I hope you all are doing well and the Covid19 situation is improving where you are.
I’m so excited because I’m starting to be fully active again online these days. There is A LOT to catch up on, but I’m happy to do that.
Since I don’t want to make it a long rambling story, I try to make this update as short as I can.
I’ve been feeling better regarding the daily migraines, which are now down to about two a week on average. Sometimes 3, sometimes less than 2. It’s thank’s to Vitamin B2 in high doses, and Magnesium and Q10 in normal daily amounts, that I’ve been taking and responding to well. Now, when the weather is nice and sunny, without any changes, I’ve had a migraine-free phase of over 2 weeks, which is a miracle almost. Everything is better than having a migraine every single day, or one that goes on endlessly without a break for many days.
Since things can’t be always perfect, something else happened… The internet went silly. Again. We changed providers in December 2019 and it was great for a while. But for some reason, the 4G router, which connects to the internet via mobile phone towers, started having reception problems that got worse, around February. Then the bandwidth itself was getting awful and the speed was too bad to even try and do much online. Thinking it could be due to the lockdown and everyone being at home, I just waited and hoped it would get better. Unfortunately it didn’t and instead it got even worse.
At the same time, my old iPhone was starting to show it’s age, unable to cope with the apps that are getting more demanding on older phones. My phone would shut down or crash when trying to take pictures, or trying to write anything on WordPress, or on other sites. At least I was still able to make phone calls with it! 🤣 So with the internet being awful, my phone being unusable for internet as well, we needed to get it sorted out.
I had us changed to a landline internet connection, which is mostly all fibre optics by now. I was not sure what to expect, but it’s amazing. We’ve got a plan that costs us the same as before, but now we have reliable and fast internet. It’s a huge difference. Since the new router does not have to be near a window for reception, it’s in the hallway, in the centre of our home. Therefore I have now WiFi all throughout our home, including out on the balcony.
Ralph also encouraged me to get a new iPhone as well, which I did. It’s the first time I ever got a new and current iPhone. I usually always bought an older one. But since even the older ones last me many years, this new one will last me even longer now. I’ve been having way too much fun with it. The photos and videos it takes are stunning. I can finally record videos and take photos with a phone in low light conditions.
Of course, I’ve been taking 1000s of photos and videos of the cats within a few days. Also, I can now comfortably post from my phone and do anything I used to only do on the laptop.
What’s going on these days
We enjoy to sit out on the catio (Balcony) as much as possible. Now I can even blog and do other internet things from out there thanks to the new router!
Hero and Lisa spend the most time outside. Like sweet Murli, they want to go out onto the balcony no matter if it’s raining, cold, storming, hot or ice cold. Hero and Lisa even flop down or sit down right in a puddle!
That’s why I’m going to try and see what they do if I put a basin of water out on the balcony on a hot day. I’ve seen them play with water and I’d be curious to see what they do if they have the possibility of actually going into the water.
As of today, the weather has been like summer again, but with storm winds. Now in the evening, it has calmed down and it’s now a hot summer evening.
All week before the sky looked mostly like this and it was rather chilly…
But if the weather is too bad, we just enjoy our time in our home. The kitties can still watch kitty-TV from the bedroom window, as it’s the closest to the bird feeder.
I will end this photo-rich post now, before it gets too difficult to load for some.
Now that I can post a lot easier and with internet that works all day and night, I’ll post a lot more frequently, but shorter posts, just like so many of you do as well. Little updates of our daily life.
It’s now nearly 10pm and I am looking forward to bed. I’m not necessarily going to sleep, but I can be online on my new phone too! It’s so much comfier in bed, with kitties around me.
Ralph will be watching some videos on the laptop or a movie on the TV.
I hope you had a good start into the new week! Sending love from us all and purrs from the kitties 💖
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 everyone! Where should I even start? Well, in short, we adopted 2 more cats into our little family… The nearly 6 months old kittens, Lisa and Hero!
The exact date of their birth is not known. It was Ralph who came up with the name Hero for the sweet little boy. They already had temporary names, Nero and Lisa. Ralph had no idea at first that they had these names already, and came up with Hero for the little boy. When you read their story below, and what he had to endure, you understand the name. He’s our little Hero, for surviving it all with Lisa. I’ll keep Nero in his full name, but we’ll call him Hero for short, so it’s Nero the little Hero and Lisa.
The whole story…
On Saturday, November 2, 2019, I read about the two kitten siblings, who had it very rough until they were found and nursed back to health. Like it happens all the time, and every time is one time to many, everywhere, someone “got rid” of their kittens by simply setting them out by the street. They had to fend for themselves for who knows how long.
About two months ago, they were found in the midst of the rubbish of a construction site. In all, there were 4 kittens, each of them in a very bad state. Dehydrated, starving and the little boy Hero was extremely close to death. He was found with his right back leg severely injured. He was probably hit by a car, or some other horrible thing happened while they’ve been out there by themselves. Hero must have been in so much pain from that badly injured leg, and that for who knows how many days. Thank God these sweet kittens were found in time, as they surely would not have been able to stay alive, in the state they were in, for much longer.
It was Helga, who owns her own rescue and does it all by herself with the help of donations and foster homes, who brought the kittens to the first available Vet right away. That Vet then wanted to put sweet Hero down right away! But Helga wasn’t going to allow that and wanted him saved. So, Hero’s back right leg was amputated and everything else was done to treat all the kittens medically. Then they all were nursed back to full health in a foster home. They cared for them wonderfully, as all the kittens are now perfectly healthy and full of life. Hero’s amputation site healed without an issue and the fur has almost completely grown back by now as well.
Two of the four kittens have found a home already, but Lisa and Hero were still waiting for a loving home. Helga expected that little Lisa would have maybe found a home after a while, but Hero would have likely been left behind. Not one person was even interested in Hero, or both of them in the two months since they were rescued. Even when she mentioned the two kittens to people that were looking to take cats, declined. I ended up being the first and only person to be interested and sweet Hero and Lisa.
When I read about Hero and Lisa on November 2nd, I didn’t even have to think twice. In an instant, I knew deep in my heart that I wanted both of them to have a forever home with us. On that same day, Helga and I had a phone call and agreed that she would visit us the next day (Sunday, November 3rd) to get to know Ralph and myself and see our home, to make sure that the kittens would have a good home with us.
While we were waiting to hear if we would be approved to take in the kittens, I was all over the place. I messed up that Sunday’s dinner and 3 of Ralph’s coffees. Ralph has his coffee black with two sugar cubes. I put milk in one coffee, put 6 sugar cubes in another, and no sugar in the 3rd and had it go cold as well. It was funny.
Soon after we knew, we would be able to take Hero and Lisa. The big day was on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 the kittens were brought to us at around 6pm by the awesome Helga!
That whole day I was so excited, messed up coffee, and did some shopping for the kittens and Murli, Samantha and Sonic. It was awfully rainy that day, so when I went back home from the shop with two cat toilets and a big bag of food, toys and kitty litter, I had no arm free from an umbrella. Even though I only had to walk from the tram stop to our home, I was soaking wet when I got home…
I just put everything down in the hallway. These are the two new kitty toilets I bought that day.
Murli knew something was up anyway…
I got everything ready for the new family members and then, finally, Helga came with Hero in Lisa in a carrier. We had them come out in our living room, where I had prepared an area where they would find everything they need close to them. We knew from Helga that Hero and Lisa were still very shy and afraid of humans. I knew that they would just hide and feel scared, not knowing what’s going on. But at least they would be able to see/smell the food right there, see a kitty toilet nearby and have places to hide and toys to play with, should they feel like it.
You can faintly see the little tabby boy Hero in that photo. Lisa was near Hero, but underneath that footstool. They stayed like that well into the night, and we left them, not wanting to bother them.
Ralph stayed up until about 3am, while I had gone to bed at midnight, feeling really tired. Of course, I could hardly sleep anyway, always listening for what the cats are up to, all of them. So in the early morning, about 5am, I got up to see what the kittens have been up to.
How Samantha, Murli and Sonic are reacting to Hero and Lisa
Lisa is hardly visible, but she’s on the kitty tree, at the second level from the top. Samantha had previously smelled them already, but that morning was the first time she saw one of the kittens. Lisa wasn’t really worried over there. Samantha was stunned, like she could not believe what she saw and wondered about what these kittens were doing in her home all of a sudden.
Samantha was very curious about them though, and she wasn’t too upset, behaving normally and doing everything she always does. She’s still coming to terms with new cats being in her home and getting used to it. It’s very similar to how it was when Murli and Samantha came together in this apartment the first time. Back then it took a few weeks for everything to become normal for her and Murli.
Murli is also very curious about the kittens, but she’s not upset one bit. She’s behaving exactly as she always does. She leaves them alone, and only watches them from, and sneaks after them, to peek around the corner at them.
Sonic is the way he is, a boy who doesn’t get upset easily. He also LOVES other cats and is always friendly to them, even if they hiss. So Sonic made friends with Hero right away, the first time they met nose to nose, they became brothers. He’s trying to get closer to Lisa as well, but she’s still a bit worried, but it’s getting much less every day. By now Sonic, Hero and Lisa hang out together on the bed with me in it!
In all, there haven’t been any big problems with Murli, Samantha and Sonic accepting the new family members. It’s all pretty like I expected it to be, knowing them.
Very late on the evening Hero and Lisa arrived, I decided I feel better with the balcony door secured. So in the dark, cold and pouring rain, I started putting a cat safety net onto the frame of the balcony door. I can easily put it up and remove it, but it’s safe, not even a kitten can squeeze past it. I just became too worried about the little ones suddenly running on the balcony and trying to climb the fencing and falling off the balcony. I will soon secure the whole balcony with a cat safety net, so that they can go out on the balcony safely. Up until now, the fencing I put on the balcony railing was enough, as we didn’t have to worry about Murli, Samantha and Sonic jumping onto the railing.
Deciding to secure the balcony door
Secured the balcony door with a cat safety net
The first morning after their arrival, we hear them running around and playing in the living room for a while, before hiding under the footstool again for most of the day. But the next evening, about 24 hours after their arrival, they were starting to explore the apartment and played with all the cat toys along their way.
So I sat down on the floor in the hallway, and got them curious with a toy. They came closer and I was able to play with them for the first time!
Otherwise, the kittens were very shy and very afraid of humans. But we’re able to gain their trust slowly, every day a little bit more. During the first 4 days, they would run away as soon as we walked nearby. But that distance before they would run was getting shorter and shorter. Hero and Lisa were also starting to follow us, peeking around the corner to watch what we were doing.
Hero and Lisa
Sonic and Hero
Sonic started joining in when I was playing with the kittens, which is so awesome. The picture on the left is Hero and Lisa. The one on the right is Sonic and Hero.
And so the days went by, until it’s now more than a week since their arrival! These last two nights, Hero and Lisa even came up on our bed for a while. Last night, after going to bed, Hero and Lisa both cuddled up against my legs, which were under the blanket. It was so cute. Sonic was there as well, to the right of me, as he usually is. The following photos in the slideshow are from Tuesday, in the late evening. I was playing with them before going to sleep.
Samantha and Murli usually prefer their baskets, so it’s perfectly normal for them not to be on the bed anyway.
Hero and Lisa had lost their frightened expressions after the first two days pretty much. By now they are feeling so much more at home and enjoy watching Kitty-TV from the bedroom window. We’ve had constant rain, so the window looks mucky again even though I cleaned it about two weeks ago.
Hero is running just as fast as Lisa, despite having only 3 legs. He’s getting around so well! But I tried to help him out and make it a bit easier for him to get up on things, by putting in-between steps to higher up places, with chairs, cat ladders and footstools etc.
I also have a video of them playing around the kitty tree on Monday morning. It is a bit dark, as it was another awful dark day and I had only opened one side of the curtain, because the babies were sitting behind the other half, watching the street from the living room window. Later I sat down at my desk and these two started playing. So I just got the camera out and started filming anyway.
There is still more that I could write and post, but I will just put it in my next post. Every day is exciting now, with something new happening!
Like Hero and Lisa coming up to our hands most of the time now and sniffing. I’m really looking forward to them trusting us enough to give them a nice brush and cuddle.
Murli, Samantha and Sonic are getting just as much love as they always do. I love all of them so much! I’m now spoiling 5 cats and loving it! Ralph adores Hero and Lisa so much as well!
Love to all of you! Thank you so much for reading!
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 ❤