Star rating – 8/10
I am a self confessed cat adorer, and I like to think I can empathise with people who find themselves homeless or addicted to drugs. But I didn’t see how these two sentiments had anything to do with each other until I heard about Bob the street cat who saved his owner, James Bowen, from a lifetime of addiction and loneliness. And James has now published a lovely book about his furry redemptive friend called A Street Cat Named Bob.
James describes how he and Bob found each other when both were down on their luck, one from a heroin, now methadone addiction, the other from a dog attack. Bob soon became extremely attached to James and accompanied him on his Covent Garden busking jaunts – more like a dog than a cat really. And the ginger tom certainly helped with trade, as passers-by doubled their giving at the sight of him. They have become a celebrated feature – the Big Issue seller with the cat perched on his shoulder like a parrot.
I am a firm believer in pets being therapeutic, and Bob certainly has been for James. This uplifting tale warmed my heart, and I read it at a single sitting. James believes Bob saved him from a cycle of addiction, and some of the stories he tells are endearing and amazing. This book won’t change the world, but it is a very worthwhile reminder that we all should celebrate the small things in life, and that cats are fantastic creatures. But then you knew that already.