to spend as much time as they want and can with their loved ones.
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).
On September 5, 2019 is still reached the tree before it sank behind the other houses at 6:14pm (summertime).
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.
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
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 <3
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.
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.
But even if it’s too cold to be out, the cats still have sunny spots to hang out at if they want.
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.
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.