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1 July 2013

How a street cat named Bob helped a London busker

This blog post is about a feel good story which will warm the cockles of your heart.   
 
The unlikely protagonists are a ginger tom cat called Bob and an unemployed busker in London called James Bowen.  It is the touching story of how an injured tom cat befriended James in Spring 2007.  James used to busk in Covent Garden during the day and sleep in a charity-run sheltered accommodation in Tottenham at night.  During this time, James was enrolled on a methadone programme trying to overcome his drug addictions.  James said he had initially become involved in drugs after experiencing long-term homelessness and the drugs helped him to forget his precarious situation. According to James, a ginger cat turned up one day outside his sheltered accommodation and it was there for a few days and James asked around the other occupants to try and find out who the cat belonged to but no-one claimed ownership of the cat.   He said he noticed that the cat had an injured leg so he took the cat to an animal shelter and had his infected leg looked at by a qualified vet.  The vet prescribed a course of antibiotics and James looked after the cat at his charity-run sheltered accommodation until the cat's leg got better.  Then the cat started following James around in the streets of London rather like a dog would do.  Apparently, the cat even jumped on a London bus attempting to be near James.  So, James ended up adopting the cat who he named Bob and started taking Bob with him when he went out to busk.  James would play his guitar whilst Bob sat with him. James said he later taught Bob how to do a few little tricks to amuse the passers by in the street.  After Bob came into his life James's meagre earnings increased as passers by and tourists took photos of this unlikely duo and made short video clips and up loaded them on to YouTube.  Soon, a literary agent from the publishing company Hodden & Stoughton came by and offered James the opportunity to do a book deal so that this extraordinary story of him and his cat Bob could be written and published.
 
Here is a video clip of an interview by BBC's Jeremy Vine with James and his cat Bob who were guests on the Andrew Marr Show.
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