The story of James Bowen, the young man who rescued a stray cat and became a millionaire

The story of James Bowen, the young man who rescued a stray cat and became a millionaire

In the year 2007, a young English man who lived on the street because of his addiction to psychoactive substances decides to rescue and help an abandoned and badly injured cat. 5 years later, after overcoming his addiction, he set out to write a book telling the story of the cat that saved his life. Today, said the young man has become a successful writer and millionaire after publishing various books that have entered prestigious bestseller lists… How did he do it?

He lived on the street and became a millionaire thanks to a cat

The protagonist of this story is James Anthony Bowen, who was born on March 15, 1979, in SurreyEngland.

When James was just 3 years old, his parents divorced, so he and his mother moved to Australia. Despite the enormous efforts of his mother, she could not find a stable job, and this forced them to constantly move from city to city; Because of this, it was very difficult for the little boy to make friends and he suffered from bullying at school.

To escape a bit from his reality, James took refuge in music and literature. He would spend entire afternoons looking for new songs and books to entertain himself. He dreamed every day of becoming a great artist; However, the terrible bullying he experienced at school caused him to drop out completely during his second year of high school.

In 1997, at the age of 17, she moved to London to live with her half-sister on her father’s side to pursue her dream of becoming a singer. She managed to gather a group of musicians and began to knock on the doors of different places in the city to show her talent. Unfortunately, the illusion of developing a career as a singer faded when the members of his band broke up due to internal conflicts.

This failure was a severe blow to James, who, out of frustration, constantly argued with his sister and ended up living on the streets.

Over the next few years, he begged, slept in shelters, and began using psychoactive substances to deal with the pain of homelessness. Added to this, he began to have episodes of schizophrenia, for which his family tried to support him in seeking medical assistance, but the young man always relapsed.

In order to earn some money with which to survive, it occurred to him to play the guitar in the streets of the city. When he couldn’t get enough to eat, he used to look in the garbage for something to satisfy his hunger.

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Little by little, his addiction to drugs and his health problems led him to the point of feeling that he did not want to continue living.

After almost 10 years of living on the street, a London social assistance program took him in with the purpose of starting a rehabilitation process. Although the young man strictly followed the treatments and recommendations, on several occasions he had severe relapses. However, thanks to this program he was able to use special housing in the suburbs and received doses of methadone to combat his addiction.

Recovering the meaning of life and finding a reason to move on

Day by day, James went out to sing with his guitar to get some money to continue his rehabilitation. Returning home one afternoon in 2007, he found a ginger cat in his apartment. He seemed like he was hungry, so he offered him some food. The young man noticed that the cat had no identification tag or collar, was too thin, had very unhealthy fur, had some scratches on its face, and had an infected wound on its leg. Initially, he thought that perhaps it belonged to a neighbor, so he took it from apartment to apartment asking if anyone had lost it, but no one recognized him, so he decided to take it upon himself to help him.

“We were two wounded souls looking for someone to trust, and we found each other.” James said in an interview.

Excited, he took the cat to a nearby vet. There they gave him antibiotics and cleaned the wound. The treatment cost him approximately $25, which was just the amount he had available to eat that week, but he did not hesitate to invest it to help the injured cat. The medication lasted two weeks, so he took him in for that time while he continued to search for the possible owner.

Despite the intense search, he never found anyone to claim the cat, so he proceeded to set it free in the park in the hope that it would find its way to its former home; however, the cat did not want to get away from James and began to follow him even to the bus when he was on his way to play in the streets. Concerned that the feline had nowhere else to go, he eventually opted to adopt him, naming him “Bob ,” after the character “Killer BOB” from the TV show “Twin Peaks . ”

Bob always followed James to work, so the young man got him a safety harness to take him to the usual places where he sang, such as Covent Garden and Piccadilly Circus.

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When passersby saw James with Bob on his shoulders, they were amazed, took photos of him, and supported him with more money than usual. Quickly, the artist and his faithful companion became well-known locally.

In 2008, in search of better stability and while continuing to move forward with his rehabilitation process, James got a job selling newspapers at The Big Issue, a local news outlet. With money from sales and tips from people, which increased considerably when customers saw Bob, James was finally beginning to see a glimmer of hope to get ahead.

On the streets, people watching James and Bob‘s show began to record them and later upload the videos to YouTube. These videos went viral, attracting the attention of hundreds of tourists who came to Covent Garden in search of the acclaimed artist and his cat. His popularity grew more and more. Local media were interested in his story and contributed to increasing his fame.

Thanks to the fact that things were improving, James was able to gain strength and, after a hard road, he finally managed to overcome his addiction after finishing treatment.

“Bob came to me. My life changed thanks to him. He came and asked me for help, and he needed me more than I needed to abuse my own body. Bob is the reason I get up every day. He is the one who has given me the right direction to live my life. It’s like a love story.” -Affirms the young man.

Inspiring millions of people with his story

Free from the addiction that had tied him to the streets for years, James decided to take charge of his life. With much determination, he began to write an autobiography where he told the tender story of himself and how a cat named Bob changed his life.

A 2010 short story about the young man and his cat caught the attention of publisher Hodder & Stoughton, who immediately contacted James for a draft of his story.

For a couple of years, he was working on the book. Finally, in March 2012, “A Street Cat Named Bob” was published. The book was a complete success, it had an excellent reception by the public and critics, becoming a bestseller in just a few months. It has sold over 1 million copies in the UK alone and has been translated into 30 languages. For 76 weeks it was number 1 on the top bestseller list of The Sunday Times. In addition, it was nominated for the UK National Book Awards in the category of “best non-fiction book”.

The runaway success of his work not only made James a millionaire but also encouraged him to write more books using his story. His next book, “The World According to Bob”, was released in July 2013 and reached the seventh place on The New York Times bestseller list that year.

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James and Bob’s story traveled the world and inspired its creator to continue writing. In total, to date, James has written 9 books and several songs using Bob’s support for his life as inspiration.

The success story was also adapted to the cinema with two films: “A Street Cat Named Bob”, released in 2016, where Bob played the role of himself; and “A Gift from Bob”, released in 2020. Both productions had a moderate reception and were mainly promoted in the United Kingdom, where they were well received.

The sad farewell of Bob, the cat that saved his life

Sadly, just 6 months after the release of his latest film, on June 15, 2020, beloved cat Bob passed away at the age of 15, after accidentally escaping and being hit by a car. The news took James by surprise and was a devastating blow to him, who decided to write an emotional message on Facebook:

“Bob saved my life, it’s as simple as that. He gave me much more than company. With him by my side I found the direction and purpose in life that I had lost. The success we achieved together through our books and movies was miraculous. He met thousands of people, touched millions of lives. There has never been a cat like him, and there never will be. I feel like the light of my life has gone. I will never forget.” -It was his words.

James Bowen is currently 44 years old and has a personal fortune of approximately $2.4 million. He has successfully overcome his addiction and dreams of continuing to work on his writing career. Every day he fondly remembers his great friend of his who changed his life and is dedicated to helping numerous charities involving homelessness, literacy, and animal welfare.

Thus we conclude the story of James Bowen, a young man passionate about music and literature who, despite the adversities he faced, found in his beloved cat the engine to get ahead and recover the purpose of his life, taking his story to millions of people. people who today find inspiration in the adventures he lived in the company of his beloved cat Bob. In his own words:

“Living on the streets of London strips you of your dignity, your identity, everything. The worst thing is the opinion that people have of you. They see that you live on the street and they treat you as if you were not a person. Having Bob gave me the opportunity to interact with people… Seeing myself with my cat softened me up in the eyes of others. He humanized me. Somehow Bob was making me a person again.”


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