Patron Review: A Street Cat Named Bob and How He Saved My Life by James Bowen

Much has been written about the relationship between humans and animals. Therapy dogs go to nursing homes, and dogs help people who are blind or have other disabilities. Dogs sniff out drugs and help find lost people for law enforcement. They ease life for returning veterans suffering PTSD. Some research has even shown that petting an animal can lower blood pressure. But what can a CAT do?

It seemed that the cat Bob’s fur wasn’t quite right the night James Bowen found him on the doorstep of one of the apartments in his building. But then James wasn’t quite right either. He was living in supported housing and visiting the pharmacist each day for his fix of methadone. He worked as a musician in the streets of London, living on money people threw into his guitar case. But Bob changed all of that in ways James never could have imagined.

One day James came home to find a cat lurking in the hallway. It had an infected leg. It didn’t seem to belong to any of his neighbors, so James took him to a vet. He tried to find the owner, but had no luck. Eventually he released the cat back on the streets, hoping he would find his way home. But the cat never left. He began following James around, even on the bus! James named him Bob, and took Bob to his work of playing music on the streets of London. Bob and James became so popular that tourists began to stop by just to see them.

An interesting part of this book was the way in which the British treat those with addiction. James had free access to the methadone and other medicines he needed to try and kick his heroin habit, as well as counselors who advised him and kept up with him. He also had specific places where he could play his music and sell his magazines. Although some of these services may be available in the US, it just seemed to be a more humane way of providing for those who live marginal lives.

-Karen

Order this title online through the talking book number link below, by calling NCLBPH and requesting a copy or by downloading the title from BARD.

Talking Book Number: DB077202

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