Starting today, because of the coronavirus, in Vienna there is now a compulsory registration for all customers of gastronomy. This does not apply to take out items. Name, telephone number and/or email address has to be registered by the establishment on a paper form. A friend of mine told me that such a system is already in place in Germany and many people provided false names. She told me that she will not provide her email address because she wishes not to receive any future advertisements. My husband does not want to register and therefore he says we should always do take out. Today we went to get some coffee and sweets from Starbucks as take out. Even though it had rained a little before, we sat outside somewhere on a bench on a street nearby eating and drinking. I would like to value and protect my private information.
In Summer when my husband and I took care of seven cats, we tried to at least once daily play with them. Not all of them participate all of the time and there are also days when they are more and then they are less playful.
But a grey tiger cat, the biggest one there and apparently the boss, always played. His way of playing was quite dramatic, he ran, jumped, climbed and used all sorts of strategies to catch the prey. That was very loud and energetic and he was quite good at it.
Another one, also with a grey tiger pattern, sometimes played. His way of playing was more fragile like his body build. Standing on two legs and turning with ease trying to catch the prey. How elegant!
Yet another one, a slightly bigger black and white cat, also enjoyed playing but his style of playing was not always the same intensity. It took a long time for him to get serious. Maybe he was the type to need some “warm-up time”.
But the second most successful catcher of prey after the grey tiger was the youngest cat of all seven, whom we named “Scar-chan”! Even though he is always clumsy, when playing he was quite good! He could move quickly and he did not miss the target. Other cats however, except the number one tiger, did not enjoy it too much. If others next to Scar-chan were too slow and he caught the prey right before their noses, then they got angry and suddenly attacked his face! How unjust! Scar-chan got punished by others because of his marvelous talent. Every time after such an attack he did not want to play any more. I thought that I had to take some action. I started thinking that maybe I should play with Scar-chan separately…
One day when I was wearing a dress with some rope hanging down, one of the cats played with it. That surprised me because that cat never played with us. Apparently he has a preference for playing with a rope. I got the idea to have a rope in one hand and play with him and in the other hand to have a ribbon and play with Scar-chan at the same time. And my husband used the toy to play with other cats in the meantime. That was so effective, all cats were playing joyfully! But my husband and I were very tired afterwards.
In Summer my husband and I took care of seven cats. The family came back from their vacation and we do not really have to take care of them anymore. One day before yesterday we passed by their window. One cat was there. He is the youngest of the seven cats and is often bullied by older cats. Often he has some scratchmarks on his nose and so we named him “Scar-chan”. He actually has quite a beautiful name given by his owner but the name “Scar” comes to us more naturally. During summer always when we opened the door of their apartment, he came running toward us to greet us. One day before yesterday when he saw us at the window, he surely thought we would come in and so he ran inside towards the door. We called after him “We are not coming inside! Stay here!”. It was too late and he did not come back. Later we therefore felt remorse and had to think of him often. How long did he wait for us at the door? When did he notice we would not come in? We thought from our heart “Sorry, Scar-chan!”.
Since sometimes there is no one at home during the day, the owner gave us permission to visit the cats then on such a day. Therefore we came today to see them! When we opened the door, the cats came to us slowly. Maybe they did not think someone would come at this hour. “Scar-chan” also came to greet us but not running as usual. Obviously he did have some thoughts in his heart, behaved a little in a reserved manner. We apologized to him and pet him a lot. Also we gave some snack treats to all of them. Afterwards we wanted to spend some time with them sitting on the sofa. “Scar-chan” jumped on my lap and eventually started sleeping there. He must have forgiven us…. We will be back soon. We love you all!
“Homicide Hunter” is an American TV programme which is also shown quite often in Europe. A retired Colorado Springs homicide detective by the name of Joe Kenda speaks about his cases and actors act out those scenes. In the intro Mr. Kenda says that he solved almost 400 homicide cases. Despite the grandiose and beautiful scenic depiction of the Rocky Mountains in the intro is it shockingly high number and quite concerning that there was such a number of cases. Since it is all based on true stories, it is very convincing. Therefore his words from the intro “If you kill, I will find you” resound deep in my heart and because of his piercing eyes I think that I would not want to be found by him, I will never commit homicide! Yes, he really seems intimidating.
If one hears that he was involved in so many cases, I get the impression that such investigators do not look at people without suspicion. Also one might think that because of seeing so many disturbing things they too will become cold-blooded. On the contrary, through this programme it is evident that Mr. Kenda and his colleagues are caring compassionate people with deep understanding and warm hearts. I sometimes had to cry too while watching him tell his stories with tears in his eyes. I really have to say that I have much respect for those investigators putting in so much effort for their cases. I think that this work can be based on justice and love for humanity. I want to give thanks to those people doing such a job. Often people talk about self-righteousness of police and I do hope that all police would be like Mr. Kenda.
I think that this programme not only shows “homicide”. Because “Homicide” is the result of a cause. Those causes are many and diverse. Not only family matters, relationship problems but also social problems such as racism or poverty etc.. One should consider many different aspects. This programme shows how deep and close those problems of the human world are to us. That is why Mr. Kenda’s words “anyone could commit a homicide” and “I suspect everyone” are credible. That is also why his words from the intro “If you kill, I will find you” carry much weight. For that I thank him from my heart.
One of the TV shows I often watch, is “Vermisst” (missing). That is a German programme showing the search for missing persons. The German journalist Sandra Eckardt, by request from viewers, searches for people those viewers miss and from their heart wish to find. Often adopted children search for their parents or siblings. Sandra and her team mostly only have small clues to begin their searches. Despite strong data protection measures, and often going from door to door, also speaking to foreigners on the streets, handing out leaflets etc.. With great motivation and hardship they search step by step to get closer to those missing persons. Often even across different continents. I admire that work and when she finally finds the missing person, I often cry out of amazement. I also have to say that Sandra’s personality plays a big part in this. I admire that she radiates warmth, friendliness and patience and that also she seems highly intelligent. She is able to speak multiple foreign languages fluently and I think she is truly a perfect person for such a programme. It was really lucky that such a programme could have her participate.
By watching this programme, I could experience many different circumstances of adoptions. Poverty, racism, discrimination, injustice, and also political reasons etc. For example during the time of Eastern Germany, many families who were deemed to be inadequate for child care, were forced to give up their children for adoption. I did not know about this, it is extremely shocking and should not be allowed again.
People with clear family circumstances may sometimes think that family might be an imposition and it would be better without. Those people with unclear family circumstances however feel the urge to clarify their origins. There is just some part missing from this person.
When the participants tell their stories, it sounds rather profound and dramatic. I feel so sorry that those people have to suffer so much. Once someone was looking for his mother in Vienna and Sandra with her team were looking for her. They even came very close to where I live. When I saw a well known area and buildings on TV, I realized that it is not a fantasy programme from some other place but rather reality close to me. When she and her team found the missing mother and when she cried out of surprise and joy, I also wept many tears and thought that close to me someone lives having such a dramatic life.
I often noticed that, when listening to problems of people I know, it is as though those people have quite a dramatic life. Also when I think about myself, every day I find something new, something that makes me angry or amazed etc. There are a lot of surprises and drama in my own life. Like that missing mother living close to me, dramatic life is close to all of us and it could be said that every life is dramatic.
Neubaugasse in Vienna has recently been partly refurbished. This street is close to the famous Viennese shopping street Mariahilferstrasse. Mariahilferstrasse some years ago became a pedestrian zone. But on the same street bicycles as well as skateboards etc. are allowed. On some parts even vehicles are allowed to drive slowly. In the beginning I thought that it might not work because to me a pedestrian zone and a vehicle zone must be separated if a street has a certain width. However I still haven’t heard about any accidents or disputes and so it works! Now this equally famous Neubaugasse has recently been refurbished to a similar situation. Neubaugasse in the 7th district in Vienna is quite famous for free spirit and interesting shops. The elevated sidewalk level on the refurbished part was removed and the whole street has been paved as one single level. Flower beds were constructed and now there are seating options provided. Therefore pedestrians as well as cyclists and baby strollers etc. can use the whole street which I find quite comfortable. That is not all however. The bus line 13A is using this street in both directions! That means people and buses must watch out for each other. Somehow I find that this system is a good match for a street which symbolizes free spirit.
Since the lockdown in Austria starting in March, we live with some restrictions. Whether we like it or not, we have been spending much more time at home. I do watch TV more now at home. From now, I would like to write about some TV programs that I enjoy.
Every weekday before noon, there are zoo documentaries from Germany. I did not think that I would enjoy such a program as much as I do because I had not had a good image of zoos in my mind. When I was a child, we took a school trip to a zoo. To my eyes, I felt sorry to watch trapped animals. Especially when I saw liquid flowing from a camel’s eyes I thought “The camel is crying! “. And so I thought that this camel was surely thinking about home and wanting to roam around freely. How sad he must be! Ever since that time, I did not want to visit a zoo again and even wanted to raise my voice against it. Growing older however, I learned about different aspects of zoos. For example I find it wonderful that endangered species are protected there. Also, well organized zoos take very good care of the animals and provide a good life for them.
Right now on TV there are episodes from a zoo in Munich (Hellabrunn). The show is divided into many segments about different animals and the people who care for them. This was recorded some years ago and has been shown before. Also now I am not watching those episodes for the first time. I love this program. All of the people seem quite nice to me and I am fascinated by how the handle the animals. They work every day despite heat, cold, etc. for the animals and that is surely hard work. Until I had seen that program, I could not feel that zoo activity is very hard and quite costly. As a viewer at home, I can not realize how strenuous it is but I am very thankful to be able to watch those people’s work. I can watch it while drinking my coffee without the smell of the animals…
I think in order to support zoos I would like to sometimes visit. Nevertheless I should keep in mind that actually being free in nature might be best for the animals. I think about humans destroying nature, for example cutting down trees, hunting wild animals, constructing dams, etc…. and that makes my heart sad. At the very least the zoo animals are protected and cared for as best as possible.
This summer, I took care of seven cats. Tomorrow the family will come back. They already look forward to seeing their cats again. One of the owners, a boy, sent a message that he misses the cats very much. I hope that I could care for them well. It was really a nice time with them and enriched my soul. Those cats are so cute, even the shy one comes much closer now and often I have a feeling that his face is smiling at me. The other fearful one shows itself often and at feeding time it seems that he shows “I am hungry”. It was also fun to play with them with toys. I have a feeling that I am their mother. The family said that I could just come over any time to give them some treats. All the best, cats! I love you!