If you know me in “real life” you know I’m a cut person even though I still miss (to the point of tears even now) my sweet dog who died in 2007 after many years of faithful companionship. But cats are the right pets for this stage of my life. They love naps, they don’t mind if it’s quiet so I can read and they are very helpful when I’m using my laptop.
I also believe in the therapeutic “properties” of pets. Not only do I agree with my late Dad that you recover faster from pneumonia or bronchitis if you have a cat who sleeps, purring all the while, on your chest. Cats, with their love a heat source nearby, are comforting and calming. Oh, yes! I’ve had met bad cats who weren’t like that, but mostly I find they are calm and love a nap-buddy.
Author James Bowen was a drug addict and homeless when he met Bob the cat. In his words, Bob saved his life. Caring for and protecting Bob helped him reclaim his own life. In his first book, A Street Cat Named Bob, Bowen tells their complete story.
This time out, Bowen tells about Christmas with Bob–a cat who turns off the X-Box when he’s feeling ignored! (What’s not to love?) Bob is tyrannical about HIS Christmas tree. He does not allow just any old ornaments. He must approve them or he knocks them off! He also loves to push presents off the Christmas tree table and then unwrap them–a problem Bowen deals with by wrapping up fake presents. Bob’s talents also extend to waking James in time for their stop when they are on the bus home from work! These days, Bob copes admirably with adoring fans and meet-and-greet celebrity party events, too.
Bowen used to sell copies of The Big Issue–a magazine written by homeless people to raise awareness. You may recall a big news story about Prince William keeping his word on a promised interview with a homeless girl. The Big Issue is THAT magazine. Anyway, back to Bowen and Bob. This book takes us through their holiday season with flashbacks to a few bad old times.
As they talked to people while selling The Big Issue, they gave out Christmas cards and reached out to people–thus regaining the true meaning of Christmas, that is connection to others and giving from the heart. A Pastor stops and tells James that he is impressed–James and Bob have truly learned that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
A Gift From Bob: How a Street Cat Helped One Man Learn the Meaning of Christmas by James Bowen.
Bob’s story is also available in an edition suitable for young people.
My Name is Bob and Bob to the Rescue
For Links to ALL of the Bob books, visit author James Bowen’s author page on Amazon.
The movie version of Bob’s and James’ life opened in the USA in November. Here is the trailer–with Downton Abbey’s Joanna Froggart.
Note to American readers
The “crackers” referred to in the story are these (below), not Ritz Crackers or similar that we eat with cheese. Two people each pull an end to break it open. There is usually a paper hat, a trinket and maybe a candy.