Bob, the street cat who inspired the hit book and film A Street Cat Named Bob, has passed away at the age of 14. Bob met his owner, James Bowen, in 2007 during during a tumultuous period in Bowen’s life. While struggling with drug addiction, Bowen found the injured cat and took him in. The two quickly formed a close bond and Bob accompanied his owner when he went out to sell the The Big Issue or go busking.
Inspired by his relationship with Bob, Bowen wrote the book A Street Cat Named Bob, which became a smash hit in 2013, selling over 1 million copies in the UK alone, spending 76 weeks at the top of The Sunday Times bestseller list and being translated into 30 different languages. The book was later adapted in a film and was released in 2016 to a strong response from critics. Bowen went on to publish several more books based on Bob, including Where in the World is Bob and The Little Book of Bob.
In statement published on Bob’s official Facebook page, it was announced that the cat has passed away at the age of 14. The post reads: “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.”
As The Guardian reports, Editor of The Big Issue, Paul McNamee 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.”