A cat-chy story that has a happy ending

This is the story of a large orange cat living in London in 2007. He was a cat with problems; he had an injury (from some scrap with a dog), perhaps, and he was starving.

A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man and His Cat Found Hope on the Streets

By James Bowen

$16.99 Hodder Publishing

This is the story of a large orange cat living in London in 2007. He was a cat with problems; he had an injury (from some scrap with a dog), perhaps, and he was starving.

In short, he was a mess.

James Bowen was not really in much better shape. He was in his 20s, had developed an addiction to heroin, and was eking out a living as a busker.

Originally, James lived in Australia and his family is still there. The “adventure” he had planned when he left home to go to London had gone terribly wrong. He met the wrong sort of friends, got hooked on drugs and lost his passport.

As this story opens, he has been taking methadone, as part of an attempt to kick his heroin habit. His friends are gone and he has spent long periods living on the street.

Since he began his drug rehabilitation, he has worked as a busker and managed to rent a small flat. He has always favoured the Goth look and employment has not been easy.

When the cat shows up at James’s door, sick and hungry, James believes he belongs to someone and is reluctant to take him in.

Days pass and the cat persists in his attendance at the door.

James is lonely and finally begins to care for the cat; he names him Bob and gets his wounds attended to at a free clinic.

The cat makes himself at home and turns on the charm.

James believes that everyone is given second chances every day of their lives, but usually fail to either see those opportunities or to act on them. This story is really about a couple of “losers” who find each other and change each others lives.

Bob is not your average cat. He’s smart and observant, and as he and James begin to share their lives and their opportunities, Bob contributes equally.

As a busker, James is barely keeping himself housed and fed. In addition to that, the authorities are always finding ways to run him off the areas where such entertainment is most lucrative. It’s plain that James must find other employment.

If the police arrest him, what will happen to Bob?

This is a true story that unfolds in a gentle manner. It is told in a day-to-day manner, as James takes on the responsibility for Bob and begins to turn his life around.

Bob travels around London, first on James’s shoulder, and later on a small harness leash. He is very popular with people walking by and many take his picture.

People take those pictures home and Bob becomes very famous indeed.

This is a nice warm story, especially for cat lovers, who are legion, or for anyone who likes to hear of new beginnings in a messed up life.

It’s a story with a happy ending.

Peggy Freeman is a local freelance books reviewer.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Seven-year-old dies and her mother and two brothers are injured in trailer fire

Fire started shortly after 1 a.m. and took four hours to put out

Red Deer County residents decry lack of public consultation over ‘enormous’ river water withdrawals

Noise, light, diesel emission complaints were made to the Alberta Energy Regulator

Woman no longer co-accused in 2019 Red Deer murder

Preliminary hearing of co-accused in murder began on Friday and resumes next month

Red Deer Mayor says city council’s advocacy isn’t over with shelter and hospital funding gains

Additional Crown prosecutors are still at the top of Tara Veer’s list

Red Deer joins provincewide protest on Saturday

Protesters encouraged to wear red

Fashion Fridays: Tammy’s big makeover

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Canadian-Indians worry for their families as riots break out in India

Naila Saeed could do nothing but worry from afar when rioters descended… Continue reading

Public health agency weighs stronger COVID-19 protection for front-line workers

OTTAWA — The Public Health Agency of Canada says it will consult… Continue reading

Ukraine pledges help for airline compensation for Iran plane crash victims

OTTAWA — Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada says his government will help Foreign… Continue reading

Saskatchewan premier won’t commit to fall election; cites national unrest

ESTEVAN, Sask. — Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says rail blockades and the… Continue reading

Suspect charged with first-degree murder in death of 13-year-old Quebec girl

ST-JEROME, Que. — Friends and family of a teenage girl whose body… Continue reading

Tories call on government to compensate dairy farmers ‘left behind’ in new NAFTA

OTTAWA — The Conservative opposition says the government must compensate dairy farmers… Continue reading

Red Deer Construction Association honours local builders

5th annual Commercial Construction Awards took place on Thursday evening

Most Read