Full Steam Ahead, Felix: 08/10/19
Full Steam Ahead, Felix by Kate Moore is the sequel to Felix the Railway Cat (2017). Felix is the original station cat at Huddersfield Station who since 2015 has taken the cat loving core of Facebook by storm and has used her fame to fundraise for a variety of charities.
At the release of the first book, Felix's fame was just taking off at a worldwide scale, with her promotion to Senior Pest Controller. By this book, she is a worldwide phenom with the station now routinely receiving guests from around the world who are there just for a chance to spot the cat.
With a now known cat, the book takes a different tone and approach. Instead of introducing the station, the people, and ultimately the cat, this book begins with the assumption that one knows the cat and knows the station.
So instead of reporting on the events that led up to Felix joining Huddersfield, as well as her training and settling in, this book spends many chapters in Felix's head. These chapters are fun and in keeping with the persona (purr-sona) presented on the Facebook page.
But, there's also the reality that Felix is a middle aged cat. She's not the playful kitten she once was. When she first burst onto the social media scene, she was already an adult. Her time with us is finite. With that sobering reality, Moore also includes more frank chapters about Felix's health and how she is aging.
True devotees of Felix will also know that at the start of 2019, her apprentice, Bolt, was introduced to the world via a Facebook page. He's been on the job since the summer of 2018. He's a solid black, short-haired tom who shares his name with the man who was the biggest champion of the station getting a cat.
My one issue with the book is the sometimes jarring ping-pong between being in Felix's head (very light and floofy) to the more somber, realist look at her health and future at the station.