Recently it was my birthday. In the European horoscope it could be said that the personal new year starts when the transiting sun is in the same position as in the natal chart. I will try to make this new year a fulfilled one. Unfortunately right now there are many restrictions but that does not ony apply to me. I would like to take care of my health and spend this year patiently. I most wish that I can deepen my special field and become a better interpreter.
Previously I have mentioned that now my husband and I are taking care of seven cats. Those cats belong to a boy and his family, whom we are friends with, and they are on vacation right now. I have also mentioned that there are stronger cats and weaker cats. One of them is very much a bully and bosses the weakest one around. Is this really so?
These cats were all stray cats living on the street. In the counryside where the family now is spending their holiday, the boy found some cats over time and took them back to Vienna. Why were they stray cats? Maybe they ran away, were born on the streets, were thrown out in the streets… I do not know exactly the reasons but of one thing I am sure. Had they continued living on the streets, many of them would be dead by now. Especially the smallest weakest ones I don’t believe that they would have the power to survive. On the other hand, the bigger and stronger cats might have survived on the street. Presumably in nature that is the way to survive. To my eyes it may look like being a bully but I think it is the natural animal instinct. Bully cat maybe does not understand that I am scolding him for being brutal towards weaker cats. It might be said that he is living in cat world and I can not judge them with human thoughts.
Nevertheless, they are living in an apartment. Thanks to the family’s understanding they can live well cared for and survive. They must also live together with humans. And so we shall try to get closer and try to live comfortably.
Most of my life I have been striving to become a specialist of European classical singing. It is fascinating music but when I study deeper and deeper I see how profound this music is. There is truly much to study! I could say that good teachers are really necessary and also time and diligence are required as well as continuous studies.
An interesting aspect of this music is, that one studies the same piece for many years. The very first opera aria I ever studied, I am still sometimes studying it. I think that as long as I am able to sing, I will probably often sing some of the the same pieces and I will try to improve.
There are some pieces that I especially love. Therefore I want to master those pieces. Some are quite difficult to sing and many times I had almost given up on them and was thinking that those pieces do not fit with me. In classical singing it is very important that those pieces are a good match with the singer. If there is truly a mismatch one should really leave them be. For this reason I thought many times “This piece is not a match for me!” and wanted to give up on it. But when my vocal technique changes and improves through studying, one day suddenly it becomes possible to approach such a piece. That joy is indescribable! Then I get a feeling that I am being loved by that piece.
That is a big plant in a flower bucket. Starting this year it was put in front of a house. Since June, blossoms have appeared one by one and now it is in full bloom. Recently when I passed by in the evening, I noticed that all the blossoms were closed. I pass by every day and I thought it could not be that all blossoms were withering. I thought “They are sleeping!”. And really the next day during daytime they were back in full bloom. How sweet! Do you know the name of this tree?
Starting about mid-July my husband and I are temporarily taking care of seven cats. They belong to a family we are friends with but interestingly we got to know those people through their cats. This family has a house in the countryside where they went to spend the summer. Since we live very close to their apartment in Vienna, we decided to volunteer as cat-sitters for the summer.
We got to know these cats because they often sit at the window and we especially befriended one of those cats. I was a little worried that I might give preferential treatment to that cat and seem unfair to the others. However when we started taking care of them we immediately felt that the situation is totally different from just passing by their window outside. We feel that the cats need us and we want to make an effort to provide the best possible care for every one of them. This situation developed because we are friends with one of those cats and to him we should maybe show a little more affection so that his pride will not get hurt. That is not so simple however.
It is really nice to spend time with them. Every cat is unique. Character, preference, behaviour, etc… The differences between them are quite astonishing. Day after day we get to know them better and we also see the relationships between those cats.
There are two very shy ones and they even do not let the owners touch them. One of those two in the beginning was hiding from us and we rarely ever saw it. We worried that this shy one would not eat properly . But soon we realized that some time after feeding it slowly comes out to eat the leftover food. We asked ourselves why that was so and then we saw that a bigger cat was bullying the shy one. We wanted to help this cat and at feeding time we started to put food in one spot and while they are eating we put food for a shy one in a different remote spot for it to eat in peace. That one is clumsy and eats slowly. Therefore sometimes other cats already finished their food and come to eat the shy cat’s food as well. When feeding I try to be close to the shy cat so others will not bother it. We think this method works well and we feel that the shy cat shows a little more trust toward us. When we start feeding, it comes out and from a distance looks at us in anticipation. Also it allows us to come much closer than before.
Shy, bully, courageous, lovely… Each cat has its own character and many aspects to it and they show a different side every day. It is so nice to spend time with them and I feel that they enrich my soul. Thank you cats! We will be coming to you soon!
2020 marks 75 years since the end of the Second World War. I was born after the war but my parents’ generation suffered greatly because of it. I heard many terrifying stories about that war from my parents and other older people when I was growing up. Surely there is an immense difference between just hearing about it and actually experiencing it.
I have been living in Vienna for a long time. Through my main activity as classical singer I made the acquaintance of a Viennese professor of music history. He was born in a culture-oriented family and had contact with classical music from an early age on. Especially he often went to the State Opera with great joy to attend performances there. But since he was born a bit before 1940 there was always the looming threat of the ongoing war. In March of 1945 this professor heard the air-raid alarm close to the opera and he and his family fled to one of the the air-raid shelters. After the severe bombing when he could finally come out to look around, there was an unbelieveable sight in front of him. The State Opera’s roof was on fire! He felt his heart burst in shock. I get a strong feeling of compassion for him and I can also imagine how terrifying it must be for a naive child having to observe in flames the building which gave him so much joy and dreams. That is not the whole story. The building next to the one where he was hiding was completely destroyed. All people in that shelter perished.
When I heard that story I could almost not believe it because looking at present-day Vienna it is hard to imagine. But carefully looking at the city, there are many monuments and statues about war to keep the memory alive. I also would like to take those stories of people having witnessed war to heart and cherish them. We must never again wage war.