In 2007, James Bowen, a recovering heroin addict, found an injured cat curled up on a step when he himself was living in sheltered accommodation. James nursed the cat back to health, only to find the cat followed him everywhere he went, even on the bus to the great amusement of fellow travellers. Bob would sit quietly on James’ shoulder or on the ground while he was selling The Big Issue in London.
James’ inspiring story of how this unlikely friendship helped him get over his addictions to heroin and methadone is recounted in his book A Street Cat Named Bob. With this book James has joined an elite club of writers with more than 3 million copies sold, and the book has been translated into 31 languages.
“One of the best things in my life now is that I can help people (and animals) who are still voiceless and invisible to be heard and seen. It makes me proud that the book has opened people’s eyes to how The Big Issue works! That selling The Big Issue is an actual job! The work that The Big Issue Foundation does in supporting Big Issue vendors is so vital.”