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How a feral cat helped a homeless man make dramatic changes in his life
With the help of his feline friend, James Bowen has been given a few extra chances of his own.
Just a few years ago, Bowen was down and out, selling copies of The Big Issue, a magazine sold by homeless people, on rainy London streets, when his fortune changed forever.
He met a stray orange kitten with an outgoing demeanor whom he named Bob. The cat had an abscess on his leg, and Bowen cobbled together money for antibiotics and nursed the little kitty back to health.
“When his treatments were done and I was trying to get him to find his own way home, he just started following me, until the day he followed me onto the bus,” says Bowen.The two soon became inseparable, with Bob hanging out on Bowen’s shoulder and doing tricks, like playing patty-cake, for passers-by.
They quickly acquired local fame, newspaper articles were written about them, and then one day, Bowen and Bob met a book agent from New York named Mary Pachnos, who had also signed the “Marley & Me” author.
In 2010, Bowen published his first book, “A Street Cat Named Bob — and How He Saved My Life.” It quickly became a best-seller.
“My life is completely like a sort of ‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ [story],” Bowen says from his flat in London. “Flipped upside down.”
Bowen has gone on to write four more books — three children’s titles and a new book, “The World According to Bob.”
All told, the books have sold more than 1 million copies and have even resulted in a movie deal: A film based on “A Street Cat Named Bob” is currently in production and has a tentative 2015 release date. Not bad for a stray cat and a guy who used to sell newspapers on the street.
His new book delves deeper into his life, post-heroin addiction, and shines a brighter light on the plight of those living hard on the streets.“It’s crazy to [be] somebody who lived in a low-budget accommodation, a kind of hostel … now on the property ladder, and paying something called ‘income tax.’ Which seems quite exorbitant,” he says, laughing.
to read more: nypost.com
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