Click here to Download A Street Cat Named Bob PDF Book by James Bowen Language English having PDF Size 1 MB and No of Pages 166.
The following morning, Friday, I headed downstairs to find the ginger tom still sitting there. It was as if he hadn’t shifted from the same spot in the past twelve hours or so. Once again I dropped down on one knee and stroked him. Once again it was obvious that he loved it. He was purring away, appreciating the attention he was getting. He hadn’t learned to trust me 100 per cent yet.
A Street Cat Named Bob PDF Book by James Bowen
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But I could tell he thought I was OK. In the daylight I could see that he was a gorgeous creature. He had a really striking face with amazingly piercing green eyes, although, looking closer, I could tell that he must have been in a fight or an accident because there were scratches on his face and legs. As I’d guessed the previous evening, his coat was in very poor condition.
It was very thin and wiry in places with at least half a dozen bald patches where you could see the skin. I was now feeling genuinely concerned about him, but again I told myself that I had more than enough to worry about getting myself straightened out. So, more than a little reluctantly.
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I headed off to catch the bus from Tottenham to central London and Covent Garden where I was going to once more try and earn a few quid busking. By the time I got back that night it was pretty late, almost ten o’clock. I immediately headed for the corridor where I’d seen the ginger tom but there was no sign of him. Part of me was disappointed.
I’d taken a bit of a shine to him. But mostly I felt relieved. I assumed he must have been let in by his owner when they’d got back from wherever it was they had been. On Sunday morning I got up reasonably early and decided to hit the streets to see if I could find his owner. I figured that someone might have stuck up a ‘Lost Cat’ poster.
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There was almost always a photocopied appeal for the return of a missing pet plastered on local lampposts, noticeboards and even bus stops. There seemed to be so many missing moggies that there were times when I wondered whether there was a cat-napping gang at work in the area.
Just in case I found the owner quickly, I took the cat with me, attaching him to a leash I’d made out of a shoelace to keep him safe. He was happy to walk by my side as we took the stairs to the ground floor. Outside the block of flats the cat began pulling on the string lead as if he wanted to head off. I guessed that he wanted to do his business.
Sure enough he headed off into a patch of greenery and bushes adjoining a neighbouring building and disappeared for a minute or two to heed nature’s call. He then returned to me and happily slipped back into the lead. He must really trust me, I thought to myself. I immediately felt that I had to repay that trust and try and help him out. A Street Cat Named Bob PDF Book
My first port of call was the lady who lived across the street. She was known locally for looking after cats. She fed the neighbourhood strays and got them neutered, if necessary. When she opened the door I saw at least five cats living inside. Goodness knows how many more she had out the back. It seemed that every cat for miles headed to her backyard knowing it was the best place to get some food.
I didn’t know how she could afford to feed them all. Thankfully, the rain had eased off by the time we reached the centre of town. Despite the weather there were even bigger crowds in the centre of town than there had been the previous day. ‘We’ll give it a go for a couple of hours,’ I said to Bob as I plonked him on my shoulders and headed off towards Covent Garden.
‘But if it starts to rain again we’ll head back, I promise.’ Walking down Neal Street, once again people were stopping us all the time. I was happy to let them fuss over Bob, within reason. In the space of ten minutes, half a dozen people had stopped us and at least half of them had asked to take a picture. I quickly learned that the key was to keep moving, otherwise you’d be surrounded before you knew it. A Street Cat Named Bob PDF Book
It was as we were reaching the end of Neal Street near where I turned towards James Street that something interesting happened. I suddenly felt Bob’s paws readjusting themselves on my shoulder. Before I knew it he was sliding off my shoulder and clambering down my arm. When I let him hop on to the pavement he began walking ahead of me.
I extended the lead to its full length and let him go. It was obvious that he recognised where we were and was going to take it from here. He was leading the way. He marched ahead of me all the way to the pitch where we’d been the previous night. He then stood there, waiting for me to take out my guitar and lay the guitar case down for him. ‘There you go, Bob,’ I said.
He instantly sat down on the soft case as if it was where he belonged. He positioned himself so that he could watch the world walk by – which, this being Covent Garden, it was. There had been a time when I’d had ambitions of making it as a real musician. I’d harboured dreams of becoming the next Kurt Cobain. A Street Cat Named Bob PDF Book
As naive and completely stupid as it sounds now, it had been part of my grand plan when I’d come back to England from Australia. That’s what I’d told my mother and everyone else when I’d set off. I’d had my moments and, for a brief time, I felt like I might actually get somewhere.
It was hard for a while, but things changed around 2002, when I’d got off the streets and into some sheltered accommodation in Dalston. One thing had led to another and I’d formed a band with some guys I’d met. We were a four-piece guitar band called Hyper Fury, which told you a lot about my and my band mates’ state of mind at the time.
The name certainly summed me up. I was an angry young man. I really was hyper-furious – about life in general and about feeling that I’d not had a fair break in particular. My music was an outlet for my anger and angst. So I decided to spend some time on Bob rather than busking. If he was going to hang out with me on a regular basis then I needed to have better equipment for him. A Street Cat Named Bob PDF Book
I couldn’t walk around with him attached to a leash made out of a shoelace. Apart from anything else, it was uncomfortable – not to mention dangerous. Bob and I hopped on a bus and headed off in the direction of Archway. I knew the north London branch of the Cats Protection charity was there. Bob seemed to sense immediately that this wasn’t the same route we’d taken the previous couple of days.
Every now and again he would turn and look at me as if to say: ‘So, where are you taking me today?’ He wasn’t anxious, just curious. The Cats Protection shop was a smart, modern place with all sorts of equipment, toys and books about cats. There were loads of free pamphlets and brochures on every aspect of caring for a cat – from microchipping to toxoplasmosis, diet tips to neutering advice.
I picked up a few for future reading. There were only a couple of people working there and the place was quiet. So they couldn’t resist coming over for a chat as I took a look around with Bob sitting on my shoulder. ‘He’s a good-looking boy isn’t he?’ one lady said, stroking Bob. He could tell he was in safe hands because he was leaning his body into her as she smoothed his coat and cooed over him. A Street Cat Named Bob PDF Book Download
We then fell into a conversation about how Bob and I had met. I then explained what had happened the previous two days. Both women smiled and nodded. ‘A lot of cats like to go out for a walk with their owners,’ one told me. ‘They like to go for a walk in the park or for a short stroll down the street. But I have to say Bob’s a bit unusual isn’t he?’
‘He is,’ her friend said. ‘I think you’ve got yourself a bit of a jewel there. He’s obviously decided to attach himself to you.’ It was nice to hear them confirming what, deep down, I knew already. Every now and again, I had a little pang of doubt about whether I should try harder to put him back on the streets, whether I was doing the right thing in keeping him in the flat with me.
Their words were a real boost for me. What I didn’t know, however, was how best to manage Bob if he was going to be my constant companion on the streets of London. It wasn’t the safest of environments, to put it mildly. Apart from the obvious traffic, there were all sorts of potential threats and dangers out there. A Street Cat Named Bob PDF Book Download
I looked up and saw that the two shopkeepers were standing nearby watching. One of them was dabbing her eyes, close to tears. ‘I’m so glad you found him,’ she said. ‘He looked like such a lovely cat. We were wondering what we’d do with him if no one showed up before closing time.’ She came closer and stroked Bob for a moment as well.
We then chatted for a couple of minutes as she and her colleague got ready to close the till and started preparing to shut up shop for the evening. ‘Bye, Bob,’ the pair said as we headed off back into the throng around Piccadilly Circus with Bob perched on my shoulder again. When I got back to Ripley’s I discovered – to my mild amazement – that my guitar was still there.
Maybe the security guy at the door had kept an eye on it. Or perhaps one of the community support officers in the area had made sure it was safe. At the time there was a mobile police unit next to us. All the police and community support people loved Bob. He had become very popular with the police. I had no idea who the Good Samaritan was but to be honest I didn’t care. A Street Cat Named Bob PDF Book Download
I was just glad that Bob and I were reunited. I wasted no time in gathering up my stuff and calling it a night. We’d not made enough money but that wasn’t my biggest concern. I stopped at a general store and, with most of the cash I had on me, bought myself a little belt clip that I attached, first to me then to his lead. It would make sure that we remained connected all the time.
On the bus rather than sitting on the seat next to me as usual, he sat on my lap. He could be an inscrutable chap but at other times I knew exactly what Bob was thinking. Tonight was one of those occasions. We were together, and neither of us wanted that to change. No one had fallen more deeply in love with Bob than my ex-girlfriend Belle.
We were still close friends, probably better friends than when we were together and she would pop round to the flat on a regular basis. It was partly to see me and hang out but I was pretty sure that she was also coming over to see Bob. The two of them would play together for hours on the sofa. Bob thought the world of her, I could tell. A Street Cat Named Bob PDF Book Free
It was about three weeks before Christmas that she came round with a plastic shopping bag in her hand and a big grin on her face. ‘What have you got in there?’ I said, sensing she was up to something. ‘It’s not for you, it’s for Bob,’ she said, teasing me. Bob was sitting in his usual spot under the radiator, but perked up the minute he heard his name mentioned.
‘Bob, come here, I’ve got a surprise for you,’ Belle said, flopping on to the sofa with the bag. He was soon padding over, curious to find out what was inside. Belle pulled out a couple of small animal T-shirts. One just had a picture of a cute-looking kitten on it. But the other one was red with green trim on it. It had the words ‘Santa Paws’ in large white letters with a big paw print underneath it.