Last summer I told you about Bob the cat, a ginger tabby who adopted a man who had just climbed the first step out of homelessness. At that time, James Bowen, a London resident and Bob’s boon companion, had just secured a book deal.
The inspirational tale is now for sale on both sides of the Atlantic, and in the short time since its publication, it’s already garnering rave reviews.
After a difficult childhood, James Bowen found himself in England. But his mental health issues made it difficult for him to find stability and even a home. After a downward spiral that lasted several years, he found himself about as low as you can go: he was a heroin addict living on the streets of London.
With the help of a support network including a number of nonprofits and a girlfriend who herself was a former heroin addict, he managed to get himself out of the gutter and find a supported housing apartment in London’s Tottenham neighborhood.
It wasn’t long after that, that Bob found him.
The cat showed up on his doorstep with a grievous injury — an infected wound leaking pus.
Bowen rushed the cat to an RSPCA clinic. After the vets there got him sorted out, Bowen decided he couldn’t abandon his new friend.
That friendship has kept Bowen clean and sober. “He came and asked me for help, and he needed me more than I needed to abuse my own body,” he said in an interview with the London Evening Standard.
In return, Bob has rewarded Bowen with company — and a boost in the money he earns from playing his guitar on the streets of London.
Bowen is even considering registering Bob as a therapy animal so he can visit nursing homes and assisted living facilities to make residents’ lives more pleasant, too.
"Animals are great for calming the spirit when you’re stressed," Bowen said. "He certainly helped me in that way, and I’d like to help other people in that way.”
The first thing Bowen plans to do with any money he earns from the book is to buy pet insurance for Bob.
Now that’s love: here’s a man who has almost nothing — and instead of indulging his own desires if he gets an extra couple of pennies to rub together, he’s going to spend it on his beloved feline companion.
You can check out a promotional video about the book here.