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Sunday, 4 November 2012

How Bob the busking cat is heading to Hollywood: The enchanting bestselling story of a stray moggy who saved a man's life is set to be a movie

By ALICE AZANIA JARVIS
Cool cat: James Bowen and Bob the cat's enchanting story has made him a bestseller A bright afternoon in London’s Covent Garden and the cobbled streets are choc-a-bloc. Office workers rush to and from lunch, tourists mill around, and shoppers pop in and out of the smart boutiques. In the middle of them all sits a cat wearing a jaunty Union Jack neckerchief. Surrounded by a crowd of 30 open-mouthed spectators, Bob, a tubby ginger tom, smiles beatifically.
Best-seller: James Bowen's book about stray cat Bob (pictured together) who he adopted has sold more than 250,000 copies and is being considered for film by the same agent who brokered Marley & Me Next to him, his owner James Bowen stands with his battered acoustic guitar, belting out a series of Oasis songs. Every now and then, he stops playing and bends down to Bob. ‘Come on, Bob, high-five!’ he says. Bob twitches his whiskers, raises a paw, and taps James’s outstretched hand. The crowd coos. A smart-looking lady in a pink dress and jacket pops a £20 note in the cap at Bob’s feet.
Tripled his earnings: After Bob refused to leave Mr Bowen alone, he decided to take him busking and before long he was making almost three times his usual earnings as the pair attracted more and more fans It’s not every day that you see a cat sitting calmly in Central London, apparently unfazed by the blaring sirens, passing cars and general hubbub — but Bob is no ordinary cat. Bob, you see, is a star. He has his own Twitter account (with 12,000 followers), his own Facebook page, even his own fan group, the Street Cats, who send him photos, scrapbooks and presents. Oh yes, he also has his own bestseller and is in ‘talks’ with a Hollywood agent about taking his story to the big screen. Well, it’s Bob’s owner, James, who is leading the discussions, but he’s in no doubt that he owes it all to his cat.
'Owe everything to Bob': Mr Bowen, who was recovering from drug addiction, said Bob helped him turn his life around after he refused to leave him alone, even travelling on public transport before Mr Bowen decided to keep him James’s book, A Street Cat Named Bob, a feelgood story that chronicles how the 33-year-old busker and one-time homeless heroin-addict turned his life around with the help of his cat, has sold more than 250,000 copies and been translated into 18 different languages. So far, the book has made James around £30,000 — a figure that is likely to rocket now there’s a film on the horizon.
Continue busking: Mr Bowen said he and Bob (pictured) will continue busking in Covent Garden Mary Panchos, the literary agent who discovered James and Bob selling The Big Issue, previously brokered the film deal for Marley & Me, a book about a mischievous dog who forms a special bond with his human family. The film version, starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, made almost $15 million on its first day. source: dailymail

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