Statue to street cat Bob unveiled in Islington Green
- Credit: © Phil Gammon 2021
Bob, London’s favourite street cat who transformed his owner's life, has been immortalised with a statue in Islington Green.
James Bowen spoke at a ceremony this morning (July 15) to unveil the statue of the ginger feline, which accompanied and inspired him on his journey from a homeless drug addict to a best-selling author.
The 2012 book of their experiences, A Street Cat Named Bob, became a bestseller and spawned two films - the second of which was released last year.
James found Bob injured and abandoned in 2007 and, with the help of the Blue Cross, nursed him back to full health.
The two became inseparable and James was often seen busking or selling The Big Issue near Islington Green with Bob perched on his shoulder.
Bob died in June 2020.
“Bob was my best friend and my teacher and represents that we are all stronger together,” said James.
“He will always be my constant companion through life. My hope is that when people visit Bob’s statue, or as they simply pass by, that they will take a moment to remember that everyone deserves a second chance and that no one is alone.”
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Created by sculptor Tanya Russell, the life-size statue of Bob is positioned on an Aberdeenshire Scottish granite bench in Islington Green, overlooking the Waterstones where Mr Bowen wrote his first book.
Mark Bossley, chief vet at Blue Cross, attended the event - which was streamed online - as did members of Islington Council, which supported an appeal for donations for a bench, placed in the green in Bob’s memory.
Paul McNamee, editor of The Big Issue, said: “Never has there been a cat so loved, not only by James and all of us at The Big Issue but millions of people around the world.
“It is, therefore, only right that Bob should be honoured in this way, close to where the story all began, by James’ Big Issue pitch in Islington. We applaud Bob’s loyal fan club and talented sculptor, Tanya Russell for making it all possible.”