Thursday, July 7, 2016

A Street Cat Named Bob

"Everybody needs a break, everybody deserves that second chance," proves true for both human and animals alike. A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life by James Bowen is a feel good memoir about a struggling street musician and his feline guardian angel and how they saved each other.

From the publisher: “When street musician James Bowen found an injured cat curled up in the hallway of his apartment building, he had no idea how much his life was about to change. James was living hand to mouth on the streets of London, barely making enough money to feed himself, and the last thing he needed was a pet. Yet James couldn't resist helping the strikingly intelligent but very sick animal, whom he named Bob. He slowly nursed Bob back to health and then sent the cat on his way, imagining that he would never see him again. But Bob had other ideas.”

Sweet, charming and heartwarming, A Street Cat Named Bob, is an uplifting book that reminds us that when it comes to helping us through our struggles, God does indeed work in the most mysterious of ways. As a recovering drug-addict fighting for survival on a daily basis, James finds a kindred spirit in the slightly battered stray that fortuitously comes into his life. Like too many members of our society that for any number of reasons fall through the cracks, James and Bob were invisible to everyone but each other, yet as they earned each other's trust and friendship an unbreakable bond was forged. Even though the hopelessness James felt during his worst days was slowly abating, each day was still a struggle to leave the fog of heroin, booze and petty crime far in the past. But in caring for Bob, James gave his life purpose for someone needed him; they needed each other.

Truly as if heaven sent, Bob proved a life-changing force for James; filling his days with hope, joy, friendship, and love. Though James is our narrator (a truly amazing feat if it had been Bob), I have to admit that the story touched me most because of Bob’s role in it. I’m always amazed and humbled by the beauty and goodness of animals, especially those rescued from hardship, that despite past hurts and fears sometimes suffered at the hand of us supposedly more evolved humans, find it within their little (too big for their body) hearts to love and trust again so unconditionally. It's truly one of life's greatest mysteries, though maybe not, because in all honesty I do think they are heaven sent. A gift to see us through our darkest days, our loneliest nights, our deepest fears and to bestow upon us a love, of which given our human frailties, we could never be truly worthy.

Though a simple tale, A Street Cat Named Bob reminds us that we’re never truly alone, that like the song says “the sun will come out tomorrow,” and that animals can make the best of friends.

PS. By the way, Bob is coming soon to a big screen near you. Here’s a link to the film's trailer.