Last weeks Big Issue had Bob, a smiling red feline on the cover. The issue number was significant: 1111. But it was more significant in that ex Big Issue vendor James Bowen’s article with matching cover has been probably the most popular issue ever issued by The Big Issue.
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.