A Street Cat Named Bob – James Bowen

The unbelievably moving tale of a recovering drug addict and the cat who helped to turn his owner’s life around.

James Bowen, the author of this autobiographical novel, is living in sheltered housing as part of his drug rehabilitation programme. He earns money by busking in Covent Garden then comes home and watches Twin Peaks on his black and white TV. One day James finds a cat who has injured his leg. So he gradually nurses him back to health and when he’s better decides he should let him carry out his life on the streets, without forcing him obviously.

However, as James does this, just before getting on the bus to Covent Garden, the cat which he has named Bob decides he doesn’t want to live on the streets and follows James onto the bus. Shocked and surprised at Bob’s intelligence, James isn’t sure what to do next. He can’t take Bob home as he needs to go and earn money busking in Covent Garden. So he just takes Bob along with him. And that’s how they became the world famous busking duo.

The first person perspective from James’ point of view is both simple and honest, it teaches you to not judge others as you experience the harrows of dealing with addiction along with the author. The way he describes what Bob is thinking (or what he assumes Bob is thinking) is innocent and slightly comedic, which really lightens the mood of the tale.

When reading this book I was in shock at how clever and extraordinary Bob the cat is, the way he can navigate through London, help James through recovery and manage to jump on a bus to find James.

About the author: James Bowen

  • Born in 1979 in Surrey.
  • He lived as a busker before writing A Street Cat Named Bob.
  • He works with charities that help homelessness.
  • He found Bob in 2007 when he was injured in his flat building, the two have not been separated since.
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