Special Delivery! CatHampurr unboxing with Natasha and DeeDee

Since I’ve been ordering some mail order goodies for myself, it seemed only fair that I share the love with my furry housemates. After all, they’re not much interested in powders and potions.

There is an amazing variety of subscription boxes out there, whether you want food or crafts or socks or make up or dog food. And there is a growing market of Cat themed boxed. Which is useful, because I have two of them myself. For those who don’t follow me on Instagram, meet Dexter and DeeDee, half-ragdoll troublemakers supreme.

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DEEDEEHandsome #Dextercat was off doing secret cat business for most of this unboxing, but #prettiestprincess DeeDee was very sporting and decided to join in. So here goes! If you haven’t guess, this is going to be a very picture and video heavy post.

So, the basics of the box. CatHampurr is a subscription service. You have two purchase options: A one off purchase is £15.95 plus £3.95 shipping (total: £19.90), and a subscription will cost you £11.95 per month plus shipping (total: £15.90). It’s a blind box of samples, meaning you don’t know what you are getting until it arrives. Each box contains four to six (or more) samples of cat care products, foods, treats and toys selected by the team at CatHampurr. This ships around the middle of the month by courier; mine arrived on the 17th. This is a brand new start up which only went live in early 2014, and this is its first box. Whilst the company doesn’t have much pedigree (d’ya gettit? Ha Ha!) it has a lot of potential, with approximately 18% of British households owning a cat, pet care being a growth industry and with the success of dog specific subscription boxes world wide to back it up.

So, let’s get to the unboxing. My box was pretty dented, but none of the products were damaged. Unlike most subscription boxes I’ve tried, there was no internal presentation box with CatHampurr. The logo was printed on the mailing box, and the contents wrapped in pretty purple tissue, and that was that. I suppose cats don’t much care for presentation anyway! Anyhoo, DeeDee was pretty interested in the box right off the bat, as you can see in these snaps:

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P1000642Ooooooo!

I’m going to start with the big red ‘elephant in the room right off the bat, as it was in the top of the box (under the welcome card). Even I could smell a faint herb aroma from the box when I opened the lid, and DeeDee was on the mouse in a flash, rubbing her face on the plastic and drooling everywhere. This large toy it backed full of powerful catnip, and even through the wrapper DeeDee was gone on it.

It was so powerful that when I did open the wrapper (at the end of the unboxing), Dexter ran in from other end of the house, nose in the air, tracking it down. One sniff of the thing up close, and he was off too.

This toy is from Molly’s Mice, a small company specialising in handmade catnip toys and other cat paraphernalia. This is my star product from the box, without a doubt. My cats like toys, and they have catnip ones they enjoy, but I’ve never seen them like this, and at ten years old, anything that gets them moving and grooving like kittens again is good.

P1000658The next item was Happy Cat cat food, a premium German brand. This is marketed for cats that don’t like fish. To be honest, I’m very lucky, and my cats eat anything. I tend to only feed them fish as I’m a bit suspicious of meat quality/ethics in pet food, but they like everything and dry food is their staple, so this will get duly mixed in with their regular chow and scoffed. Madam liked the packet, as you can see. There was also a voucher in the box for £2 off of a purchase of this product.

P1000659Next up was this sample size of pet shampoo. Now most people never have to or want to bathe their cats, so I imagine for many pet owners this will be a wasted product. DeeDee has a skin condition, and I do bathe her when she needs it (never more than once a month) so this will probably get used if not on her, then on rat tails. There was a voucher in the box for this product valid at the company’s stand at the London Pet Show. I think this would have been better suited to a previous month’s box, as the box arrived on the 17th for me, which is the same day as the show starts. That’s cutting it pretty darn fine for the voucher to be useful.

The packaging is very pretty though. A classy lady like my #prettiestprincess appreciates the finer things in life, like good design work.

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P1000663Treaaaaaaats ❤

Next up were two full size packets of Thrive treats. I’ve never bought these, though I have seen them around, and despite the light weight of these tubes, they are crammed with freeze dried meat and fish. I’m really impressed that these are 100% chicken and tuna respectively. You can see the meat grain on each piece too- it’s not reformed rubbish. I don’t know whether it was because the cats were so stoned on catnip at this point, or if the super dry treats were so alien to them, but it took a couple of minutes of suspicious sniffing and licking… and falling over before the first treat went down.

I also like that these treats came in tubes. My cats are awful about treats- they will bulldozer their way through anything to get to the packet and then tear open sachets or tubs to get in and gorge. These tubes seem a little more secure. Only time will tell.

I also ALSO like that the tuna is pole-and-line caught. I only buy pole-and-line caught tuna for myself, so now my cats can be subject to my ethics. Huzzah XD

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Next was a two week supply of DinDins Wickedly Raw Superfoods supplement for cats. I’ve used suppments for my rats before, but never for my cats. Then again, I show for the former, and not the latter. Also, as carnivores, I wonder if they were wild beasties, they would ever come across these things. Then again, they’d never come across freeze dried tuna, so there. Apparently it does great things for nasty smells and hairballs, and as my two are housecats, that can only be a good thing, so long as it doesn’t upset their tummies. It’s also apparently very good for skin problems, which my two (particularly DeeDee) do have, and if so, I’ll buy the full size product. We’ll certainly give it a go.

On the packet was a 15% off discount code for CatHampurr subscribers. A nice touch, and obviously great marketing.

As promised, this box was jam packed with six products, all either full sized or deluxe sized samples. I don’t count vouchers in my value totals, but there were several.  Here’s the value of the products in this box.

  • Molly’s Mice Red Mouse: £3.99
  • Happy Cat Dry Catfood: The 1.8kg full sized packet is £12.99, so the 300g sample is worth £2.17
  • Precious Pets London Simply Scentless Shampoo for Cats: The 200ml full sized bottle retails for £19.99, so this 30ml sample is worth £3.00
  • Thrive 100% Tuna Cat Treats: £2.99
  • Thrive 100% Chicken Cat Treats: £2.99
  • DinDins Wickedly Raw Superfoods Supplement: A 60 day supply retails for £13.00, so this 14 day supply is worth £3.03

Grand total: £18.17

If we ignore the steep shipping, my box cost £11.95, so there’s roughly £6 worth of freebies in here. For a first box from a company, this is a pretty good deal, and I’ve seen a lot worse. I hope this margin grows rather than shrinks as the company builds up rapport with its suppliers. All the brands in here are on the premium/uncommon spectrum (i.e. there’s no Friskies or Whiskers in here) which makes this box really special- a perfect gift for someone getting a cat, or a well established cat lover. There’s also a good mix in here- food, treats, a toy, a supplement and a grooming product. If this balance is continued too, I think this box could go a long way, and I would keep subscribing. My cats really enjoyed just opening the box with me- they knackered themselves out playing with the mouse afterwards too. For that kind of quality time, and essentially £6 a head a month, it’s a fee worth paying. I think we’ll carry this on for at least another month, and see how we get on.

P1000690So there is it, the CatHampurr- a pretty fun way to spend a morning with your best furry pals, with goodies to amuse them for a good couple of weeks afterwards.

Next time I think Dexter’ll get first dibs!

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BEDA: Furry Little Nightmares

So, when I’m not cooking tasty things, I’m generally feeding the leftovers to my live in composters: my rats. And I’ve never talked about them on here before, or even mentioned them in passing. I guess they don’t much go along with the theme of food and lifestyle here at She Who Bakes, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t an enormous part of my life.

If you’re curious as to why I keep my private vermin swarm, google why rats are good pets. I’m sitting here with two pauldrons +5 to fluffiness and another lady giving me smooches. They’re ace. I’ve been breeding rats for 5 years now, keeping them for longer, and won my stud name (Elkwood) 3 years back with a very handsome buck called Tiberius. I breed for a variety called Platinum, which is a beautiful pale grey with pink or very dark red eyes (called ruby). However, I get lots of different colours out along the way. I currently have Platinum, British Blue, British Blue Agouti (BBA), Black, Chocolate, Chocolate Agouti, American Cinnamon and Agouti in my breeding stock. I breed them for show (which is similar to dog showing, in that they are judged on conformation, colour, condition etc, and not similar in that they are shown in well ventilated ‘show tanks’, rather than paraded around on a lead) but also for temperament- a good show rat needs to be confident and calm anyway, and animals are a lot of work- if they aren’t enjoyable to keep, why keep them?

As proof of how doofy my brood are, here are some tragic shots of me tolerating their company. Apologies for no makeup, and the box fort in the background.

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My population is ever changing, as I have new litters born, and as older rats pass on. I keep more rats (perhaps) than the average pet owner, but I try to keep my population between ten and twenty five adults. Ten, and I am probably on the rocks as far as keeping my line going. Twenty five, and I am pushing my personal limit of what I can cope with. It’s different for everyone, and I’ve had a lot more than 25 rats at a time before, but trust me- I never want to go back to cleaning 19+ cages a week unless I am getting PAID for it.

Currently, as in today, I have ten adults and five kittens. Two little bucks went off to a new pet home today (as there was seven in the litter (born 27th March- rat kittens can go to new homes from 6 weeks of age)) and one little girl is theoretically up for homing with other kittens her age… but she’s now named, so there’s not much hope of that.

Truthfully, I had a litter born this afternoon, and mummy Tia (Elkwood Tiergarten- naming them is half the fun!) has been kind enough to hop of the next and let me see that there are approx. six babies. I’m sort of vibrating with excitement here.

Anyhoo, it’s not the most mainstream of hobbies, I suppose, but I’ve met good friends through it, and gained a lot of joy out of caring for and loving my Furry Little Nightmares. That and they will eat ANYTHING, so very little goes to waste in House Elkwood.

 

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An update!

It’s been nagging at me for a while that I haven’t posted anything here. It’s mainly been because I have done so little baking in the past few months. After a period of absence, it’s been my main goal in life to get back into work, and then get back up to full time. I’ve certainly achieved the first, but as I am writing from home at quarter to one on a weekday, the latter is still evading me. Ah well, one must keep on, keeping on.

I’ve decided to broaden the scope of the blog, to encourage more writing in general, and keep those juices flowing. It isn’t that I don’t bake, or don’t love to bake (because seriously, I do- If I could bake (or write) for a living, I would), but I do a lot of other things too, and it seems silly to start up x-million various blogs, and only update each one ever so often. So, to that end, She Who Bakes will also share how she also loves life in other ways; eatery and drinkery recommendations, product reviews of my must have treats, nail polish ideas, tutorials and other beauty gubbins, occasional interludes from the animals who-wish-I’d-bake-for-them…

I hope that’ll tickle your fancy. If not, I’ll see you back here for the baking posts. 

Speak soon,

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