The Story of James Bowen and His Stray Cat Bob

June 29, 2018

If you’re walking through the neighborhoods of London and you come across a man with a cat on his shoulder, don’t be surprised. It must be James Bowen and his “partner in crime” Bob.

The peculiar story of how an addict and a stray cat saved each other became a best seller and even has its own movie. In this article we’ll tell you a few interesting details about this unlikely pair and their story.

The Story of a Young Addict and a Stray Cat and How They Saved Each Other

James Bowen and a street cat named Bob.
Source: James Bowen & Streetcat Bob’s Facebook

It all started in 2007 when Bowen, a thirty-something drug addict who survived by playing guitar on the street, found a orange cat sitting in front of the door of his apartment. It was a cold day and the little animal gladly accepted James’ invitation to come inside. Honestly, that was probably what the cat was hoping for to begin with.

That was when the young man noticed the cat was wounded. Without hesitating, James took him to the Humane Society and spent the little money he had on antibiotics to heal him.

Shortly thereafter, the cat, who was healing and feeling much better, began to follow the musician when he left the house. Then one day the cat got on the bus that the young man took to the Covent Garden area, where he worked.

When a stray cat came into the life of a young drug addict who survived by playing guitar in a London neighborhood, both of their destinies changed forever.

 

Bob and Bowen: Quite the Show

And that’s how the cat, who had recently been named Bob, began to accompany his human friend to his musical performances. Bob’s mere presence attracted the attention of passers-by. But since you probably noticed that Bob is not an “ordinary” cat, Bowen and Bob would finish off each song with a high five.

In just a few hours, Bowen earned as much money as he usually did in a week. Pretty soon, the images of Bob wearing a scarf while sitting on the musician’s shoulder, or keeping him company while he played the guitar, began to go viral all over the world.

Eventually, the news found out about the pair and did a story for the magazine Islington Tribune. It was not long after that when a book agent appeared in their lives and gave them a chance to tell their story.

 

From the Streets to Bookstores and the Movies

By then, Bowen, who had managed to get away from drugs, wrote a novel called “A Street Cat Named Bob.” He relates in great detail how meeting the cat changed him, and saved his life.

The book soon became a best seller— they sold more than a million copies—and even spread beyond the borders of the United Kingdom. In fact, it was translated into thirty languages. Someone even adapted it for children.

At this point, it was logical that such a peculiar real life story had to come to the movies. Roger Spottiswoode directed the film and it starred Luke Treadaway playing the role of Bowen. It came out in 2016. And who do you think he played Bob? Well, Bob did of course! The once-stray cat ended up being a movie star.

Here is a link for the trailer.

 

When Cats Choose Us

Stray cat named Bob sitting on James Bowen's shoulder.
Source: James Bowen & Streetcat Bob’s Facebook

 

Even with their finances resolved, Bowen and Bob have not forgotten their tricks. It’s a common sight, the two of them walking the streets of London. Bowen has started working with several NGOs and, until recently, he was selling The Big Issue, a newspaper to help homeless people.

Through all of these changing circumstances, Bob has always been with him — on his shoulder. And if Bob was cold, he would wear one of the many scarves people gave to him daily.

You can’t make up a story like this. But life always gives opportunities to those who know how to grab hold of them. So if you are ever in a position where a cat has chosen you, don’t ignore it. You can’t imagine all the good that life may have in store if you decide to accept the proposal. Say yes!

Source: James Bowen & Streetcat Bob’s Facebook