I usually resist reading a book, or watching a film which has an animal as a main character, especially when it’s based on a true story, therefore I was wary when it came to reading A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen. However, after reading several different reviews about it, being reassured that it was heart warming rather than heart breaking, I finally picked up the book and it did not disappoint.
A Street Cat Named Bob shows the story of a recovering heroin addict, James, determined to come clean and get his life back on track. One day on his way out, James noticed a ginger cat sat outside of his block of flats. James was unaware where the cat came from, whether he had an owner, or what his name was for that matter, but he bent down and gave him a fuss anyway. However, James soon became aware that this cat wasn’t being looked after properly, and perhaps didn’t even have an owner. James took the cat to the RSCPA to both locate his owner, and to get him treated for the nasty abscess on his leg.
Unfortunately, James was unable to find the owner, so whilst still searching, James took him in as his own until the cat had finished his course of medication to treat his leg. Once finished, James tries sending the cat back onto the streets, however this cat was following James everywhere… on the bus, on the tube, around Covent Garden whilst he was working… everywhere. James finally made the decision to take the cat in as his own, and gave him a roof to live under, seeing as it was apparent that this cat had nowhere else to go. Not only did James have to busk on the streets in order to make enough money to live on himself, he now had two mouths to feed. This is where we join them on their exciting journey together. This is where James falls in love with the loving, ginger-Tom… Bob.
The book shows a heart warming journey between Bob and James, and amazes you of how lucky they were to find each other. On many occasions, James shares with us how much his life has changed since Bob came into it, and it was as if fate brought them together. Both having their own problems, James and Bob soon enough became the best of friends. The same as everybody else in the world, James and Bob go through their ups and downs – of course, it wasn’t going to be easy for James to feed two mouths on barely any income and an addiction to beat, but their fight against the world is spectacular.
I would advice anybody who thinks animals aren’t clever, especially cats, to read this book. It really does fascinate you of how intelligent and well behaved little Bob is. It also shows that nothing is impossible. James really was slowly killing himself until Bob came along and gave him a reason to keep on fighting. It was a sign for him to not give up on life.
Since being unsure about reading it in the first place, it only took me two days to read, and I most definitely would recommend it to anyone. Not only do you fall in love with Bob himself, but you feel as though you are part of their world… Joining them on their journey to happiness and survival.