Monday, June 15, 2009

It seemed like a good idea at the time

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

We needed a kitten and could provide a loving home for its mother at the same time.

It has not quite worked out as we had anticipated – mainly because Muffin – not being aware of the plan in detail – has not endorsed it with any degree of enthusiasm at all.

She hates Moni and Sissi – seemingly in equal measure – and now stays in our bedroom most of the day.

Moni and Sissi are oblivious to this animosity and Moni – who was a complete wreck when she arrived is now completely relaxed and has not a care in the world.

Sissi – being a kitten – attempted to play with Muffin – who chased her away. Moni then leapt on Muffin and there was quite a kafuffle. This is likely to happen again as Sissi is a bit to small to understand old grouchy cats.

We have had to feed Muffin in our room and – to Cate’s great horror – she now has kitty litter in her bathroom as Muffin does not want to run the gauntlet past Moni to the litter in my bathroom.

Moni unfortunately eschews the use of kitty litter and prefers more natural surroundings. Unfortunately there are no grassy woodlands in our lounge room – and even worse – Moni has significant stomach problems.

Moni ate non stop for two days but has slowed down and now only eats as much as a team of Huskies after the Iditarod race.

As this is a family Blog I will refrain from providing more details except to say that I have brought my 5 ml wetsuit and diving boots up from the storeroom and have bought a WetVac.

I am also violently allergic to Moni or to Sissi or to both so spend a great deal of time sneezing and coughing and spluttering and wishing for a quick and painless death – and hoping this will occur before Moni’s next colossal evacuation.

The whole thing so far has been a complete catastrophe and we really wish at this stage we had had more sense than to try to introduce a mother and baby into a house where there is already an older (and much grouchier) cat in residence.

We have heard reports that Mogli and Balu have not hit it off but are awaiting details.

Rebecca, a friend from London, chose this weekend to visit us.

I think I can say with a high degree of certainty that Rebecca will never now own a cat. In fact she may never leave therapy as – apart from the visual and sensual pleasures that awaited her – she is also allergic to furry animals.

However, Rebecca’s visit was useful as we did something new.

Since we have been in Wien many people have urged us to visit a Heurigen. This is a place where you drink the vintage of the establishment and sample the fine foods as you have a jolly time in a rustic setting.

I quote from one of the Wien sites online about this delectable pursuit:

“Heuriger ['hoy-ri-ger]:

wine from this year

also "Buschenschank", a restaurant in Austria, in which this wine is poured out

The " The Heuriger or Buschenschank can be seen as typical Viennese - to be recommended to Vienna-tourists. At the Heuriger You usually drink wine from own tillage and eat a trifle. The interior is usually wooden seats and wooden tables. In many restaurants is self-service at the foods. You go to the bufet and select. Often there is music and it is not unusual singing along vociferously.
The green bush of a pinetree at a restaurant is a sign, that there You can drink wine from their own tillage. If the taking of own foods was allowed formerly, so this is not allowed today. The Heurigen offers an abundant bufett. Recommendable are roast chicken, barbecue-chicken, Schnitzel, Schweinsbraten (pork), diverse salads and bread with layer. Also sweetness for dessert is offered”

This never did sound like us so we have not pursued it. But Rebecca said we should do it and chose a suitable location in Grinzing.

We couldn’t find the first location – after driving for some time through laneways so narrow that the foliage brushed the car on both sides – so settled for a Heurigen in the main street. Lonely planet says this was the best.

It was awful.

It’s awfulness was exceeded only by the surliness of the waiter who actually shouted and waved his arms at people who tried to order from him.

Imagine a very, very ordinary beer garden with no service where everyone smokes. Garnish this with precooked food that is heated in a microwave before being tossed onto a plate. The side dish is the hot, sweaty, fat, angry, shouting waiter.

Perhaps he just bought a new cat and knew what was waiting for him when he got home.

There must be better Heurigens. I will wait suggestions from locals so that we can give it another try.

Before we left Australia I tried really hard to get someone to chop down the tree in the front garden.

It had been ‘trimmed’ by Energy Australia (apparently with Rocket Propelled Grenades) and was beyond redemption.

I am please to report that after many months and many attempts by me and by the tenant in our house we have been able to get a tree lopper not only to consider lopping the tree but to actually submit a request to council.

I have received today a letter from Leichhardt Municipal Council. For your edification I shall quote a small part of it:

“Dear Sir/Madam

I am pleased to advise you that this application has been allocated to Walter Mudge in Council’s Assessments section, who will coordinate its processing.

If you wish to check the application’s progress or if you wish to view documents relating to the application, please refer to the Council’s online tracking system at”

Leichhardt Council is one of the slowest councils in NSW in terms of processing development applications.

This tells you why. We are talking about removing a dead tree.


  1. hi,
    sad to hear that the KAP is turning into a disaster :-(

    Balu and Mogli are getting a lot better, and I think us not being home now will mean that they will either bond and attack us when we get home, or Mogli will eat Balu (who's only help is that she is still quit skinny)

    I hate to tell you, but friends of ours once brought a kitten home to a 5 year ols cat, and they tried to kill each other for about a month till they became friends. Am still hoping Muffin, Moni & Sissi will sort themselves out.

    I'm sure your cat minder will enjoy this one...

    Btw you want to go to a good heurigen, go here:

    however, only open in uneven months (May, July, ...)

  2. There are some good Heurigers but you need to go off the beaten track somewhat. If you go to one on the main street in Grinzing then you are asking for trouble.


    1. Feuerwehr Wagner, also in Grinzing but off the main drag

    2. Nierscher in Klosterneuburg

    3. There are some nice ones in Stammersdorf

    4. Ditto Gumpoldskirchen

    5. Sirbu on Kahlenberger strasse

    6. Have a look at for comprehensive listings.

  3. Thanks folks - we will give these a try

  4. Well lenny hated bandit when we first brought him home and he hated us more for bringing him. he now merely loathes bandit but he loves us again so that is the main thing. as long as muffin still loves you and can tolerate the intruders it'll be fine. I think she hated her own kittens when she first had them. and it took her a while to get used to robbie...

  5. BrunoXebCat and Jaya get along very well now, they often snuggle with eachother in the dog bed...he's so fat though! I need to take him to the gym with me.

  6. Those cats, heavens! ;-)

    I still don't get it why anybody would want to go to a Heurigen when there are so many nice coffee houses around. *smile* I must admit, that the text you quoted could almost - almost, but not quite! - entice me to check out that "bread with layer. Also sweetness for dessert"! I wonder if they ever have any leftover layers.