I have been in love with Bob ever since I read the British edition of A Street Cat Named Bob more than three years ago, and have followed the amazing journey of the pair since then. As far as life-changing cats go, Bob is in a league of his own.
James and Bob’s newest book, A Gift from Bob, How a Street Cat Helped One Man Learn the Meaning of Christmas, will publish in the US on October 13 (look for a review and giveaway here on The Conscious Cat on October 16.) I promise you that you will absolutely adore this book.
I was delighted when James’ US publisher offered me the opportunity to send a few questions across the Atlantic to James.
James, when we last “spoke” via email two years ago, I asked you how your life had changed since your first book came out. Your answer was that the main change was that you no longer needed to be on the streets. I would imagine that your life has changed even more over the last two years: you’re opening a Cat Café in London, the movie version of your book will start filming next month, people are lining up for hours to see you and Bob. Does it still seem surreal to you at times?
Hello again! Life can be scary – but at the same time, it can be wonderful, and just now it is pretty wonderful!
Let’s talk about Bob the Movie. Are you pleased with the casting of Luke Treadaway to play you?
I think Luke Treadaway will make a great job of being me for the film as he is an incredibly adaptable actor. I am honoured to have him playing me – and I look forward to our outings together to help him get a feel for my style and mannerisms.
More importantly, though: who will play Bob?
It sounds crazy but I recently learned that there are a number of fine ginger cats in Canada being trained to do stuff like Bob’s high five and more, and I can’t wait to see them in action.
Will you be involved with the script and with filming?
I have been asked to advise and will be visiting the set – and will maybe have a cameo – so look out for me when you see the film.
Tell us about Bob’s World Cat Café. When is it scheduled to open?
We are currently looking at shop fronts, licences and so forth around North London, it has to take a long time so we can get it right – but it is coming along!
What does a typical day look like for you and Bob?
We no longer have a typical day, as toward the end of the year we are pretty much running around the UK promoting the paperback of A Gift From Bob. In fact we have just got back from a really busy, terrific week in Germany. We love to make people happy by going out to meet them and perhaps making more people aware of the homeless situation in countries.
What has been the biggest challenge for you when it comes to living in the public eye as much as you do?
We have had to become a bit wary of going out now. This doesn’t mean I hide at home, and it is lovely that people want to say hello, but we can get crowded a bit. I do miss the days of being out on the street busking and selling the Big Issue magazine, but also it’s nice to know we are helping those who are like we once were. Sometimes we go out and hang with some of the magazine vendors which helps them with their sales. I still dabble on the guitar and write songs at home but I don’t think I would get an album deal somehow!
Are you working on another book?
I have a few books in me. At least two more autobiographical ones and I want to do a few more children’s books. But time will tell on these – we have the movie to release first and then we’ll see what comes next.
And lastly, I’ll have to ask again: any plans to come to the US?
We would love to come to the US – and I am just waiting for it to slot into place.
All photos via James Bowen and Street Cat Bob’s Facebook page