Street Cat Named Bob death: Tributes pour in after James Bowen’s famous pet dies

Bowen said he feels like ‘the light has gone out in my life’

Ellie Harrison
Tuesday 16 June 2020 20:13 BST
A Street Cat Named Bob official trailer

The cat who inspired James Bowen's bestselling book and film A Street Cat Named Bob, has died at the age of 14.

Hodder & Stoughton, the publisher of Bowen's book, confirmed Bob's death in a statement on Tuesday (16 June), writing: "As James and Bob continued to find fans all over the world, Bob led an incredible life meeting well-wishers at book signings, travelling the world and coping with feline fame.

"He was an extraordinary cat who will be greatly missed."

Bowen was a recovering addict when he first found Bob, abandoned and injured, in 2007.

He took the cat under his wing and the pair became constant companions, busking and selling The Big Issue in London.

Bowen’s book about his and Bob’s story was published in 2012, and was adapted into a 2016 film starring Luke Treadaway.

Bob appeared in the film and can also be seen in its sequel, A Gift from Bob, later this year.

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.

"The success we achieved together through our books and films was miraculous.

"He’s met thousands of people, touched millions of lives. There’s never been a cat like him. And never will again.

"I feel like the light has gone out in my life. I will never forget him."

Paul McNamee, editor of The Big Issue, said: “First Bob changed James Bowen’s life, then he changed the world. He meant a great deal to The Big Issue and was a huge part of our story, as The Big Issue was to his story. Over the years we’ve reported on his successes and each time we put him on the cover our vendors were delighted. They knew it meant fans would flock to purchase. He represented a second chance and hope and never giving up on somebody, things that are hardwired into The Big Issue DNA.

“Our condolences go to James, Bob’s loyal companion. Bob saved his life and he’s spoken of the success the pair enjoyed through their books and films as being miraculous. He said there’s never been a cat like him. We couldn’t agree more.”

Tributes to the cat poured in from fans on Twitter, with one writing: “RIP Bob. The most stylish & coolest street cat in all the land.”

“May he dance amongst the dandelions and chase mice forevermore,” wrote another. “Big feels for his bereft owner James Bowen who shared him with the world.”

A third said: "Absolutely gutted to hear that the street cat named Bob has passed away. If you've read the story you will know what an incredible cat he is who touched so many lives. Rest in peace buddy and enjoy heaven."

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