A fruitful start ;-)

On Friday, April 14, we started our two-day journey from Sweden to our new home in Austria. The cats were amazingly quiet at first and we wondered how long that would last 😉 . But they all surprised us, they seemed quite relaxed and content in their carriers in the backseat, and in the trunk where Noor sat with the dogs. Even the 50 minute boat trip from Rodny to Putgarden (Denmark to Germany) didn’t bother them a lot. There was a lot of traffic in Germany and it started to rain, and rain, and rain… it wasn’t a pleasant journey from there and we were glad when we arrived at our overnight stay not far from Leipzig.

The cats were finally able to stretch their legs and go to the litter box. They were curious and checked every corner of the apartment. The trip was okay for the dogs anyway, they are much more used to longer car journeys and they have their little walk every few hours.

Bye bye Sweden

Our fully packed backseat

The next day we left for the second part of the journey, which was a little shorter. But the weather was still terrible. So no nice views…. And now there was some protest from the back seat, especially from Verona.
Around 2 pm we reached the Austrian border. As with the previous border crossings there was no check so the passage was fast. No long traffic jams or unpacking… thank goodness!

Entering Austria at Passau

Early in the evening we finally reached our goal and it was the first time I saw the surroundings, the small village, the lovely house and the impressive Petzen mountain ‘in our backyard’. It looked so beautiful and peaceful. And finally it had stopped raining during the last part of the journey. It was a great relief that we all arrived safely and without too much stress for the animals.

We now live at the foot of the majestic Petzen

Our stuff arrived a few days later from Sweden and the first weeks were full with unpacking and making the house feel like a home. And of course there was/is a lot to arrange with this new international step.

Everyone was happy when the scratchingposts were set up again

The cats love it but I’m not a fan of this open staircase. It’s also very slippery so we will do something about this to prevent accidents, specially when we will have kittens again

A week before leaving Sweden I gave Verona her last pill. I expected her to come into heat in the last week of April. It’s always wait and see, but on Sunday April 23 I saw the first signs. It continued a few days later and on Thursday 27 (Verona’s second birthday) it was time to give it a try with Ganna.

Both were inexperienced. Ganna wanted to go too fast, Verona was unsure, so it didn’t work right away. A second attempt later in the day got a little further. I had chosen the quiet room upstairs where Ganna was waiting, but Verona seemed to be done with it as soon as I went upstairs with her. Maybe she didn’t like the place?
In the evening I decided to bring Ganna downstairs in the living room to Verona. And they succeeded, within half an hour there were two matings. Later in the evening a third.

The next day there were five more matings and then it was a bit over for both parties. The heat subsided and Ganna calmed down, a good sign.

Verona in heat on her second birthday

And we’re absolute beginners…..

In the living room where it worked. After mating, Verona didn’t roll out like most queens do after mating, but she went quickly into Donna’s crate, haha. I closed it for a while so she could rest from Ganna who was very motivated for the next attempt 😉

Two and a half weeks later, I noticed the first deep pink discolorations on some of Verona’s nipples, a sign of pregnancy. Her appetite had also increased somewhat.

She’s now three and a half weeks pregnant and everything seems to be going well. The kittens are expected around July 1. So exciting again!

two and a half weeks after the matings. The nipples turn deep pink and can be felt more clearly

To be continued….

Ready for Austria

As I write this we live in a house full of cardboard boxes again, less than one year after the last time. We are ready to leave Sweden and ready for our next step in Austria. And ready to finally feel some spring! Even in the very southern part of Sweden where we live it is actually still winter. Snow still comes and goes, and we haven’t really had that spring feeling untill now on any day. It is one of those things of Sweden, the winter is very long…

Yesterday morning even Didi seemed to think…when wil this stop 😉

We have had some ok days, but the temperature has not yet reached 10 degrees this year. But tomorrow it seems to happen!

Ganna enjoying a sunny moment in march

So the house is fully packed again. Of course the cats all were very helpful as expected 😉

Verona checking what’s this all about

The youngsters don’t seem to have stress already but I notice that Kallima and Didi get nervous when I am packing. They get restless and I have to give them some extra attention to make them feel comfortable again. Cats don’t like changes…I feel so sorry for them that they have to go through this again, and a two days ride to their new home.

Sweet Didi ❤


Noortje seems to be very relaxed about everything untill now

I can’t wait to see them all happy again in the new garden. I hope we can make it save for them within a few months. The coniferhedge is perfect, the fencing will be out of sight for the neighbours, so we can do it as we like 😉

And also I can’t wait for myself to go and finally see the house, garden, village, mountains….looking forward to it a lot!

A sunny afternoon

A little bit of snow, not too cold, no wind and a bright sun……..life in Sweden is pleasant on days like this 🙂

Ganna overviewing the winter wonderland

Didi checking the plants

Verona, observing who might be in for some extra fun

Looks like she’s found somebody 😉


Hmmm, it feels a bit cold….

On her way again

Lovely Didi

❤ ❤ ❤

A new year, another new start…

2023 has started grey and quite dark in Sweden. Snow comes and goes and we miss the sun for several weeks now. Maybe it will get better when the real winter starts….but to be honest I would prefer an early spring ;-).

2022 unfortunately ended a bit sad. Half december I was informed that Brasil, the almost 12 years old son of Kallima and Massimo, was diagnosed with Feline lymphoma. Lymphoma is one of the most common cancers seen in cats.
I felt so sorry for his owner Ronald, but what can you do…I knew Brasil was in good hands and we could only hope that he could stay with him some more time. But things went faster as everybody expected and on December 30 Ronald informed me that Brasil was put asleep at the vet that afternoon.

Brasil at the age of two months. Such a sweetheart. He was Ronald’s favourite from the day he was born

Brasil earlier in 2022

After Zaina and Thyrza Brasil is our third ‘kitten’ in three months that now has become a star. Time goes by so fast…I still can remember them so well as a kitten. I am thankful that also Brasil had a wonderful life as a deeply loved family member. Rest in peace dear Brasil ❤ .

A bit earlier we also had to say goodbye to Cheetah, our Galgo Espagnol. She’s alive and healthy but not with us anymore. Donna, our whippet girl was not very happy with her. When Cheetah arrived in 2019 it was ok but after a year or so she began to have problems with her and she started t withdraw in the corner of the living instead of being with us like she did before. Of course we tried to change this, and it wasn’t that Cheetah was agressive to her or so, but it was clear that Donna was not happy with the situation. In October we decided that this was not fair anymore and we contacted the German rescue organisation where Cheetah came from. Meanwhile she has found a lovely new home. We miss her, but Donna is happy and back again in my arms on the couch, like she was before. Have a wonderful new life dear Cheetah, you will stay in our hearts forever.

Cheetah with Verona. Cheetah loved the cats, and specially the kittens. She was great with them and learned them that big dogs are nothing to be afraid of.

We’ll…so far the not so happy news. But the title of this blog suggests also other kind of news…

Seven months ago we moved to Sweden. My husband’s wish, not so much mine but I wanted to give it a try because he had been talking about it for years.
But when you really feel from the beginning this is not the place that will make you happy, it becomes very difficult. For a while we thought about returning to Holland. But then I found a beautiful house on the internet, in Carinthia, Austria. Austria was second on our list. It was in the area we had been thinking of earlier and it seemed the perfect fit. John went to see it and a few weeks later the house was ours!

Our new home near Bleiburg, Carinthia, Austria

A magnificent view on the mountains which mark the border with Slovenia.

A perfect plot for the cats and dogs, and ourselves 😉

Meanwhile our house in Sweden is sold and in April we will move to Austria. Of course there’s lots to arrange again, and Verona and Ganna have to wait for their honeymoon until we get there.

It will also be a long trip for the cats, about 20 hours by car. I am a bit worried about Kallima, she has become a bit older and the switch from Holland to Sweden last june wasn’t easy for her. She needed her time to feel relaxed again.

My sweet little Kallima, 13 years now. She prefers the rest of the bedroom these days. She loves the heat mat I bought her 😉 . I hope the new change in her life won’t be too hard for her.

The coming months will be filled with packing again etc. And I’ll think about the future language for this blog. I speak German quite well but for writing I might prefer English. On the other hand, it would be a good exercise and better for new contacts in my new home country if I choose for German. We’ll see….to be continued 😉

Let it snow….

Seven weeks have past since Zaina died. She is on our minds every day and it is still strange to see the empty spot on the couch were she mostly stayed the last months.

Early december we where informed that Thyrza, Zaina’s sister, also died. The two boys of this litter passed away some years ago so now they are all gone…a strange feeling an idea. I still can remember their kitty time with us so well. It wasn’t an easy littter and we had zero experience so it was a hard time. But they all made it and gave their later families so much love and happiness, they will never be forgotten.

Yara with her first litter; Chipo, Djemo, Zaina and Thyrza. Together again after 15,5 years…

But as they say…life goes on…..and we are lucky to have Ganna to coninue the line of Yara. Ganna is doing very well but he has changed from boy to man in the last month. He is still such a sweetheart but his hormones now tell him he wants a love affair. He looks at his mother and Verona in a different way now and that makes all three a bit stressed. So we keep Ganna a bit more seperated now from them which he accepts very well. Lucky for him he can stay with Noortje in one room, she knows how to handle his amorous ambitions 😉 . Verona was finally in heat again last week but a litter doesn’t fit in our planning for the next few months so she and Ganna will have to wait untill spring.

Ganna and Verona early november, watching the deer around the house

Kallima catching the late autum sun in the kitchen

Suddenly, a bit by suprise it started snowing on November 19…and quite a lot, almost 30 cm in 24 hours! Specially the youngsters Ganna but above all Verona loves it! The cold doesn’t seem to bother her at all, she is outside for hours.

Ganna overlooking the transformation from green to white

30 cm of snow

Playing time in the winter chalet

From wigwam to igloo 😉 Didi is not a big fan of the new decoration

The couch is more her favourite these days 😉

With the sun the effect is magnificent, specially in the forest

After today the snow will start to melt so we are not sure of a white Christmas. We’ll wait and see.

Despite of the difficult and huge expensive time for many of us we wish everybody a merry Christmas and a wonderful, happy and healthy 2023.

Goodbye sweetheart

Not unexpected but still very sadly we had to say goodbye to our sweetheart Zaina.

We knew winter would become very difficult for her because colds are influenced by the seasons, and it was clear that Zaina’s problem increased again since autumn started. In my last post I wrote that we would hope for the best, but inside I knew better…

Over the course of October, we saw further deterioration in her well-being and it became increasingly clear that we had to let her go soon. As the antibiotic treatments early this year did not, or only briefly, help and at the same time were quite taxing for Zaina, restarting with it was no option. She also started to lose some weight, for the first time since we arrived in Sweden.

October 10, the last day that she enjoyed the sun

In the last week of October we contacted the vet in Hogsby to help Zaina. Unfortunately euthanasia here is only done in the clinic. That made me very sad because we prefer to let our animals go in their familiar environment, but there was no choice. On Friday 28 October we drove with Zaina to the clinic where she breathed her last at 15.00 pm. I consoled myself that she had felt me untill her last moment.

Zaina about half an hour before we went to the clinic. She suddenly posed for me this way. Her face shows the fatigue and that she’s not feeling well, but it also still shows her strong personality

Zaina was born in my hands, and she died in my hands. 15,5 years were in between….We are very sad but also grateful she was there for such a long time, and most of the time in good health.

She wil be remembered as the most social cat we have had. Zaina was social with everone; congeners, the kittens who were born here, the dogs, visitors….Zaina had no problems with anyone, and nobody ever had a problem with Zaina. When a kitten from outside the cattery was introduced Zaina immediatly cared about the new resident to make them feel comfortable.

Verona as she arrived last year august. After the first introduction to the house and one or two cats I always give them a rest in the bedroom because they are tired after the trip and all the new impressions. But Zaina always insisted on staying with the new resident to comfort her. I loved how she did that. Not pushy, but just being there ❤ .
Zaina loved the kittens who were born here. As she got older she didn’t play with them but she was often near them…and helpful when needed 😉
She also was always good friends with the dogs

Zaina was also our cuddliest cat ever. Of course all Somali’s are very people oriented but Zaina was VERY people oriented and cuddling was one of her first necessities. Untill she was about ten years old this cuddling was also during the night when she insisted on sleeping half over my face. I finally had to stop this because it was just too much. Finishing my diner beside her was also impossible, she just couldn’t wait to ‘attack’, she just had to cuddle…

Dear Zaina, a few days ago you returned home, as ashes… We reunited you with your beloved mother Yara who left us much too soon in 2011.

Dear ones, we will never forget the two of you. You have brought us so much, we could never have imagined when we decided in 2006 to adopt a Somali female, Yara.

Rest in peace sweethearts ❤ ❤


Verona takes her time…

After a long, dry and hot summer where temperatures went up to 36 degrees in our area, fall has arrived a couple of weeks ago with quite different temperatures. Yesterday it was the first time the grass was a bit frozen in the morning.

Almost three months our garden looked like this. It sometimes made me feel more like living on Crete than in Sweden 😉

What did we do this summer….well, we worked hard for our Somali’s to save a part of the garden for them, so they could enjoy the outdoor life again, like they were used in Holland. We aren’t very experienced handymen ;-)) and we had to deal with some special problems like the very stony surface and the fact that the garden is not really flat. But within about a month we fixed something quite nice for them and everybody is very happy with it.

Because of the stones just under the surface we had to fix the posts on concrete.

Best time for work was late afternoon and in the evening, than there was shadow! The sun is amazingly intense in Sweden, between 11 and 5 it was mostly impossible to work in the full sun.

By mid August everthing was fixed, including electric fencing on top. No worries, they don’t get really hurt when they touch it, and after one try they already know and don’t try again

Time to explore!

The drained pond seemed to be an interesting place, and they still like it.

Zaina was happy to have the lodge back again. One of her favourite places to relax.

View from my room 🙂

Like I told in my previous post we were waiting for Verona to get in heat around half July. Well, she did, exactly half July. I decided to wait for the next heat because we were still so busy at that time with unpacking, the emigration administration etc. . Also Verona did have the pill for little two months wich is not very good for the uterus, so mostly I prefer to wait for the second heat after stopping the pill so the uterus can recover.
I was about 99% sure that her next heat would be around the end of July because she always has her heats every two weeks…….yes, always…, exept when you relay on it of course, haha. So we waited the whole summer…untill finally last week. But, unlike the very strong heat in July, this one was just so and so, and Ganna was hardly interested. So now we have to wait untill the next…I hope it doesn’t take two months again, but I can only wait and hope…

No doubt they do love eachother ❤

And then of course our worry child Zaina. Her problem with the chronic cold has increased again over the last month. We can hear and see that sometimes it’s not very comfortable for her. That makes one think of course…you don’t want her to suffer. But she still has such a good appetite, she even gained weight in July! I’m surprised by this good appetite because cats eat with their nose and it’s obvious that Zaina’s sense of smell must be disturbed. So brave Zaina! Also she still loves to hug and she goes for a walk in the garden. So we think her life is still ok. But we realise that this winter will become difficult for her…let’s hope she makes it and we can celebrate her sixteenth birthday next spring ❤

John with our brave girl ❤

Arrival in Sweden!

On June 23 we arrived fully packed in Sweden. It was a beautiful welcome at the Oresund Bridge ❤

It had quite been a logistic challenge with the cats and dogs but everybody arrived save and in good condition, even our eldest Somali girl Zaina. She is 15 and I was worried a lot about her before this trip because she hadn’t been well since early this year, and in April it even looked like she would leave us forever. But she recovered surprisingly and she amazed me again after the long trip from Holland. Meanwhile her situation is a little less but still pretty ok.

Zaina felt relaxed so quickly….

Our dogs where impressed buy the new view 😉

My husband John visited the house several times this winter, but for me it was the first time. But I liked it immediatly, it looked exactly like I’d seen it on the many pictures I had and I loved the atmosphere of it.

A few days later our stuff arrived and than the house became our home. The cats where spoiled with two new cat trees 😉 :

They ‘adopted’ this one very quickly

Not everybody is still sure about this giant tree, but sometimes it takes more time…specially for spoiled cats of course…

The coming weeks and maybe months we still have a lot to arrange according to our emigration, but we also try to enjoy the wonderful weather we have had mostly untill now. And, there’s also plans for our first litter in Sweden. Verona is almost in heat, she has to wait untill the next one, probably by the end of July, and than she and Ganna can go on their honeymoon 🙂 . I’ll keep you posted…

Verona and Ganna

Druk, druk, druk….

Wat vliegt de tijd….nog maar een maandje en dan hebben we Nederland achter ons gelaten. Het zou wel fijn zijn als het zover is want dan hebben we de meeste drukte gehad, en het meeste geregeld. Wat komt er een hoop kijken bij emigratie. Dat weet je vooraf wel natuurlijk wel maar als je eenmaal in het proces zit ervaar je het pas echt. Maar we zitten op schema en tot nu toe hebben we geen onverwachte tegenslagen gehad gelukkig.

Over Zaina goed bericht, ze is er nog en in vrij goede doen. Niet lang na mijn laatste bericht over haar begin april waren we met haar en de vijf andere katten naar de dierenarts geweest voor de vereiste rabiës prik. Het was toen niet goed met haar en zoals we al vermoedden zag ook de dierenarts de reis voor haar naar Zweden niet meer zitten. De verwachting was dat ze in de loop van april steeds verder achteruit zou gaan en dat we op enig moment de beslissing zouden moeten nemen om haar in te laten slapen.

Maar, wonder boven wonder knapte ze langzaam op! En nog steeds is ze vrij goed, niet top, maar veel te goed om haar in te laten slapen. Het is afwachten hoe de verhuizing op haar zal uitwerken. We hopen dat de impact meevalt en dat ze toch nog een poosje in Zweden kan genieten. Het is me toch wel een sterke tante hoor….haar wil om te leven is nog steeds zo groot als toen ze kitten was en het ook niet vanzelf ging.

Zo was ze half april…een zwaar vermoeid frommelhoofdje, een rommelige vacht…

En dit was een dag of tien later, een heel andere uitstraling

Met Ganna gaat ook alles goed. Hij is intussen een mooie kerel van bijna negen maanden. Ik ben zo blij dat hij is gebleven, het is een schat van een kater en sociaal met alles en iedereen. En….tot nu toe sproeit hij niet, hopelijk blijft dat nog een poosje zo 😉

Zijn vriendin wordt intussen regelmatig krols en om niet met een doos kittens te moeten verhuizen is het wel erg oppassen ;-). Ze gaat vanaf nu tot de verhuizing aan de pil zodat ik in de meest hectische weken hier niet ook nog extra alert op moeten zijn
In de niet krolse perioden zijn ze weer lekker samen en overal met hun neusjes bij. Hier helpen ze mee met het snoeien van de clematissen die over de afscheiding groeien.

De andere katten doen het ook perfect en hoewel er al een en ander in het huis is veranderd zoals steeds meer dozen enzo, heb ik niet het idee dat ze al verhuisstress hebben. De veranderingen gaan geleidelijk en de meest vertrouwde mandjes, klimpalen enzo zijn nog gewoon aanwezig, die worden pas de laatste week ingepakt.

Noortje past zich probleemloos aan aan het nieuwe interieur

Ons huis in Drenthe hadden we snel verkocht en dat is een zorg minder. Ik merk wel dat het ook wel een beetje pijn doet dat we dit plekje kwijt raken, we woonden hier erg mooi en rustig.

Dag mooi uitzicht….

En verder is het nog meer afscheid nemen. Van vrienden, familie, kennissen, van onze vertrouwde dierenarts, leuke plekjes in de buurt etc etc…. en dat is best wel slikken. Komt bij dat ik ons huis in Zweden nog steeds niet gezien heb, dat is er niet meer van gekomen en dat maakt het ook nog steeds erg onwerkelijk. Een van de vriendinnen die gedag kwam zeggen heeft trouwens heel mooie foto’s gemaakt van de katjes, ik plaats er in dit stukje verschillende van. Dank je wel Hélène!

Kallima mooi vastgelegd door Hélène

Gezien de aller drukste weken die nog op ons afkomen denk ik dat dit de laatste update vanuit Nederland is. Eenmaal gesetteld in Zweden ga ik de site gedeeltelijk in het Engels overzetten en ook een eerste bericht in het Engels plaatsen…dat lijkt nu nog heel raar maar eenmaal aan de andere kant van de grote brug zal het vanzelfsprekender aanvoelen denk ik.

Hopelijk tot ziens over een poosje!

Een grote stap

Al een paar jaar speelde het idee in onze gedachten om te emigreren zodra John met zijn werk kon stoppen. Verschillende landen kwamen voorbij, met allemaal hun plussen en minnen. Ergens gaan wonen is iets anders dan er op vakantie gaan. Je laat ook veel achter, daar hebben we goed over nagedacht, maar het opent ook weer nieuwe deuren. Hoe het uitpakt is eigenlijk nooit te overzien, maar ik denk dat we vooral spijt krijgen als we het niét doen.

Onze keuze is uiteindelijk op zuid Zweden gevallen. Een poosje geleden hebben we er een leuk huis gekocht met genoeg ruimte binnen en buiten voor onze dieren. Het is voorlopig ons vakantiehuis. Van de zomer hopen we er definitief te gaan wonen.

Ons vakantiehuis
En natuurlijk heb je hulp zodra je begint met alvast wat in te pakken

In Zweden zijn de Abessijn en Somali gelukkig niet onbekend, en de vader van Verona is toevallig ook een Zweed! Ik ken er verschillende fokkers en hoop er jaarlijks een nestje te kunnen blijven doen. De planning voor Verona x Ganna is in de nazomer/herfst van dit jaar. De website/blog blijft bestaan maar de berichtjes zullen t.z.t. in het Engels gaan, en wie weet later in het Zweeds….al lijkt mij dat nu nog heel ver weg ;-).

Komende dinsdag krijgen alle katten alvast hun rabiësprik. Tenminste dat hoop ik…want Zaina’s klachten zijn drie weken na de doxycycline kuur toch weer terug gekomen. Het is nog niet zo heftig als voor de kuur maar we zijn helaas voor 80% weer terug bij af. Ik had het wel verwacht maar het is verdrietig omdat we weten dat er eigenlijk geen verdere behandelopties zijn. Ik weet niet of ze nu de vaccinatie mag hebben, en hoe het verder gaat. Eigenlijk ben ik bang dat ze niet meer in Zweden gaat komen, maar dat denk ik al een hele poos. Dinsdag gaat ze in elk geval mee naar de dierenarts en zullen we verder overleggen.

Van de week lag ze nog te genieten van het prachtige voorjaarsweer.

Het was de zonnigste maand maart ooit gemeten, Ganna vond het heerlijk!

Ook Kallima was regelmatig buiten te vinden

Verona ging op hommeljacht (altijd eng, maar je kan het moeilijk de hele dag voorkomen)

Het is nog steeds duo Jut en Jul met Ganna 😉

De laatste dagen van maart werd het opnieuw winter en was iedereen weer te vinden op onze onmisbare slaapbank :-)))

We zijn altijd blij als we van onze vroegere kittens of herplaatsers wat horen. Onlangs kregen we een mooie foto van Massimo, onze vroegere kater. Vanwege zijn twaalfde verjaardag had ik zijn mensen nog eens aangeschreven en kreeg ik een leuke mail met foto terug. Hij ziet er goed uit en is eigenlijk nauwelijks veranderd. Ik heb de foto doorgestuurd naar zijn Duitse fokster Isabel Delank die ook nog steeds erg betrokken is bij het wel en wee van haar fokjes. Van haar kreeg ik een foto terug van Massimo’s moeder Tabanya on Tiptoe, 17 jaar intussen, met een wat mindere gezondheid maar dat is begrijpelijk op die leeftijd.

Massimo, papa van Brasil, Busayra, Biagio, Baluka, Chanoa en Calando. En van Cee-Jay, Connor, Chanel, Cinnamon en Cheyenne.

De komende maanden zullen we erg druk zijn met alle verdere voorbereidingen voor Zweden. We hopen dat onze dieren niet te veel last gaan krijgen van de stressvolle periode die er aankomt. Helemaal te voorkomen valt dat niet.
Ik hoop nog tijd te vinden voor een of twee berichten voordat de verhuiswagen voor de deur staat….