A new chapter for James 
and famous street cat Bob

editorial image

James Bowen and his extraordinary, one-in-a-million ginger cat Bob, are chilling before another book signing session.

This time, WHSmith in thecentre:mk is the stop off.

“The wonderful thing is the eyes I have opened to the true reality of how things really are...” James tells me.

Their story – of two lost, broken souls who found each other at their most vulnerable – has become a best-seller.

A Street Cat Named Bob has sold more than 800,000 copies in the UK alone, and been translated into 28 languages.

This week, the book was released Stateside and is flying up the best-seller list, and the film rights are being negotiated.

Cat book

Cat book

It has also, as James tells me, changed perceptions, and turned the duo into stars in the process.

How are you dealing with the adoration?

“You put it to the back of your mind and then think about it later...” he smiles.

“I pinch myself every day though.

“When we did the book launch we weren’t expecting the queue to be around the block. I snuck out on the balcony for a ciggie, and didn’t realise people had seen me...until they started screaming!”

For those of you yet to treat yourselves to a copy of the first book, James , a recovering heroin addict, nursed the ginger street cat back from injury, after finding him in the stairwell of the block of flats he lived in.

It wasn’t supposed to be a permanent arrangement: “But one day Bob said ‘stuff you, I am going to stay with you and you have no choice in the matter!’”

Bob travelled with James to his regular busking sessions (“I have always been a musician...and would love to be a rock ‘n’ roll star!”) and the ‘tail’ of the musical man and his feline companion gave cheer to passing commuters and their heartwarming story spread.

That story was laid bare in A Street Cat Named Bob, but the newbie page turner that has brought him to Milton Keynes is a continuation, The World According To Bob.

“I wrote the books myself and still when I read certain sections they make me turn the page going ‘Oh my God!’ and I know what is going to happen!” James said.

A new children’s book will be next on to the book shelves, and James is clearly relishing his new role – which also allows him to support charities.

So far, he has raised £13,000 for the Blue Cross, and the smile that breaks out when he tells me, shows he is thrilled to bits.

To say James has struggled is to gloss over a very big dark pit, some of which is relayed in this new read.

“I was at the point of depression,” he says.

“There was one time I came home and found a junkie using the stairwell to have his fix, and he dropped dead in front of me...

“That could have been me if it wasn’t for him, “ he says, giving Bob an affectionate ruffle.

“He helps me every single day...”

> The World According To Bo b is out through Hodder & Stoughton.