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Fans organise festival to celebrate Islington Big Issue seller James Bowen and his street cat Bob

L to R: Margot Stewart, Anne Dack with Comfy the cat and April Ritchie. L to R: Margot Stewart, Anne Dack with Comfy the cat and April Ritchie.

By Gregor Dickie
Saturday, May 24, 2014
2:00 PM

Pet lovers have organised a special event to celebrate a Big Issue seller and his cat, who shot to fame with the release of a bestselling book about their life on the streets.

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A Street Cat Named Bob was written by James Bowen, who was a regular fixture at Angel Tube station until the book release.

It told the story of how Mr Bowen, a recovering drug addict living in sheltered accommodation, turned his life around after finding the injured cat in the hallway of his flats in 2007.

Fans of the book, nicknamed Bobites, who met on Facebook, will host the first ever Bobfest on Saturday at The House of the Wolf on Upper Street.

Activities will include a live performance of “Bobbing all over the World” and an auction of Bobite merchandise.

All funds raised will go to animal charity Blue Cross, which treated Bob at a mobile vet clinic on Islington Green.

Organiser Martin Pickett said: “We’re like one big ‘cyber-family’ brought together by the wonderful story of James and Bob and our love of pets. We thought it would be great if we could all get together in one place and realised we also had the potential to help hundreds of pets by raising money for Blue Cross.

“We have people coming from all over the world to join in the fun, from as far away as Japan, America and Brazil, as well as all over Europe.”

Plans for a bigger festival at the 600-capacity Islington Assembly Rooms next year are already under way.

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