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A Streetcat Named Bob Passes Away at 14

Former street cat who inspired people around the world passes away after tragic accident

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.

Book covers courtesy of Macmillan Publishers and B.E.S. Publishing.

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.

Book covers courtesy of Macmillan Publishers and Hodder & Stoughton.

Add A Comment


  • Barbara Hansen

    I am so very sorry at the tragic loss of this very precious and special kitty.

  • Terry Davis

    Sweet Bob. You are with Jesus now, healthy and happy. Psalm 150:6

  • Junetta

    I’m sorry to hear about Bob. I know I’m going to get a lot of backlash about this, but why was he outdoors where he could get hit by a car? I have cats 🐈 and all of them stay in.

  • Alexandra Ottaway

    Oh gosh I am so sorry to hear the news! Bob did a lot in his great life. Will always remember Bob!

  • Alexandra Ottaway

    Oh gosh I am so sorry to hear the news! Bob did a lot in his great life. Will always remember the story of JJames and Bob!

  • Carol Essenpreis

    I read and thoroughly enjoyed 2 of the Bob books. I have a “ginger cat” named Lucky and certainly understand the connection and love.

  • Katie

    Love this story and feel sad to hear about Bob moving on. What angels these furry people are. I adopted an “older” rescue a year ago (similar coloring to Bob) and I don’t know how I would have made it through this strange time without him.

  • Carolyn MacDonald

    Very tragic and sad 😞 RIP Bob 🐾🐾❤️🐾

  • Sandy

    I am so sad to hear about Bob’s death.I wish you would of never let him outside without you.I never let my cat Precious outside at all. So so sad 😞 RIP Bob never forgotten.

  • Tonya

    So sorry to hear of Bob’s passing he will be missed by millions me included he worked loving miracles for his owner and deserves all the honor blessed be you both.Thank you Bob for the many gifts you gave us all through your presence but especially your owner.

  • Marie

    I am so sorry Bob had to suffer such a painful end to what was a remarkable life for you both. What was a truly special cat and I am so glad you found each other.

  • Candi

    I’m so sorry to hear this. You know you will be with him again.

  • Maria Pittman

    I am sorry to hear Bob as passed away. I read all the book. I found them so inspirational. RIP Bob
    You will never be forgotten.

  • Sue

    Rest In Peace Bob ❤️😢

  • Becky

    I’m sorry for your loss. Your story really touched me . You both are amazing.

  • Judy Elliott

    So sorry to hear about Bob. Cats are very special to us and I’m sorry that Bob passed this way. He will live on in all of the books that you’ve written. RIP Bob🙏🏻

  • #Iloveyoumeow

    Aww that’s so sad🙀
    Rest in peace Bob!
    I’ve read few of Bob’s books and they have touched my heart so much…..I will never forget you!

    Hope you’re happy and safe where you are and sorry for the loss of this special kitty

  • Debbie Pinkham-Salt

    Bob, you saved me too.I will always Love You & James. I can’t go a day without crying.

  • Betty Coles

    So sorry, I read the book a long time ago loved the story. I ended buying a Gift from Bob loved it. When I heard the news felt so so bad for James my thoughts are with you. I just ordered the DVD I guess I missed it when it came out . Thinking of you but Bob is with you still on your shoulders. Love from Canada

  • Vangie mata

    Sad for losing your cat. Our dog passed away June 4, due enlargement of spleen and unable to recover from his operation.
    Our pests are in heaven now.sorry to lean that unpleasant news.

  • June Day

    I am sorry for your loss my prayers are with you stay safe Bob is keeping my Paris company at the Rainbow Bridge xxxx

  • Diane M Gooding

    RIP Bob. You were an Angel on earth! My love to James

  • Lisa stanley

    I’m so sorry to hear about Bob, he was a very special boy, its heart breaking his life ended like that, he deserved his retirement, he’d done so much for James, there story is so inspiring and heart warming, it touched millions of people around the world,

  • Emma knox

    One very special cat who had found a very special person. What a bond the two of them had. Just shows what animals can do. Rest in peace Bob. Keep strong James, I am sorry to hear about your best friend.xx

  • Sarah waite

    Kia Kaha James … we loved yours and Bobs story here in New Zealand 💜 and will never forget you or Bob 😻

  • Irina Orlova

    It is a sad story with some happy moments. Unfortunately some kitties still live on the street. They are either born there or thrown out by their owners. I witnessed people move and leave a cat behind. Let’s all work toward changing this!

  • Lauren Orella

    RIP Darling Bob, you gave us all so much happiness and fun, as for James he must miss you so very much. Rest in Heaven and be at peace, you were so inspiring to us all. God bless you James stay strong and well xxxx😢😢😢🥰💕🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻💓😘

  • Elaine Burrows

    So sorry to hear this sad news I have told many people your inspirational story of how Bob found you and how you saved each other. I know the life he lived with you was prolonged due to your love and dedication. An inseparable couple.
    Sadly his life was cut short and yes he should have enjoyed his twilight years.
    Bob The Street Cat forever remains in our heart
    Sincere condolences to you James and may your memories help you through your difficult time xx meow

  • Denise

    God bless ❤️ Bob sweet dreams little angel 😇 😇 😇

  • Glyn Ellis

    Such a sad time, what a beautiful cat Bob was, may he rest in peace xx

  • Anne Howes

    😿 x

  • Donna Smith London Ontario.

    you were so lucky to have each other I feel your pain as had to put my 14yr.old down on 26thof June. love your story and have your first book where i volunteer for homeless people it was on the book shelf . I tell all my friends the story as i have been a cat rescue for years still have 2 at home thank you for taking care of Bob and blessing on you.

  • Danielle Morphett

    James so sorry for your loss.
    I loved your movie with Bob.

  • Connie McGee

    I have been following Bob since he was featured in Bowen’s first book. He was a very unique and special little kitty. I.pray another kitty graces Bob’s dad’s home to help ease the pain and sorrow of his absence. <3

  • Aileen.

    I loved your books on Bob and felt I knew him to so sad to hear of his death I know the pain you are going through as I lost my lovely cat smudge 3 years ago from cancer and he was only 9 and half he like your Bob choose me and the pain is still there today so much so I feel unable to get another cat my heart goes out to you.

  • Jane Bowen

    So sad for you. I love the tales about your beautiful cat Bob.

  • Janice

    Such sad news, I loved Bob. James you say “Bob saved your life” and I don’t doubt that but also you saved Bob too.
    You were meant to be together.
    My heart goes out to you James.
    Rip Bob xx

  • Linda Bliss

    So sorry to hear this. I felt so touched by your inspiring story. Run free forever Bob.

  • Louise Hardin

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I loved the book A street cat Named Bob.

  • George

    My cat ‘Snuggles had to be put to sleep due to terminal loukemia, It was a few months ago and I am still crying for my snuggle buddy.

  • Yameen

    Shame poor bob, But he lived a good life.

  • Yameen

    Shame poor bob, But he lived a good life and he lived for long.

  • Mags Ridings

    I’m so sorry to hear the sad news about bob, I’ve watched your film & it’s such a lovely moving story, sad to hear bob died in such a tragic way but he passed away loved so much rest easy Bob

  • Margaret Robinson

    So sorry that this fairy tale had to end the way it did! RIP beautiful boy,James will never forget you,and neither will we.xxxxx

  • Lisa Broshar

    We are going to miss you sweet Ginger Bob,know this,we love you…James I’m so sorry😞

  • Patty Bye

    We were reading the 1st book in our Book Club for June. One of our members told us about Bob passing. We didn’t hear how, so sad, it was an accident. How is James doing?

  • Lisa

    I’m so sorry to hear this news. I purchased both books and they were truly inspirational.

  • Camilla

    So sorry to hear about the accident. 😢😥 Rest in peace, little one!

  • Linda Sear

    WOW, I didn’t realize until today that Bob had even passed away!! This is tragically sad news, as I have two of James’ books- A Gift From Bob and A Street Cat Named Bob. My kitty too, a male orange tabby, died two months ago on May 7th from kidney disease, although he managed to make it almost to the age of 17 years, although he didn’t quite make it until his June 4th Birthday. 🙁 May Bob rest in peace and know that his stories have made a positive impact on people like me who enjoyed reading about him.

  • Diana Martinez

    I’m sooo sorry James for your loss of your companion, friend & your world! That’s what our pets are to us.
    I saw your movie it touched my heart deeply. I know and feel the same pain you’re feeling. I loss my doggie 🐶 Dino 8 months ago and when I think of him I can’t stop crying. I ask ed God to please give me resignation, acceptance and console me. And now I’m asking God to do the same for you. They are in heaven waiting for us. 🐱 🐶 RIP 🙏

  • Ann Marie Hoff

    Many cats don’t like to have a long illness and instead they take when they cross in their own hands.
    Bob is an inspiration and one of a kind. I tell my Ginger cat who models, @Samson_Speaks on Instagram- that Bob is his role model! The world gained another star in the sky now that Bob is up there!

  • Bu11winkle

    You are an angel in disguise! Thank you for rescuing that handsome boy and prayers for you my friend 😻😢🙏

  • Anne Tutt

    Bob’s spirit will be with you ALWAYS James. I am so sorry for your loss. The story of you & Bob meeting is miraculous & you both have inspired millions of people throughout the world. Thankyou both. Keep strong James.

  • Nicole O'Malley

    How inspiring and beautiful , and may Bob rest in peace . I too have a story of my cat SheShi and our amazing life after God sent him to me .. I’d like to know how you got started with your book because I too am writing one , but just have no clue how to get it out there or noticed by the right people.. our story is truly one of a kind .. thank you for sharing your experience with us too Bob’s Dad..! Lol

  • Ann Marie Hoff

    Bob is an inspiration as is James. It is a testiment to what love can do.

  • Rosario Rodriguez

    I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your beloved Bob. The movie about Bob and James was the very 1st movie we saw on the laptop I get to use for school. I am going to Pray for Mr. James Bowen every day. My boyfriend’s name is James and we have our baby beloved cat whom we have been raising together since she was 2 weeks old. We almost lost her when she was 2 weeks old but Praise GOD we got her to the just in enough time to save her life. I could tell just by observing her and praying for her to hang on one more day. My cat saved me from an attempted suicide, She saved my life. GOD Bless you James Bowen for your story of you and Bob. I hold that deeply in my heart for you, YOU SAVED BOB, HE SAVED YOU, yOU BOTH SAVED EACHOTHER!!! You helped to extend his life by helping him with the love, and medicine for his disease, and caring for him for as long as you did. All People as a whole need to have more love and compassion for animals. It is our duty to help them when they need our help. Animals are defenseless the need our voice to speak up for them. Animals suffer every day more than people. Their voices need to heard too. I will be buying your books to honor his memory. For all, you know GOD gave him to you to tell his story and that was GOD’S plan. I pray for the people of the world to have more love in their hearts. Stop and look out for Animals crossing the streets people!!!! That should be Criminal Defense. Animals Souls Matter TOO!!!!!!!!

  • Anna

    We saw your film just now. We cried and laugh then awww then cried more. I am happy all went well with you and pleased to know you got married. Sorry to hear about Bob. Really really sorry indeed!!!

  • Aliza Rozima binti Darus

    I am very sad beautiful Bob left us to heaven,😘😍💝💜💛💓💗💖😭😭😭🐈may Bob rest happily in heaven, love you Bob, very sorry James of losing your best friend😢😢😢

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