This is part of my Summer Reads series where I’ll be reviewing a series of “not just cookbooks”.
A little something different today for Summer Reads… I mean, who doesn’t love adorable tales about cats? Right? These two books are PURRFECT Summer Reads material because they are easy to read and put you in a good mood. What more could you ask for in the summer? (well, apart from a furry friend sitting by your side as you read!!).
I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the famous Railway Cat Felix (she’s a girl, despite her name)? She lives and works at Huddersfield Station in Yorkshire, England. A friend first alerted me to her Facebook page (where she now has over 130k fans!) a few years ago and since then, my mornings are made better by logging on and checking out what my favourite moggy has been up to.
Felix the Railway Cat (Book 1)
When I heard there was going to be a book all about Felix’s life at Huddersfield, I was so excited. As I’ve followed the Facebook page, I’ve often thought there was a book in the stories and I was interested to see how it would read. How does a social media account translate into a book?
When Felix arrived at Yorkshire’s Huddersfield Train Station as an eight-week-old kitten, no one knew just how important this little ball of fluff would become. Although she has a vital job to do as ‘Senior Pest Controller’, Felix is much more than just an employee of TransPennine Express. Felix changes lives in surprising ways.
She is always ready to leap into action and save the day: from bringing a boy with autism out of his shell to providing comfort to a runaway child shivering on the platform one night. So when tragedy hits the team at Huddersfield, it is only Felix who can pull them back together.
But a chance friendship with a commuter that she waits for her on the platform every morning finally gives Felix the recognition she deserves, catapulting her to international stardom . . .
In fact, a social media account translates into a book pretty well when it’s well-researched. Author Kate Moore spent countless hours with all of Felix’s humans, interviewing and observing them (and Felix) and has done a wonderful job of really understanding and sharing the amazing sense of community at Huddersfield Station. For sure for some people reading about the adventures of a cat and her doting
servants humans isn’t their cup of tea but it’s a really, really sweet read, especially if you have a cat – you’ll totally understand the appeal of reading about Felix’s daily life.
Royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to Prostate Cancer UK (registered charity 1005541, SC039332).
And then, because one Felix book isn’t enough, last week, the second instalment was published! Though she’s only 8, she has two books published already!
Full Steam Ahead Felix (Book 2)
What more could we possibly read about a cat? Especially one that is aging (sorry, I know she’d hate that but I know from personal experience with our 18 year old Cleo that once she was 7, she was classified as a “senior”!)? I mean, what do they do other than sleep and eat and groom themselves? How could you fill up a whole SECOND book about Felix?
Felix, Senior Pest Controller at Huddersfield station, has been at the heart of a close-knit community since the day she arrived as a kitten.
But now, having risen to fame, everyday life at the station has become rather hectic; while reporters and fans clamour for a glimpse of her, Felix and her human co-workers find themselves, and the station, in quite a whirlwind.
With the job seemingly too big for one fluffy feline to handle, it seems only sensible to recruit a young apprentice to the team: enter, Bolt.
Full of funny and heart-warming stories, with personal tales from Felix’s biggest fans, this is the remarkable tale of Felix and Bolt, the ultimate pest-controlling duo.
Actually Bolt the kitten doesn’t enter the book until the last part (I’m not sure this was known when the book was started) and most of Full Steam Ahead Felix deals with her rise to fame and how she and her humans have dealt with it. Because it’s not just a cat, it’s a cat in a working train station that must have trains come and go on time whether they have a celebrity cat in residence or not. I can only imagine what a well-oiled machine that station is to keep track of both Felix and Bolt and deal with the demands on their (and their humans’) time.
The cats (especially Felix) do a wonderful job raising money for charities and promoting charity work and have also been involved in helping people who are sick (and even dying) and who just dream of meeting the famous duo. Much of the book deals with Felix’s dilemmas of 1. Being overfed (too many Dreamies treats from adoring fans!) and 2. Being undergroomed and getting far too fluffy to be comfortable (not anyone’s fault). The stories of her being groomed (or at least someone attempting to groom her!) were hilarious (though they must not have been for her!) and I ‘ll admit I breathed a sigh of relievf when her thick undercoat was brushed and combed away and she was so much more comfortable.
Aging is no joke and I feel for Felix having to do this in public! Enter young Bolt, the kitten from whom it sounds like she still keeps her distance. He’s there to take over some of her duties as the Senior Pest Controller and also to take a little pressure off her “public life” so she can more easily rest (as older cats are wont to do). It’s a truly delightful read and give lots of back story to the things you see posted on Facebook.
Verdict: PURRFECT summer reads 🙂
Royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to Huddersfield Samaritans and Action for Children
Please note: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This post also contains affiliate links from The Book Depository. This means that if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price (at no extra cost to you). Thank you in advance!
Disclosure: I purchased both books for myself. All opinions are my own.
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