Last Updated on: September 9, 2022 by Crystal Uys


James Bowen and his cat Bob have been capturing hearts since A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life was first published in the UK last spring. The book finally debuts in the United States today. Even though the US publisher changed the original subtitle to How One Man And His Cat Found Hope on the Streets, the story remains the same, and is no less compelling with a new subtitle and cover.

I reviewed the UK edition last year, and have been following the unfolding story of James and Bob since then – I just can’t get enough of this modern day fairy tale. From book signings with lines snaking around the block to a movie deal, James’ life changed in ways he never could have imagined when he first found Bob on the doorstep of his apartment building. James was living hand to mouth on the streets of London, and had just moved into subsidized housing as part of a drug recovery program after being homeless. The last thing he needed was a pet. But he just couldn’t turn his back on the injured cat, so he took him in and nursed him back to health. He never intended to keep him. Once Bob had recovered, James sent him on his way.

But Bob had other plans. He kept coming back to the apartment building, and followed James everywhere. Soon the two became inseparable, and Bob began accompanying James on his daily trip to work into London via bus and Tube, the London underground metro system. The two became a fixture and familiar sight to many Londoners. People were charmed by Bob, and James started earning more money for his performances than he ever had before. Eventually, James got a job selling Big Issue, a newspaper published on behalf of and sold by homeless people to help them get a step up in life. Bob always tagged along.

This book has joined my very small list of best cat books of all time. The uplifting story touched my heart. The bond between James and Bob is so incredible, it brought tears to my eyes at times. As much as I love cat books, it’s rare that I come across one that I just can’t put down. I couldn’t stop turning the pages of this one. Following the journey of these two soul mates is pure joy. I only wished that I lived in London, so I could actually meet Bob. Oh, and James, too.

If you’re not convinced yet that you have to read this book, take a look at the book trailer:


And if you’re like me, and can’t get enough of Bob and James, join them on their Facebook page.

135 Comments on A Street Cat Named Bob Makes US Debut

  1. I would love to win this as all of my felines have found me when they were living on the streets, some in better conditions than others, and I’ve never turned any of them away so reading about another formerly homeless kitty is something very near & dear to my heart.

  2. I actually never read books like this, as much as I love animals and especially cats, but this one just has so much appeal. It sounds like an amazing, and unique story.

  3. I would love to read the story of Bob and his human. I have also struggled with some personal issues and know my furbabies helped me through it. I know GOD puts peolpe in our paths to help us but he never said they couldn’t wear fur.

  4. I would love to read this story and then pass it on to my daughter who is also a cat lover! We recently lost our furry little baby; She is deeply missed.
    I also shared this on Facebook.

  5. I found this perfect little book at the library where I work. I love to pass these wonderful stories on to my patrons and their families to show love and compassion for stray cats & dogs and to adopt a lost animal from our community, showing them just how much joy and happiness they can bring to anyone. Thank you for bringing joy to the library 😉
    p.s. Any talk about a motion picture ??

  6. I have a cat that claimed me as his own. I didn’t want him, but he has blessed me over and over again with the things he does. I’m sure this book will have me nodding in agreement.

  7. I love to read stories on how cats can change our lives. I’ve always believed that animals come into our lives just when we need them.

  8. Perhaps my recent loss of Mewdy Blue, my soul cat, has made me sensitive to stories like this but it sure sounds like a great story. I’d love to win this book. Maybe some day I’ll be able to write a book like it about Mewdy Blue.

  9. Several months ago I read the free excerpt available online and I have been following James and Bob on Facebook ever since. Their story is very moving and inspiring and I just can’t wait to read the entire book! I so wish they would tour the US with the book! I’d be willing to wait hours standing in line to give Bob a high five (and a handshake to James). Thank you.

  10. This story touches my heart deeply. I have 2 fur babies and one stayed with me through a heart operation recuperation. And she still watches over me.

  11. I would love to read about Bob and his unique personality. Being a multiple cat owner myself, I can only imagine the bond and unconditional love James and Bob experienced together.
    Sometimes, my cats are the only reasons for me to get and start my day.

  12. I can’t wait to meet Bob and James in this book. Their story will surely change my life, too.
    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Love what you do here.

  13. I have tried to get hold of this book for the last five months but it is apparently out of stock. I have a rescue cat who looks very like BOB and inspired by Bob I am inspired to teach Sir Rufus High 5! And I believe the book will be inspiring for me and Rufus to read together with Rufus curled up on my lap and assiting to turn the pages!

  14. I would love to win this book. I had a cat named Jack who saved me as much as I saved him (he was a feral rescue cat). The story of Bob reminds me of my friend and makes me heart sing.

  15. Shared on my facebook wall. I would love to read this book, I have had cats all my life and know the bond that exisits.

  16. Just in case anyone is interested, I read this first book last year when it came out, and this year, the new book “The World According to Bob” relating their further adventures, was just released in the UK.

    I ordered it through Amazon.UK and just received it a couple of days ago. Haven’t started reading it yet, since I’m in the middle of another book, but I’m looking forward to finding out how they’ve been doing lately.

    Didn’t take too long to arrive, and shipping wasn’t prohibitive…in case anyone, like me, doesn’t want to wait for the US release.

  17. I’d LOVE to win this book cos we’ve been following Bob since you reviewed the book last year. We follow him on FB and Twitter. TW even cried over that video.

  18. I love cats, but I am also a special education teacher. I will incoporate Bob into my classroom lessons this year. All children, especially children with disabilities, love animals. Bob will reach some of my students in ways that I cannot. I downloaded a copy of this book the day it was released in the US, but I would love a hard copy for my classroom. What a wonderful story of hope and how animals can be Angels in disquise!

    I shared this link on facebook.

  19. I have heard a lot about Bob and James. I would enjoy winning the book and getting the full story!

  20. I read and review cat books for our website for our shelter We are totally volunteer and take in many homeless cats (many teenage moms) and so any freebies that come along at least we ask. This would be a wonderful book to review and then give out as a (slightly pre-read) auction item at one of our functions.
    SJ (Mummylady)

  21. I collect and review cat books for our shelter website This would be a great book to read and review, and then give it (slightly pre-read) as a doorprize at one of our fundraisers. A lot of our kitties are former street cats and many are teenage unwed moms. We are totally volunteeer and so any chance at a freebie we at least ask!

  22. I had a cat once that kinda saved my life by just being there when I needed someone to love. Her named was Stormy and she got that name because when I first got her she was meowing up a storm so I told her that was her name. Sometimes I think that if a cat could talk then you wouldn’t need anyone else…..

  23. I shared on my page to share with everyone but especially knowing my sisters will enjoy this book also!

  24. I’ve been following Bob and James’ story on facebook since last year and I have been so excited and waiting for it to come out here in the US. This story looks to be as wonderful as Gwen and Homer’s. I truly can’t wait to read it. Thanks for offering up some as gifts!

  25. I had seen this offered as a giveaway before. I would love to read this book and see how the cat helped his homeless owner cope and begin to love and trust again because of him.

  26. I would love to read this book then send it to our friend. He used to be a homeless person. He became our friend and lived with us for awhile. During the time with us, he helped save my daughter’s life one night when she was joking on vomit while on her back when she was having a seizure. The seizure dogs alerted both of us; he got to her about the same time I did and helped turn my daughter on her side so she would not joke and so she could breathe. When I was working, he would get Amanda off the transport bus after arriving home from daycare and fix her a snack to eat.

    He is a very good friend. When I “Make It” with a business endeavor on the Internet in spite of my own disabilities, I will make sure he and his family are well taken care of as well. He is a very special person. He’s a little quirky, like me; but, a very special person.

  27. This looks like such a good, heart-warming story. I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for the opportunity!

  28. A Street Cat Named Bob has been on my wish list since I first heard about it…I’d love to win a copy!

  29. I have been following the story of Bob and James and would love to read the book. I have 2 cats and have seen them transform my husband into a better person. I would love a copy of the book. Yay Bob!

  30. I would love to win/read this book because it is a true life fairy tale of a pet and a human who saved each other. We know animals do this for us and we for them, but this one is extraordinary.

  31. I would like to win this book because I honestly think I am the only person on the planet who has NOT read it!

  32. I love love LOVE kitties!!! My friends and family joke that I am a “crazy cat lady” ….. but I don’t see how that’s possible cuz I only have five 😉

  33. This story is one of triumph and the love of man and beast. I’ve been wanting to get a copy for awhile. I’ve shared this story on my facebook page.

  34. Will read the book, but it would be fabulous to actually win a copy. The bond between James and Bob is extraordinary! Well, maybe not the bond, but the whole story!

    I’m going to share this contest on my own FB page and on our LAPCATS page.

    • James and Bob have a facebook page too. Just type in James Bowen and street cat Bob.
      I loved this book. And the sequel.

  35. OMG! I’m so excited that this book is FINALLY going to be available! I’ve had it on my wish list with Amazon for FOREVER! {since last year!} In fact I have it twice, lol.

    I’m thrilled to finally be able to read it! I didn’t realize there was such a following behind them. I just saw the book and loved the whole idea of the story. Since I’ve worked with the homeless locally, homelessness is an important issue for me and of course cats are as well so it was the perfect combination to read.

    Thanks for such an amazing opportunity!!

  36. My cat Noelle changed my life when I was all alone, in a foreign country, so I can relate to James feelings. It is amazing what animals can do for you when you give them some love. I’d love to win the book and get to know James and Bob’s story!

  37. This is such a beautiful, touching story. I live in a city where there are a lot of homeless people and sometimes they are just ignored and treated as though they are not human. This story proves differently. What a smart, adorable cat Bob is too!!! I have to read this book!!!

  38. I have wanted to read their story every since I first heard of them. I really enjoy learning about lives of others where an animal has changed their lives or vise versa. Please enter me. Thanks for the giveway.

  39. What an inspiring story! Bob sounds like a wonderful cat. I once had someone tell me that “cats find their owners” and this story reminds me of that saying. I’d love to read this book – cat books especially are terrific! 🙂

  40. I ?Found his story on Youtube several months ago and I just fell in love with them both. I would love to ahve this book and I would share it with my mom who is a cat lover herself.

  41. I have not heard of James and Bob before – now I’m hooked! Would love to read this book. Thanks for the opportunity to win it!

  42. I would love to win this book. I’ve anxiously waiting the US release and have had it on my wishlist for awhile. Please enter me in the contest. 🙂

  43. I have been wanting to read this book for awhile! So winning would just be a bonus. I love heartwarming animal stories especially cats.

  44. I would live to win this book, not only to read but to read to children. We have a shelter near us that houses several children, and I believe that thus story will inspire not only the children, but adults as well. A story of hope, found in an unlikely place
    happen to anyone w illing to open their eyes and hearts. Thank you James, Bob and The Conscious Cat.

  45. I am always happy to see someone who benefits from the friendship of a pet. One of the most recent trends is to allow homeless families a shelter that allows them to keep their beloved pets. I truly believe these families and individuals are given a wonderful opportunity to see that it is possible to still give something very valuable to the world, ie. love, companionship, and even hope to someone /something outside of their own terrible predicaments. I look forward to seeing the upcoming movie and reading the book. There is hope yet for all of us!

  46. I love cats; I love reading about cats; I have thoroughly enjoyed the snippets I’ve seen of Bob and James’ story so far.

  47. I am a cat person and love reading and collecting books of special cats with their people. I would love to win and add this to my collection. I do as much as I can to help the cats in my neighborhood and have rescued quite a few!


  48. I would love to win a copy of this book as their story is so inspiring and I would love to read the WHOLE story. How the love of a cat can change lives, something beautiful in this world.

  49. I’ve been following James and Bob on facebook for a while now. Their story is so inspiring. I would love to win a copy of the book because their story shows how much love and hope cats bring to our lives.

  50. I would love to read the whole story of Bob and James! As a foster for cats at a local shelter, this story is inspirational!

  51. Although I’ve never been homeless like James, I’m convinced that my boy Smokey has saved my life in many ways, and just the idea of this book touches me deeply. I would really, really love to win and read it!

  52. I’d love to win this book! I remember seeing it in a search last year when looking for some nice cat books for me to read. I’ve held out, hoping it would make it’s way to the US 🙂 I love great cat stories!

  53. reading about other people’s road to recovery is very encouraging. and what better story than one that includes a cat!!! would love to win this!!!

  54. I loved this book. I have already read it twice. I would like to win a copy to donate to the silent auction fund raiser for Feral Friends, a cat rescue group for which I volunteer.

  55. I love reading stories about people and their cats. This has been on my “want to read” list for sometime, and it would be great to win a free copy. Thanks for giving us that opportunity.

  56. I have read about these two on the Internet. What a moving tale of unconditional love! I would love to have a copy to share with my cat-loving and warmhearted mother.

  57. We had a cat in my over 55 community when I lived in New port Richey Fl. I name him Bouser for no reason. He would make the rounds of the mobile homes for food. I invited him in but he never wished to stay long as he was indeed his own “cat.” We had four other cats at the time, and he always got along well with all. His goal was adventure. He would indeed be no ones pet. He was free!

  58. Though I already have a copy, if I were to win a copy I would share with a friend : )
    Wonderful story!! A must read!!

  59. My reason for wanting to win? My late husband & our Willie cat. I now live in Louisville, KY, but for a few short years I lived in Galveston, TX. Whether you think I’m complaining or bragging, Allan was “street” and those on the streets of Galveston knew him as “Willie” aka “Willie Nelson” (and yes the resemblence was there!). In the summer of 2000 I married this Galveston Island “pirate” and ‘Nam Vet. Before we married I informed Allan that if we ever should get a pet it would have to be a cat, since, like him, a cat pretty much took care of its own needs. About a year after our marriage we were given a grey male tabby, and it was suggested that I name the cat “Willie” for my husband. Believe it or not, “Willie” was the name that cat answered to (as much as any cat “answers” to a name). Willie became my husband’s cat, following him much as Bob followed James. About a month after Allan lost his battle with esophageal cancer, Willie put himself in the path of a man known to all in the building as a cat hater. This man beat Willie so badly that euthanisia was a blessing.

  60. I would love to win a cat, because even though people don’t think so, cats are very unique creatures. They are really inspiring in their own ways. I have 4 cats and they each have their own unique personalities.

  61. I too have followed the story of Bob and James from the start…..and it’s one of the most heart-warming stories of love and bonding that I’ve ever heard. I’ve always believed that people meet each other for a reason – and people meeting certain animals fits in that same belief…..It just makes me so happy to see others who know the same joy I do and so many others do – of having a “soul” relationship with a cat. I’d love to win a copy of this most special book.

    Pam (and Sam)

  62. As Feline Director for a rescue it is my hope that stories like this will inspire people to adopt from shelters. I hope it will change people’s perspective when it comes to homeless people and homeless pets. Already smiling at the thought of this book.

  63. This is such a heartwarming story and a testament to the bond between man and cat. Sounds like an uplifting read.
    My hope would be that it would inspire people to go the extra mile to help abused and abandoned animals and the disenfranchised to a better life.

  64. I would like to win this book because of a cat that I rescued named Sasha. I found her on the street right outside my apartment building. Someone had abandoned her because she had a serious infection in her eyes. She never moved when i tried to approach her. She was obviously recently abandoned: her black coat was gleaming. She allowed me to pick her up immediately and purred when I held her. I took her straight to my vet who diagnosed her infected eyes and gave me the gel to put into her eyes. Two weeks later, and with beautiful and clear yellow eyes, we were inseparable. Sasha came to me at a time in my life that was chaotic and stressful. She brought peace and much love into my life and I would like to think that I brought the same to hers.

  65. Has it really been over a year that your first review came out? I was so taken by it, it seems like yesterday! I would love to win a copy. The trailer is magnificent, and I am so happy to see their success.

  66. Cats are just amazing creatures! I cannot tell you how much this story warms my heart. Thanks for sharing it and yes, please enter me into the giveaway. 🙂

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