Cats and books. Books and cats. Feline and Fiction’s monthly subscription box saw me coming, didn’t it?
I know I said in last month’s Reposed book subscription review that Book Shelter’s book subscription was up next, but that was going to take too long to arrive, and Feline & Fiction’s arrived just in time for this month’s review, so here we are.
The gift box for cat and book lovers
Feline & Fiction’s subscription box is billed as ‘the gift box for cat and book lovers’. I never knew there was such a thing as a cat subscription box until searching for monthly book subscriptions to review but when I found out, well, how could I resist?
What’s in a Feline & Fiction monthly book subscription box?
Feline & Fiction’s box is brimming with stuff for you and your cat and, of course, contains a book. Not just any old book though – this is a cat-themed box, remember, so the book is always cat-based.
There isn’t much info about Feline & Fiction on their website, so I don’t know who they are or how it came about or anything but let’s have a look at what they sent me (and my cats) in their February box.
The New Boy by Doreen Tovey
The cat-themed book in Feline & Fiction’s box this month is The New Boy by Doreen Tovey. On the front cover, there’s a quote from The People’s Friend that says ‘No-one writes about cats with more wit, humour and affection’, which made me think that if The People’s Friend like it, then it’s probably a book old people will like. I investigated further and found out Doreen died in 2008 at the age of 90 and then I felt bad.
I’d assumed all the books sent out in the Feline and Fiction boxes would be fiction. I’m not sure what made me think that, but after reading the blurb on the back of The New Boy, this month’s book appears to be an account of Doreen and her husband, Charles, acquiring a new cat – the eponymous ‘new boy’. (Fun fact – Charles’ real name is René. I don’t know why he changed it. Maybe he wanted to sound more English but he’s probably dead now so it’s not like we can ask him. [Okay, I have just Googled Charles/René and found out from the comments on this blog post that he died of a heart attack while on the phone to a friend. Doreen found him when she realised she hadn’t heard him speak for a while and went to see what was happening. The person he’d rung was still talking, oblivious to poor old Charles lying dead on the floor.])
I’m sure Doreen’s book will be a light, enchanting read on those days when I fancy a light, enchanting read, although now I’ve just seen it was written in 1970 and so the cats in the book, like Doreen and Charles, will also be dead. Sad face.
Doreen obviously had a long, prolific career as a cat writer though. Kudos, Doreen.
Buttermilk Soap Bar
As you can see, it’s not just all about the book or all about the cats at Feline & Fiction – they send out products for the humans, too.
As this buttermilk soap bar has Feline & Fiction’s name on it and no other info apart from the ingredients (sodium palmate, sodium palm kernelate, water, glycerine, sodium chlorid, tetrasodium EDTA, tetrasodium etidronate, fragrance), I have no idea if it’s vegan or tested on animals or even what fragrance it’s supposed to be (it smells quite clinical).
To be honest, there are nicer soaps out there and palm-oil-avoiders will want to give this a swerve.
Squeaky Aubergine Cat Toy
I love this squeaky aubergine. I have absolutely no use for it, my cats won’t be interested in it in the slightest but just look at that little face! Who knew aubergines could be so cute?
Pick ‘n’ Tricks Treats
According to the Pick ‘n’ Tricks website, they make treats for dogs. There’s nothing on the packaging to say these ones are for cats but my cats would probably ignore the treats anyway. I bought them some expensive lobster treats recently and were they grateful? Were they fuck.
Simon’s Cat Air Freshener
This air freshener, as cute as it is, comes with a list of warnings about causing sensitisation to skin and toxicity to aquatic organisms and how you should keep it away from children and to wash with large volumes of water if your skin comes into contact with it.
It sounds scarier than COVID.
Cat-themed Tea Towel
I’m aware I sound quite disparaging of the Feline and Fiction box so far and that’s a little unfair because on the whole, I do like it. I especially like this cat-themed tea towel, although I don’t think the fabric will be much good as a tea towel but, as a sewer, fabric is just fabric to me and it’ll make a fab bag or something.
Sweets, yay! I have such a massive sweet tooth, I’m not sure how these haven’t been eaten yet.
Unlike the soap and air freshener in this Feline & Fiction box, these sweets are palm oil free and made with natural ingredients you don’t have to wear full PPE to handle. Vegans are out of luck though, as they contain white and yellow beeswax (who knew beeswax came in different colours? Not me).
I’ve just opened the packet and if there are any left by the time I finish writing this post, I’ll be surprised.
Okay, it’s got a sickly sweet slogan on it but bookmarks are always handy and, anyway, it’ll be hidden in a book and no one will ever see it.
Planners are always handy and you can never have too much stationery and, for those reasons alone, I’m going to ignore the hideous #self-care Sunday thing. I hate the phrase ‘self-care’ – it can join ‘mindfulness’ in Room 101 as far as I’m concerned.
Slogans on plaques are a bit too ‘live, laugh, love’ for me (that can also go in Room 101 with ‘self-care’ and ‘mindfulness’ but, as plaques go, I’ve seen worse. I might even put it somewhere.
Update 1: I’ve hung the plaque up. It looks good.
I’ve just finished the bag of Candy Kittens. I told you they wouldn’t last long.
Is the Feline & Fiction monthly subscription worth the money?
A one-off Feline & Fiction box is £15 + p&p (£3 when I got mine), three months is £45 + p&p and 6 months is £85 + p&p and the box is definitely worth £18 in my opinion.
I personally wouldn’t take out a monthly subscription but, as a one-off treat for yourself or as a gift for a cat-lover in your life, it’s fab. There are so many products in the box, there’s bound to be something you like and who doesn’t like a mystery box of products to open?
So, yes, it’s worth the money and I’m glad I bought a box.
How could the Feline & Fiction box subscription be improved?
With people these days being more aware of what they bring into their homes or put into their mouths, I feel Feline & Fiction could do themselves a favour by having an all-natural box. I realise this will probably mean fewer products but it’ll give them a much higher quality box overall.
Apart from that though, it’s great. It’s a little bit ‘twee’ for me with its little slogans but that’s just because I’m a miserable old boot who hates slogans.
I posted on Instagram last week I’d be writing this review and the owner of Feline & Fiction said they were nervous about it. I say ‘they’ because I have no idea if they’re a ‘she’, ‘he’ or a ‘they’. Which brings me on to another way Feline & Fiction could be improved – I’d love a bit of info on the website about who’s behind Feline & Fiction. It’s such a great idea and I’d love to know more and to see the smiling faces behind it and their cats (I imagine they’re very smiley people with cats).
Where to buy a Feline & Fiction monthly subscription box
You can find Feline & Fiction on Facebook and Instagram and you can buy a one-off box or a subscription on their website. Be warned though, they sell out quickly and you might have to go on a waiting list for the next month.
What I’m going to review next month
Fuck knows. I haven’t ordered anything yet. Book Shelter’s book wasn’t going to come for weeks and they took ages to reply to an email, so I cancelled my order. God, I’m grumpy sometimes.