Based on the book by James Bowen, this poignant story of a homeless London street musician and recovering drug addict who gets adopted by a street cat will have you laughing, crying and at the edge of your seat. I stumbled on the unlikely duo last night while nursing a wave of excruciating pain on my fractured shoulder. My three loyal feline companions rallied around me and settled down on the sofa for another sleepless night (well, sleepless for me, because they have absolutely no trouble with the concept). I wanted something emotional, non-romantic and uncomplicated to take my mind off the pain, and found the solution on Netflix.
Not only is the personal journey of James Bowen himself worth the time, but the unique friendship between human and feline are what drew me in immediately. Even if you are not fond of cats, the movie will have you thinking about unconditional and loyal friendship that transcend language barriers and weather the worst of emotional storms. Believing in one another and accepting who the other is, as is, is the fundamental basis of any human-cat relationship. Dog owners will mould the dog’s behaviour into something ideal and more human, but there is no such thing as a cat owner. Cats own you, and allow you to share their space and partake in their lives. In this case, Bob chose to share his life with James and had the strange foresight that James needed him more than he needed the human.
It all begins with a box of cereal, something simple, uncomplicated, and nutritious. This becomes symbolic of Bob himself, an uncomplicated, highly intelligent ginger who chooses to remain by James and nurture his soul.
Needless to say, the movie had me in tears several times, as I understood all too well the deep connection. It is exactly the same connection I have with Champagne, who has been with me though hell and high water ever since she marched into my life in 2014.
Photograph © Sony Pictures Releasing
Since the release of the first book, A Street Cat Named Bob, James Bowen has released two more books with more tales of his life with Bob: The World According To Bob, and A Gift From Bob. The book Bob: No Ordinary Cat is the children’s version of the first book. Click HERE to read more about the author.