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Sometimes when we are at the very worst parts of our lives, we meet a friend who helps us heal, helps us get past the hurt and pain. That’s what happened when James Bowen, a recovering heroin addict met a beautiful ginger street cat in 2007. James quickly realized this poor kitty was abandoned and injured so he took him in. And even though both were homeless he now had something positive to wake up to every morning: sweet, silly Bob.

Street Cat Named Bob

Image via Facebook

Each day, the two would journey up and down the streets, James with guitar in hand and copies of “The Big Issue” to sell around London, Pupperish reports. 

This Gentle Street Cat Was A Friend To Everyone

Over time, James began writing about his friendship with this amazing cat who became famous for the trademark scarves he wore. That writing turned into a series of blockbuster books, the first of which, A Street Cat Named Bob, was made into a film in 2016, BBC News reports. (Bob even co-starred in the film, along with actor James Treadaway.)

See the trailer via Movieclips Trailers:

Street Cat named Bob

Image via Pupperish: A Street Cat Named Bob

James’s books became such huge hits that they were translated into more than 40 different languages and the first book’s popularity spawned three others: The World According To Bob, A Gift From Bob, and The Little Book of Bob. As you might expect, that led to a movie sequel: A Gift From Bob.

Bob began his life as a simple street cat who single-pawedly elevated himself and the man who rescued him out of misery. He was loved by thousands of people around the world. That even includes at least some members of Britain’s royal family.

Street Cat with HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

Bob meets HRH The Duchess of Cambridge via Facebook

This darling ginger kitty always had a hive five for those who loved him.

Street Cat named Bob

High five with Bob

Bob’s Legacy Is One Of Inspiration.

This adorable cat, who lifted James out of the tragic life he was living, passed away on June 15, 2020, at the age of 14. Maybe he was only a small ginger street cat, but for James and thousands of others, he was much more than that.

James (Luke Treadaway) and Bob in A Street Cat Named Bob.

James (Luke Treadaway) and Bob in A Street Cat Named Bob.

“Bob saved my life. It’s as simple as that,” James says. “He gave me so much more than companionship. With him at my side, I found a direction and purpose that I’d been missing. The success we achieved together through our books and films was miraculous. He’s met thousands of people, touched millions of lives. There’s never been a cat like him. And never will again…I feel the light has gone out in my life. I will never forget him.”

This Beautiful Soul Will Never Be Forgotten

Sculptor Tanya Russell is making sure Bob is remembered because her statue of the beloved be-scarved street cat overlooks the Islington Waterstones Bookstore. Which is, in fact, the place where James wrote that very first book recounting their lives together.

James Bowen with Bob sculpture

Image via BBC, James Bowen

At the July 15 unveiling of the life-sized bronze statue, James told the audience:

“I an so incredibly proud of Bob and grateful for the time we shared.”

“He enriched my life from the moment I met him. He saved me and he touched the lives of millions, providing optimism to people across the world,” he dded. 

Bob cat sculpture

“My hope is that when people visit Bob’s statue, or as they simply pass by, that they will take a moment to remember that everyone deserves a second chance and that no-one is alone.”

A cat may be small but despite their size, they aren’t so different than us. The story of this simple street cat named Bob certainly illustrates this point quite well. With his gentle high-fives and loving manner, he touched people’s hearts every day. In a small way, the world is a better place because he walked among us.

See more from The Big Issue:

Featured images via Facebook/A Street Cat Named Bob

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