If you walk through the London borough and meet a man with a cat on his shoulder, do not be surprised. It’s probably just James Bowen and his companion Bob.
The peculiar story of how an addict and a street cat saved each other became a bestseller and even has its own film. This article describes some interesting details about this unlikely couple and their history.
It all started in 2007 when Bowen, a drug addict in his thirties who made a living playing guitar on the street, found an orange cat in front of his apartment door. It was a cold day and the little animal gladly accepted James’ invitation to enter. That was probably what the cat had hoped for.
That was when the young man noticed that the cat was injured. Undoubtedly, James took him to the Humane Society to spend the small amount of money he had on antibiotics to cure him.
Shortly afterwards, the cat, who eventually recovered and felt better, began to follow the musician as he left the house. One day, the cat accompanied the young man on the bus to the Covent Garden area, on his way to work.
And so it was that the cat, recently named Bob, began to accompany his human friend to musical performances. Bob’s mere presence attracted the attention of passers-by. But since you probably understood that Bob is not an “ordinary” cat, Bowen and Bob used to end each song with a high-five .
In just a few hours, Bowen made as much money as he usually made in a week. Very soon, images of Bob with a scarf, either on the musician’s shoulder or around the guitar, began to spread around the world.
From streets to bookstores and movies
At that time, Bowen, who managed to overcome his drug addiction, wrote a novel called A Street Cat Named Bob. He tells in detail about how the encounter with the cat changed him and ultimately saved his life.
The book soon became a bestseller – it sold more than a million copies – and even spread beyond Britain’s borders. It was actually translated into thirty languages. Someone even made a version adapted for children.
At this point, it was logical that such a strange truth-based story should find its way to the screen. Roger Spottiswoode directed the film and Luke Treadaway starred as Bowen. It came out in 2016. And who do you think played Bob? Well, of course the real Bob! The former street cat became a movie star.
When cats choose us
Despite the resolved financial situation, Bowen and Bob have not forgotten their tricks. Viewing these two on the streets of London is a common sight. Bowen has started working with several non-governmental organizations, and it was not until recently that he was part of The Big Issue , a magazine to help the homeless, in the same spirit as the Swedish Situation Sthlm.
Through all these changing circumstances, Bob has always been with him – on his shoulder. And if Bob felt cold, he had to wear one of the many scarves that passers-by gave him.
A story like this can not be found. But life always provides opportunities for those who take advantage of them. So if you are ever in a situation where a cat has chosen you, do not ignore it. You can not imagine all the good that life has to offer if you choose to accept the proposal. Say yes!