In 2007, James Bowen, who was living on the streets of London and battling addiction, found an abandoned and injured orange Tabby cat who was to change his life. Bowen took the street cat–whom he named Bob–in and did everything he could to help nurse Bob back to health. Rescuing Bob ended up dramatically changing Bowen’s life.
Their story ended up resonating with people around the world and in 2012, this unlikely team published their first book, A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life. In 2016, their story was adapted into a film starring Bob as himself and actor Luke Treadway as Bowen. Bowen has since published five other books, and another film, A Gift from Bob, will be released later this year. Their books have been published all around the world in over 40 different languages.
Cats truly have an amazing way of being there for us when we need them most and Bowen will always be grateful for Bob’s companionship. Announcing the sad news on June 16, Bowen said, “Bob saved my life. It’s as simple as that. He gave me so much more than companionship. With him at my side, I found a direction and purpose that I’d been missing.”
In another statement shared on Facebook on June 19, Bowen gave fans a sad update and details about what happened to his beloved companion:
“I’m sorry to have to confirm that Bob died from injuries sustained when he was struck by a car near our home last Monday afternoon,” Bowen said. “He went missing two days earlier and, despite appeals and searches locally, had been discovered less than half a mile from home and taken to a local vet who contacted me.”
Bob was estimated to be at least 14 years old. Bowen also revealed Bob had been struggling with stage two kidney disease, noting “we were managing his condition well and I think he would have lived for another year or two. I’m just so sad that he hasn’t been able to enjoy his retirement in full. I miss him so much.”
Bob’s legacy will live on through his inspiring story. May he rest in peace.