Statue of Street Cat Bob to be unveiled in Islington Green
- Credit: Archant
A new statue is due to be unveiled in Islington Green to celebrate the life and legacy of Street Cat Bob, close to where his owner used to sell The Big Issue.
The feline became a star as the subject of a best-selling book published in 2014, and later two films released in 2016 and 2020, A Street Cat Named Bob and A Gift From Bob.
They chronicled the heart-warming and inspirational true story of the stray cat who helped James Bowen rebuild his life after finding himself homeless and recovering from drug addiction.
James met Bob in 2007 when he discovered the cat injured and abandoned on the streets.
He nursed him back to health and with the help of pet charity Blue Cross providing regular health checks microchipping him, they became inseparable.
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Busking and selling The Big Issue near the park where Upper Street and Essex Road meet, the ginger cat would often be seen wearing a knitted scarf.
James found that Bob brought purpose to his life, spurring him on to become a successful author, through telling the tale of their journey together and building an adoring following.
Bob died last June but his fans have raised the money to erect a statue in his memory, which will be unveiled by James next Thursday (July 15).
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Created by sculptor Tanya Russell, it will overlook the Waterstones bookstore where James wrote his first book recounting their journey together.
He said: "My extraordinary four-legged friend has inspired books, films and now this wonderful statue.
“I am so incredibly proud of Bob and grateful for the time we shared. He saved me and he touched the lives of millions, providing optimism to people across the world.
"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."
Mark Bossley, chief veterinary surgeon at the Blue Cross, whose animal hospitals provide treatment and care for the pets of owners who are on means tested benefits, said: “We are glad that we were able to be there for James and Bob, making sure Bob was in the best of health.
"And we are so grateful for their continued support for Blue Cross, the funds and awareness that James and Bob went on to raise for our charity has helped countless other pets. The statue really is a wonderful tribute to a truly remarkable cat.”