Cat Psychology: Feliway smells like burning plastic?

This can’t be right.  My two feliway diffusers smell like burning plastic and are really really hot to the touch.  The last thing that I need is a house fire, and I’m concerned that’s the direction we are going…..  I unplugged them last night since my whole main floor smelled like a ski shop and I was worried.

What a waste.

I’m going to try to return them, but I got them on Amazon so I’ll see how that goes…  I imagine I’ll end up paying for all the shipping.


EDIT:  I shipped them back.  I don’t want to burn my house down.  GAH That would be so awful.  I’m going to have to try the spray, I’ll have to go pick some up tomorrow at the pet store.  My picky girls also need new food, I think I MAYBE found some that Mia will actually eat.  YAY


Couldn’t Resist: Superbox #23 – SUPERBOX

Superbox #23 – SUPERBOX.


I ordered this.  I am sooooo excited for it, summerbox surely means everything will have sunscreen, right?  I wish they shipped faster, this one doesn’t get sent until July 1.


They have an affiliate program too, just in case you love me:

Seeking the Fountain of Youth: Adventures in Tretinoin Week 1 of Tretinoin, and Using it in the Eye Area

I’m on the lowest dose, 0.01% Stieva A cream to try and minimize and prevent wrinkles.  Monday makes the end of week one using this.

The Purge:  It’s begun.  My forehead takes the worst of it every time I start on something that causes a purge, but this time it actually more around my mouth.  Hopefully once this heals up that will be the end of it.  I just need to wait it out, I guess.  I’m super red and irritated looking, but my skin is always on the pinkish side so this isn’t that bad for me.  This is what I’m looking like makeup free (I’m never makeup free outside the house) these days:


The redness on my chest is sun damage and I’m hoping to get rid of.  My chest gets really really really red with exfoliants, C serums, the sun, anything.

Meanwhile, I have been researching tretinoin and eyes, since my fine lines are all around my eyes, and between my eyebrows.  

The last thing I want to do is damage my eyes, but I do want to reduce wrinkles.  I also wanted to find out if this is even effective, since some of the usage instructions I’ve found online say to keep it away from the eye area.  

The internet, like with all topics, is 99% anecdote and hysteria, and 1% real actual information on the topic.  I was able to find some information, none of it is very good sources, unfortunately.

Tretinoin and the Eye Area

The Good:

Paula’s Choice, a very well respected and often quoted resource actually states that Retin-A (tretinoin) is perfect for under the eyes but that since the skin is thin and sensitive, it’s important to start out a slowly by only using it a few days a week at first (if required, mix ith moisturizer to buffer the tretinoin,) and increasing as the skin adapts.  (Very common advice for those starting out on tretinoin in general, as is the moisturizer as a buffer concept.) says that even though the eye area tends to be more sensative than the rest of the face, itt is okay to use retinoids in ther eye area to work on reducing the fine wrinkles there (taking care to avoid the eyelids).They go on to say that  it is common for any fine lines to look crepey and be even more pronounced, in the eye area.

The Bad:

There are a lot of anecdotes about how using tretinoin under the eyes actually caused more wrinkles and crepeness.  I’ve seen this complaint repeated in forums and message boards, but I haven’t seen anything that actually backs up this claim and concerns me.  Most of these posters did not continue with its use, so there isn’t a lot of follow up for these anecdotes, or any kind of longer term effects records of people who had this complaint.   

The Explanation:

The eye area (I guess like the rest of the face) can look worse better it gets better, and this stage can last months. (Am I selling you on tretinoin yet?)  According to Paula’s Choice, the increased skin cell turnover will tend to make the epidermis accumulate and the skin will look “dry” (actually dry dead skin cells) and fine lines may look worse at first (including symptoms like dry skin cracks – yikes.)  This may explain those complaints.  I would add that it’s also possible that they may not have properly applied sunscreen and  experienced additional sun damage due to the increased photosensitivity, or that they didn’t increase their moisturizing products.  On another site, where apparently doctors answer skincare questions (take that with as big a grain of salt as possible, I don’t know that any actual doctors would do this,) a response to a post that someone made about said that the wrinkling, irritation, and skin sensitivity is a description of the irritation by tretinoin itself, and to decrease dose/frequency of application, and moisturize like crazy.   

From my own perspective, I’ve already noticed that my skin is feeling dehydrated, and it’s only been a few days.  Without addressing that problem, I can see how the symptoms of dehydration (tightness, stinging, overproduction of oil plus a dull, sallow or tired look) can be a dealbreaker for those on tretinoin.


For the overall safety of tretinoin use in the eye area, the main precaution is irritation if it actually gets into the eye.  I saw a few anecdotes of people who ended up being diagnosed with conjunctivitis after getting it in their eyes -all of these stories were combined with contacts, which I wear, so that’s good to be careful of.  Another response to the question of safety I found said that tretinoin around the eye area is safe, as long as you do not get it into the eyelid margin.


Everything I’ve found seems to indicate that putting tretinoin in the eye area (except the eyelids) is safe and will work for reducing fine lines.

I’m going to go for it, all my fine lines are around my eye area, so I think this will be worth a try.  I guess I won’t know for sure until about 6 months from now.

Memebox is offering $10 in points today

Memebox is offering $10 in points today only! I’m so addicted, I can only imagine how much I would have ordered if they shipped faster. Check them out with my referral if you love me or if you don’t just check them out from their mainpage site. Totally worth the wait for what feels like infinite shipping space between order and delivery. (If you look at the box you like, it says the ship dates.)

Cat Psychology: Intrducing Feliway, sniff sniff what is this?


Apolla was intrigued, she sniffed at the air for ages, then walked away once she got bored.

Mia was having a moment of chill, I’m not sure if it was related to the Feliway or not, she does have moments of chill and relaxation.  She was initially kind of interested in the diffuser, but quickly moved on to playing with a toy mouse.  But she does look really cute in this picture, anyway.


I’ll have to see what happens over the next few days.  So far at least they didn’t outright reject this new product.

Seeking the Fountain of Youth: Adventures in Tretinoin (Stieva-A) Week 1, Tretinoin and the Changes to My Routine



Before: AM Routine

I’m a Paula’s Choice Junkie, so you may notice a trend.  I like deals, but even better than deals I like products that actually do what the label promises.  Paula’s Choice consistently delivers.

5AM: Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Lotion + Sunscreen

Then I head to the gym to work out, post gym I shower there and get ready for work


Spectro Gel Cleanser (Just a gentle cleanser, it was recommended by my derm when I was a teenager and it’s worked for me for years now.  It’s cheap, gentle, and awesome)

Super Serum by Silk Naturals which I’ve been phasing out (it’s almost empty) and replacing with Paula’s Choice RESIST Pure Radiance Skin Brightening Treatment – both of these have Niacinamide, I don’t really think they are equal products, and I’m not sure exactly what I’ll do once I’m out of the Paula’s Choice.  I may try something else entirely.

Snail Bee High Content Essence is awesome.  I love it.  I’ll probably write about it soon.   I never thought I’d put literal snail slime on my face, but I’m a convert.  More raving about it to follow.

Dr Jart V7 Eye Serum I actually got this in a Memebox, it was a spoiler and pretty much the reason that I ordered the box.  I like it a lot, even though a lot that I’ve read says don’t bother with eye cream.  This one is light and gentle, and doesn’t run into my eyes.

CeraVE AM sunscreen.  I know I need to add an actual sunscreen + moisturizer as separate steps, but I really like CeraVE AM.  More Niacinamide, moisture, and a decent SPF.  I put a ton on and just let it sink in while I do my hair, so i know I’m getting the requisite 1/4 teaspoon on my face.  Actually I think I put about double that, these days.

Makeup is various things.  I bought both the BB cream and the Paula’s Choice foundation in the wrong color, but mixing them together seems to make the color right.  Next time I’m just going to Sephora to get a proper color match and some good foundation to try.


Before: PM Routine

OCM:  I’m an OCM junkie, I started with just unscented baby oil, but then I went on a Garden of Wisdom buying spree to the tune of $200 or so, and got a ton of oils to try.  Right now I’m using Argon, Avocado, Almond, Jojoba and baby oil all mixed together.

Spectro Gel to double cleanse

The sometimes treatments section of masks, and AHA.  I love this Weekly Resurfacing Treatment AHA by (who else?) Paul’s Choice.  I can’t wait to bring it back into rotation once my skin is used to the tretinoin.  I fit in My Beauty Diary sheets masks a few days a week.  Right now I’m on Snail and Caviar.  They just sell these at the T&T Market by my house, they are more than online but it’s very convenient.  I also like this Skin Food Black Sugar Scrub.  I don’t use physical exfoliants often, but I do like it throw it every once in a while.

Resist C 15 Super Serum by Paula’s Choice.  This one is expensive as far as C Serums go, and it seems to do the same thing as the Silk Naturals one.  I love C Serum though, so I will always use one from some brand or other.

Garden of Wisdom Hydraulic Acid serum.  This one is blueberry, the one I tried before was Grapefruit, and next I may try Honey.

CeraVE in the tub works well as a moisturizer for me, it’s thick and creamy and great.

Laniege Water Sleeping Pack to top it all off.  This is pretty scented, but it works well for me.


This is my current routine.  I won’t go into all the products again, especially since the only new addition is the trentinoin at night.  I’ve removed all my chemical exfoliants, which i can not wait to add back in once my skin adjusts in a couple of months.


Current AM Routine


Current PM Routine

Seeing this all laid out like this I feel like such a product junkie.

Anyway, what do you think?  What did you change in your routine when you started something more extreme?

Cat Psychology: Litterbox Problems

Confession time:


Apolla in one of her more relaxed moments

My timid sweet scared cat has been spraying.  The reason we ended up with her was because she was traumatized by a dog that came into her life, and responded to that by spraying, but she seemed to be cured of this problem for the first 6 months we had her.  Now all of a sudden she’s doing it again, in my house.

My deal with Miguel was that if the cats start ruining our house, we would give them back, so naturally this is very distressing to me.  I’m attached to the little brats now, and I know they are way happier with me than they were when they had a dog to contend with.

I need to fix this problem, and I need to fix it fast.

The Why:


Mia Disapproves

Spraying is something cats do to mark their territory. While it’s more associated with male, not neutered cats, it’s actually common in most cats.  (Though not necessarily on your carpets.) This can also be due to medical conditions, so it’s important to get a vet check with this behaviour starting up.

The Ritual:

Most cats will:

1. Approach a vertical surface (wall, piece of furniture)

2. Sniff the surface and pace the floor

3. Turn his back

4. The spray.

How I Hope I’m Going to be Stopping This:

1. The possibility of medical issues: If I’m totally honest, I don’t think she just sprays, sometimes she just pees on the floor.  I’m taking her to the vet next week (it’s a busy place apparently) to rule out anything medical.  In the meantime, I’m trying to follow all the advice I can find to stop this behaviour, before it becomes her “thing.”

2. The litter box:  A cat who is acting out by doing things outside the litter box that she should be doing inside the litter box, may just hate her litter box.  It needs to be big enough, clean enough, and in a good location.  Some cats may not like their box to be covered, but everywhere I’ve been reading says that Bengals are private and do.
-New box:  I bought them a third, giant litter box.  It’s clean, covered, and convenient.
-Convenient box: I moved one of their existing litter boxes upstairs to the bathroom on my main floor.  They have been ignoring this one, but I’ll keep it available just in case.
-Clean box:  Scoop every day without fail.
-Window by the box:  Miguel thought it was the window that she didn’t like near her box.  He closed it.

3.Clean the carpet:  Cats will go back to where they’ve gone before, so cleaning things completely is essential.  Just because the humans in the house can’t smell anything, doesn’t mean the cats can’t.
Enzymatic carpet cleaner:  I got this from the vet and it smells like alcohol but it seemed to remove all stain and odor.

4. Cat relaxation and comfort:  I’ve put a Feliway plug in on each of the main floors.  One is outside my bedroom, the other is just outside the stairs where miss Apolla has been spraying.
-Feliway: Feliway is a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone (what they are releasing when the rub their cheeks against everything to mark their territory) and it’s meant to make cats feel safe, comfortable and secure in their home.  It’s recommended as a way to help comfort and reassure cats and reduce their stress.  Apolla acts ridiculously stressed out all the time, so hopefully this is what she needs. I bought from this Amazon seller, since the price was the best I could find.

Will it work?  Stay tuned, but I really hope so.