Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fun with Turrets

Mika and Mochi only got a cheapy fish stick toy from us on Christmas day, since their real present was rather extravagant. (Cheap or not, they adore this new colorful toy and play with it daily. Sorry I don't have any other pics of it at the moment.)

Of course that didn't mean they couldn't get fun Christmas toys from other sources (thanks Mama).

But this post is actually more about one of Matt's gifts from me: the talking Portal Turret from ThinkGeek.


It lights up, talks just like the turrets from the game, and makes shooting noises.

The girls like to be involved in everything. This is the norm. In fact, Mika is standing on my mouse rest right now while I type this and Mochi just curled up next to me in her bed to supervise. They always need to be included!

Mika checks out the turret, set aglow from the red light.

Good thing it's not a real turret, or we'd need replacement cats.

Sniff, sniff, sniff! It's oh so interesting!

Love how high alert Mika's face is here. She looks a little silly/crazy.

I swear I didn't pose them. They just took turns stationing themselves by the turret when it would start making noise.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Wheel

Mika and Mochi's Christmas present arrived today.


The girls don't have nearly as much running around space as they did in our previous house. And now that it's winter, we haven't been spending quite as much time outside. Mika and Mochi have been little furry balls of crazy so we decided to get something to help with that pent up energy.


Mika wasn't sure what to think for about 10 seconds.


I grabbed her favorite stick toy and put her on the wheel, and she almost instantly started walking toward the fish toy.


There are no pictures of Mochi in the wheel, because she is much more uncertain about it. I got her to walk in it a little with much prompting, blocking her exit, and a few inquisitive meows. But as you can see...


...she's more or less keeping her distance for now, but likes to watch Mika. I'm sure she'll warm up to it over the next couple days. Mika's always been the more assertive one when it comes to new things. Mika has been going in and out of the wheel on her own since my first little tutorial with her.


So glad she likes it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mika's Nose

UPDATE 2017: I have not needed to use tacro for a number of years now. I manage Mika's dryness with coconut oil and it's never as bad as it was when she was younger. If you can't afford tacro or have a mild case of bengal nose, start with coconut oil! Less expensive and safe to ingest.

UPDATE 09/29/2012: The tacro is still doing the job with our once-a-day applications and we're not even a third of the way through our tube of it after a year of treatment. Totally worth that upfront cost for how long it lasts. We find it's best if it is applied to the bridge of the nose as well as the nose itself.

Original post: 
Mika has had a chronic dry and cracked nose pretty consistently the whole time we've had her. We worked with our awesome vet to find a solution to the problem, first trying glycerin as a moisturizer. It helped a little but didn't solve the problem. She did some more research and discovered that she likely has a breed related keratinization disorder. I'll include more information about that at the end of the post for those who are interested in knowing more.

Here's a picture from before the treatment (originally from this post):


Our vet's recommended treatment was tacrolimus ointment, which is sometimes used to treat severe eczema in people. It was not exactly a cheap upfront cost, but a little goes a long way. We started with twice a day applications (we started treatment in late September) and have since backed off to once a day. I apply a thin layer to her nose using a q-tip and then hold onto her while it absorbs so that she doesn't lick it. We usually end with a play session, to continue to distract her from licking. Her nose has healed tremendously and is looking plumper and healthier now.

This picture was taken about a month and a half into the treatment:


Pretty drastic improvement, yeah? I don't have any more recent pictures than this one at the moment. But her nose is free of cracks and is no longer dry and she is breathing much easier. If you want more info about the dermatitis she has, you can read more after the jump.

Also: if you're local, Corvallis Cat Care is the way to go for your beloved felines. They are really great. We love our vet Carissa and appreciate how much time she spent helping us find answers to this problem. :)