Bob the cat, who inspired the wildly popular book and film A Street Cat Named Bob, has sadly died at the age of ‘at least 14.’
A statement on the book’s official Facebook page announced the sad news, with a heartbreaking statement from author James Bowen.
It reads: ‘Hodder & Stoughton and James Bowen are saddened to announce the death of Bob the cat on 15 June at the age of at least 14 years.
‘James, a recovering addict, first met Bob in 2007 when he found him abandoned and injured. James took care of Bob who in turn gave him a reason to get up each morning. They quickly became inseparable, busking and selling The Big Issue on the streets of London.
‘In 2012 Hodder & Stoughton published James’ first book, A Street Cat Named Bob, telling his and Bob’s extraordinary story.
‘The book was a publishing sensation, selling – along with its sequels The World According to Bob, A Gift from Bob and The Little Book of Bob – more than eight million books in more than forty languages, and was made into the film in 2016 starring Luke Treadaway as James.
‘Bob appeared in the film as himself and will appear in a sequel, A Gift from Bob, later this year.
‘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.
‘James Bowen says “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.”’
James met Bob when he was working as a busker in Covent Garden in 2007. Finding a ginger cat in the hallway of his building two nights in a row, he checked he didn’t belong to other residents before taking him in while he continued to look for his owner.
Bob continued to follow James around, before he took him in permanently.
James has previously credited Bob with helping him recover from his drug addiction, saying: ‘I believe it came down to this little man.
‘He came and asked me for help, and he needed me more than I needed to abuse my own body. He is what I wake up for every day now. He’s definitely given me the right direction to live my life.’
A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life was published in 2013, while the film was released in 2016.
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