Last Friday, May 31, in the evening, all of a sudden, a little baby Redstart landed on our balcony. It’s a Common Redstart to be exact. It wasn’t there just moments before and unfortunately I did not see it fly up to our balcony, or down to it, from a nest higher up. It must have just left it’s nest that afternoon, to learn how to fly.
With the baby bird on our balcony, I knew why I could hear Redstart’s flying all over the garden and calling relentlessly, seeming quite upset for most of the day. They must have been looking for their baby and weren’t able to find it for hours. I had been wondering what was going on with them all afternoon.
A little later I tried to take a picture from the bedroom window, but that wasn’t all that easy through twice the amount of fencing from the balcony. But you can see the baby’s red tail:
That little one was just sitting still, not moving for a long time, except for blinking it’s eyes. It stayed quiet as well. It was already getting dark when it started calling out, as the parents were near. Finally they were reunited again and I was able to watch the baby as it was being fed on our balcony. I was watching it all from our bedroom window, which is to the right of the balcony and set a bit farther back. Unfortunately it was too dark by that point to get a proper video or photo.
Since I was not sure how well that little one was able to fly at that point, I did not want to risk it getting scared and flying down onto the ground. Because they can flutter down at first, but not really up. So I left the door closed and nobody was allowed out, neither Ralph, myself or the cats. The balcony was to be off limits for as long as the little one would decide to stay. It would have been dangerous if it would have sat on the ground all night, unable to fly higher again. But the baby bird was safe on our balcony, as it’s too high for even a cat to jump onto it.
With the balcony door closed and the blinds all the way down, there were lots of meows at the balcony door for a while… From Murli.
Here is a video I took with my camera, shortly after I saw the Redstart baby sitting there. That little bit of baby bird fluff that’s still on it’s head is totally adorable:
Before the video with my camera, I just took a video with my phone, not knowing if I would have time to get the camera. The special thing about that video is that you can see one of the neighbour cats hiding in the high grass, stalking. The kitty was actually stalking pigeons that were down on the ground, but she looked up once she saw me and the baby bird.
The next morning, I got up early and looked out of the bedroom window first thing, and the baby was still there. But once I got into the kitchen and carefully looked out under the lowered blinds of the balcony door, it was gone. A few minutes later I saw it on the ground, getting fed by one of the parents. I saw it was able to fly about half a meter higher into the bushes.
Later that afternoon, the parents were calling for their baby again, flying all over the garden, looking everywhere. I was able to film the Mum when she was near the balcony and once on the balcony. Thankfully they found the baby shortly afterwards again.
Since that day, the parents and the baby are together, and there is no more upset calling and flying around by the parents. I hope I will see the young bird again soon, and hopefully get a photo or video of it :-)
The quality of the photos and videos isn’t perfect, but it’s still a lovely thing that I wanted to share with you all.
Murli, Samantha, Sonic and me wish you all a lovely day!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 <3
Like almost all over Europe, it’s been mainly cold, windy and rainy this spring. Again and again, the alps got snow, and the temperatures dropped as the ice cold wind came through. We did have a few really nice and war days, but they were usually just a day between rain and cold.
Cats all over miss the sun, as do their humans. Ralph especially does not like the cold and so we keep the heat going. It’s just that sometimes I have to turn down the heat, because I get hot so easily, but then Ralph feels a bit chilly. The heating we have is awesome and really creates a lovely warm apartment. So it’s all lovely and nice in our home. But the cats, especially Murli, would love to be able to go in and out onto the balcony as they please, but it’s too cold to leave the balcony door open. The same goes for the windows. I put a cat safety net on the windows in the summer, so I can leave them open and the cats can hang out there, enjoying the fresh air and the sun.
I always think about what else I can do to make the cats happy, so I got them a board with a cushion on it (this one), to create an even surface for them to lie on. Because the window sill on our living room window isn’t even and has different levels. This window design is typical for old buildings like ours here. This is what it looks like:
And now with the cushion board, they have a comfy little place to relax or watch what’s going on outside:
I have to wrap a towel around it, because otherwise Samantha would rip the cushion to shreds lol.
But isn’t she a sweetheart? She loves it on there. After I took this picture, I filmed her for a bit as well:
(Excuse the dirty window. We just had a construction site creating a lot of dust, and then it rained…) She loves the soft board and now she can finally lie down at the living room window properly. it’s lovely to see that happy little girl <3 Murli and Sonic enjoy it just as much.
The other new things I got for them are two water fountains / water dispensers for cats. Because it keeps the water clean all day. The absolutely love it and drink even more than before. It’s awesome. Sonic is the one who has the longest drinks and so it was easy to take a picture with him drinking.
Murli, Samantha and Sonic are all doing really well with their medicines. They are all happy and feeling their best. Murli is back to normal now, full of life again, happy and talkig a lot, and following me around. She is really busy watching the birds at the moment. I feed them and have two bird feeders, one in the bushes and the other on the metal pole for our washing line on the balcony, so it’s not right in or near the balcony. Murli is out there as much as possible right now with the cold. But we did have a few warm days, like when I did this video of her.
It’s purrfect kitty TV for Murli. Thankfully she does not try to jump up to get to the birds, she just likes to watch them and talks to them. Samantha and Sonic would not jump at them either.
Today, the icy wind is still blowing, it’s cloudy and dark and it will probably rain again. We all are waiting for the summer and hope it will come eventually. It’s still spring now anyway, even if it does not seem like it with snow on the surrounding mountains… The following images are of the webcam that is located on a nearby mountain, that’s just outside of the city and about 1400m. That’s why it’s so cold.
I want to go up there with Ralph in the summer, because it’s lovely and I haven’t been up there since my childhood. There’s a restaurant up there which serves awesome sweet things as well. You get up there by cable car, which I really look forward to. The times I was up there as a kid, we walked up or we got taken up by car. So it will be my first time with that cable car, and I’m sure to film and take pictures of it all.
Hope you’re all well! Ralph, the kitties and myself wish everyone a nice day <3
As I wrote yesterday, Murli and I had an appointment at our Vet this morning. After a night of waking up all the time, I was seriously tired and sleepy when I got up. I feel like I haven’t woken up properly all day and still feel the same.
I put Murli into the carrier and off I went on my bicycle again, with the carrier hanging on my side with the shoulder strap. Murli does not complain and remains quiet while in the carrier and this time I didn’t record our trip on the GoPro. It was a grey morning and an icy cold wind was blowing. Murli was covered under her blanket in the carrier, as she always does. She likes to hide underneath it.
Our appointment was at 10:30am and when we arrived at the Vet, the waiting room was empty! So we didn’t have to wait long at all. The waiting room filled up quickly though after a while.
The Vet petted her a while to calm her down and then had a look in her mouth. Murli never likes it, no matter how careful the Vet is, so she started hissing and growling. Unfortunately, it wasn’t clear which of her teeth was causing her that pain, and all of them need to be sorted out.
If it would have been just one obvious tooth, it could have been sorted our right away today, but because that’s not the case, and the teeth really aren’t good, we will come back on Wednesday again. Then, she’ll be sedated and her teeth will get sorted out. I will bring her to the Vet at 11am and leave her there 😭.
The good news is, she’s in very good health with her Thyroid working fine again thanks to the medication, her weight is perfect, her heart and other organs are fine, so everything should go well. Of course I’ll be all nervous, waiting for the call to hear I can pick her up again. But it has to be done, as she’d be in pain if it doesn’t get sorted out. Poor girl!
She got a shot of antibiotic and a shot of pain medicine at the Vet. I also have another pain tablet for her for tomorrow.
Murli is fast asleep now, and not in pain.
Here is a video I took today while we were in the waiting room. She was giving me little mews and trying to hide under her blankie as usual.
Samantha is doing a lot better too! She has not been throwing up and the runs have stopped.
Sonic is fast asleep, but he’s been doing well too. It will take a bit longer to find the best way to handle the symptoms of his auto immune disease. He’s having a course of medication for a month and then we’ll see. But he’s certainly not as sniffly anymore and he’s a happy little boy!
Thank you all for your lovely comments! We will keep you updated on everything. Ralph, the cats and me wish all of you a nice week!
The time flies by as fast as usual… or faster even than last year? We’ve been doing just fine and are still enjoying our life together with our cute little family.
We both got worried about Sonic though, because he became really sniffly and his eyes were running. He really had trouble getting air through his nose. So I made an appointment with our Vet Lady to get him checked out. And after Sonic, I planned to get Samantha checked out properly as well, since she started having days where she would be throwing up for a few hours and then have the runs. It would usually last for less than a day and then be fine again for a bit. Though recently those bouts happened more often, therefore she needed to go to the Vet too.
Murli had already been to the Vet towards the end of 2018 and got diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism. Since then she had to get a tablet once a day to get it sorted out, which she will have to get for the rest of her life. Murli was doing very well with it and it was obvious she’s feeling great. The second thing with Murli is her teeth problems. She started having problems with her gums and teeth, and had to be sedated to get the worst sorted out in 2016. In the fall of 2018, she lost one fang.
On to the details of the recent Vet visits…
On Monday, February 18, 2019 I nervously wrapped Sonic in a blanket to pick him up and put him into the carrier. Once in the carrier, I freed him of his blanket so he could move. Instantly I felt so bad, because he really was meowing so loud, wanting to be let out again. But it had to be done, and so I quickly went outside with him, waiting for the Taxi to come.
Thankfully the Taxi came quickly and we arrived at the Vet a few minutes later. Sonic had stopped meowing as soon as I was outside with him and he remained quiet the whole time we were sitting in the waiting room, which wasn’t very long.
Ralph and I had anticipated that Sonic would be really difficult to keep still on the table, because he is usually so frightened that he tries everything to get away and run off. Though, none of that happened. The Vet was able to lift him out of the carrier with no problem at all. He kept still, not trying to flee at all. He was just looking around a little bit. Even his heart rate was completely calm and his muscles didn’t feel tense either. The Vet was able to check him out properly without any problem. He was fine as she carried him off to be x-rayed in another room, and he was fine when he came back. Even during the blood test, he didn’t even flinch, and even closed his eyes. When everything was done and the carrier was put back on the table, he got in all by himself. It was the most amazing thing that he remained as relaxed as he was.
So I called a Taxi again and arrived back home in no time. As soon as I entered our building, I could feel Sonic starting to move in the carrier… He knew he was home, even though we weren’t in our apartment yet.
I instantly sat the carrier on the bed to let him out, and I tried to film it as well:
He was really such a brave little boy!
About two days later we got called with the results. Turns out it was like the Vet thought anyway… He’s got an autoimmune disease which causes his symptoms. He got medicine for it now. Nose drops that are to be given as needed, in case his nose blocks up again and he got tablets that are strengthening his immune system, which he has to get for a month. Since I can crush that tablet, I just put it over his dry food, right at the top. He doesn’t mind it and eats it all up without a problem.
Still, we will have to see how he is doing and he might get more medicine later on if it’s not improving enough.
We had already planned to get Samantha to the Vet next anyway, but after she had a really bad night of her throwing up repeatedly, I made an appointment for her the next morning. On Saturday, February 23, 2019 I packed poor little Samantha into a carrier and hung it around my shoulder and got on my bicycle to bring her to the Vet. The reason is, I am just as quickly at the Vet as I would be with a Taxi, it’s free and most importantly, and I usually feel really really uncomfortable with the Taxi drivers, who mostly bombard me with all kinds of questions, and often get very personal, or worse.
Anyway… Samantha always meows when she gets put into a carrier and she does NOT stop. Or rather, it will be quite a while before she stops. I recorded her meows on my way to the Vet. I was talking to her the whole way from leaving home to the Vet. She was looking at me the whole time while meowing. I felt so bad!
Below is a video I recorded as we were leaving the Vet. Just imagine the same pleading meow from that video going on the whole 10 minutes of our trip to the Vet and me constantly talking to her, responding to each of her meows. Poor little girl…
After we arrived at the Vet Samantha got quieter. Though, there was another cat in the waiting room, a boy. If he meowed, Samantha did as well. If Samantha meowed, he started again too. Those two went back and forth like that… Once we got called in, Samantha seemed a bit more calm. She didn’t struggle on the table with the Vet and was just as brave as Sonic. Though her heart rate was a bit quicker. She was checked out and everything was looking really good. She had perfect teeth, and according to the Vet, seemed like a much younger cat, because she was in such good shape. Except for her poor bowels though, which appeared to be having a problem. Samantha got a shot of vitamins and antibiotics.
When it was time to go home, and she was put back in her carrier, Samantha started meowing again… She did the whole way home. I did not film our way home and just left my camera in the bag. I just have a short video of her while we were outside near my bicycle, shortly before leaving for home.
Yesterday morning we got the call with all the results from the blood test, which confirmed the suspicions that Samantha has chronic inflammation going on in her bowels. Otherwise, the blood test results for her were perfect. No other problems at all.
Today I picked up Samantha’s medications at the Vet. As soon as I got back home, we tried to give Samantha the first tablet halve. I put the half in a bit of meat spread, made a little tiny ball and put it in her food, as that always works with Murli. But Samantha’s tablet probably has a smell to it that she can detect right away and so she ate everything BUT the bit that contained her tablet. Ralph held her while I opened her mouth and put the tablet in. I tried it with food and treats first, but she ate everything BUT the bit containing the tablet.
Next, I tried to put it into a little treat. But again, she ate everything BUT the tablet. So we decided we will just have to put it into her mouth… Which is something neither of us wants to do and I’m always getting really upset having to force anything with the cats. Though it could not be helped, she really needs the meds. So while Ralph held Samantha, I opened her mouth and put the tablet (still wrapped in a bit of meat) into her mouth and then closed it. Thankfully she swallowed it. I was so worried she would hate me now… But she doesn’t! She still gives me head rubs and everything. Unfortunately, she has to get those tablets twice a day… Oh dear.
Towards the end of last year, Murli has been to the Vet a couple times and like I wrote before, she was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism. She’s been on medication for it since then and is doing very well. She gets her tablet every morning with her food. I use chicken meat bread spread and put her little tablet in it, forming a little tiny ball. Then I just put it on top of her food and she’ll eat it all up. It has been working perfectly and she didn’t have any side effects either.
Aside from her Thyroid, she’s in really good health. Well and her teeth problems. I will bring Murli to the Vet again soon, to get her blood test done, to check on how the medication is working and if she needs a change in her dose, and to decide what to do to take care of her teeth. I don’t want her to be in pain, but I am really worried about her being put under anaesthesia. But thankfully we have a really wonderful Vet, who will only do what is necessary, with the least risk to Murli.
For now, we will just have to see how all of them are doing. Hopefully, the medications all work for Samantha and that she can gain some weight again.
There is a lot more that I need to write, and there are more photos and videos to post. But this post was just for the cats and it’s already really long!
Thank you all for reading and still coming by, despite that my updates have been so far apart. Hope everyone is doing well, and their furbabies too!