Many animal lovers have read James Bowen’s A Street Cat Named Bob, his true story of how a stray cat changed everything at a dark time in his life.
The book and its sequels have become international bestsellers, turning Bob into a star.
Sadly, it was announced that Bob died on June 15. He was believed to be at least 14 years old.
The story of Bob and James Bowen has inspired millions, a story of two lonely people forming a friendship when they needed it most.
Bowen was a recovering addict and struggling street musician, recently homeless and living in supported housing, when he found the orange cat in his hallway. The cat had been abandoned and was wandering around on its own as a stray.
The cat was in bad shape, with injuries and an infected wound. Bowen took it to the vet, and spent the little money he had to get him antibiotics. He took the cat in for two weeks to make sure he’d receive the full regimen while trying to find his owners.
When he couldn’t find any information, he tried to release the cat, hoping he’d find his way home… but he wasn’t going anywhere.
“I kept him for two weeks until he was well enough to go on his way,” Bowen told the Islington Tribune. “But when I opened the front door to let him out Bob wouldn’t move. He seemed to me to be saying: ‘I want to stay with you.’”
The cat followed him everywhere he went, and he decided to adopt him, naming him “Bob.”
The two were often seen together as Bowen busked on the street and sold newspapers. Most importantly, it gave the struggling man a reason to get up in the morning.
“Bob saved my life. It’s as simple as that,” Bowen said. “He gave me so much more than companionship. With him at my side, I found a direction and purpose that I’d been missing.”
Their story went viral, and soon Bowen got a book deal, writing his story in A Street Cat Named Bob. It became an international best seller, launching a franchise that has sold over eight million copies. The first book was also turned into a film in 2016.
Bob became a star, frequently appearing at press events, and the two helped raise money for causes like animal welfare and homelessness.
Sadly, Bob died on June 15, his owner announced.
“The success we achieved together through our books and films was miraculous,” Bowen said in a statement. “He’s met thousands of people, touched millions of lives. There’s never been a cat like him. And never will again.”
“I feel like the light has gone out in my life. I will never forget him.”
Rest in peace, Bob! Thank you for being such a loving presence for your owner and inspiring us all with your story.
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