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Book Review: A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen

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A Street Cat Named Bob is the uplifting and inspirational story about James, a man who is vulnerably housed and a recovering drug addict who discovers a rather remarkable cat.

The ginger tom, which James names Bob, is in a sorry state when he finds him. Bob has bald patches, is thin and has an infected abscess on his back leg.

As James nurses Bob back to health (with a little help) they develop a close relationship, becoming dependent upon one another. Readers will fall in love with Bob and James in equal measure.

James assumes that once Bob is well, he will leave. But Bob doesn’t. In fact he does quite the opposite.

James is working the streets of London. First busking and later selling The Big Issue magazines. Bob starts following him to work in the mornings, crossing busy roads and jumping on buses. So James ends up buying him a lead. But Bob often prefers to travel on James’ shoulder.

Bob is smart, inquisitive and a good judge of people. Many people take a liking to Bob and that helps to humanise James to them. James also learns to trust other people because of Bob. But the streets of London can be tough at times and not everyone acts out of kindness or compassion. In A Street Cat Named Bob Bowen tells the story of the tribulations and triumphs Bob and he face on the streets.

Astute readers will be left with some concern for Bowen when they finish reading A Street Cat Named Bob. Bowen values his friendship with Bob greatly. It comes across as the only significant relationship Bowen has. But the average indoor cat only lives for around 15 years (human years). So how is Bowen going to respond to the eventual death of his close friend? And will he be at risk of relapsing on to drugs or alcohol to manage his feelings of grief? I sincerely hope not.

A Street Cat Named Bob is a easy and enjoyable read, made so by Bowen’s warm and friendly tone. It’s a relatively short book at just 279 pages. It will leave readers feeling all warm and fuzzy on the inside. It is a must read for any animal lovers or anyone into sociology.

A Street Cat Named Bob is available to buy on Amazon and at all good bookshops. A Street Cat Named Bob has also been made into a film and is out on DVD now, available to buy on Amazon and at other good retailers.

Review soon,

Antony

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