“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” ― Jean Cocteau

Monday, 24 October 2016

Street Cat named Bob

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He has 5000,000 Facebook followers, he's sold 5 million books and has now got a movie about him. The once stray cat is a star. Meet the world famous street cat named Bob.

Imagine a story that all begins with a busker, who is also a recovering drug addict living in a supported house programme. He initially, tries to get rid of a stray ginger cat which kept refusing to leave his doorstep. The cat obviously got its own way and moves in with the busker in Covent Garden, who only makes ends meet by playing Nirvana songs to passersby for change. The cat starts drawing in more attention and the busker starts to sell the Big Issue, the busker and the cat are spotted by a literary agent who commissions a book which sells millions, which then leads to a movie called A Street Cat named Bob. Well, this was the strange, whirlwind reality of James Bowen and Bob the Cat.

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Before the book and the fame, it was quite a different story. James would travel on London buses which Bob every day. James was bullied as a child and was diagnosed with ADHD and Bipolar and he fell into a drug addiction. Bob was once a stray who, as if by fate, decided to ask James if he can live with him. James even spent the little money he had to help Bob with an abscess on his leg. James taught Bob how to high five and people would crowd around taking photos of the public transport riding cat.

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A local newspaper wrote up a story about Bob and James and soon, Mary Pachnos, a literary agent, saw the potential in the interesting story of a man selling the Big Issue with a cat peacefully supporting him by sitting next to him. A Sreet Cat Named Bob was published in 2012 and just a few days later, the book had sold out, it quickly became a best-seller.

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However, the book isn't as cute as you might expect a book about an adorable cat to be. The book is about how Bob saved James just as much as James saved Bob. Before Bob, James lived on the streets or in free houses, he made very little money by busking and had the nightmare task of getting over a drug addiction. James states that he didn't have anything, anybody or any reason to look forward to the next day - and Bob gave him that. He had something which relied on him, something to live for. For this reason, James started to look after himself and become more confident and sociable and ultimately people started to be more willing to talk to him.

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James feels he is now a voice for those who do not have one such as the homeless and animals, he feels that people don't understand both groups and his books make a great impact socially. James now dedicates his time to support charities which help homeless people and animals.



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