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home : features : features September 15, 2014

6/18/2014 6:00:00 AM
THE BOOKSHELF: Bob (the cat) and James return in book sequel
Bob (the cat) and James return in book sequel.
Bob (the cat) and James return in book sequel.
Rosita Smith

In spring 2007 James Bowen found a near-dead ginger cat outside the door of his fifth floor flat in London as he arrived home from his daily "job", playing his guitar for a few coins tossed into his money jar as people of London rushed by to wherever. The cat was pitiful - James could relate - so he scooped up the near-dead animal, brought him in out of the cold, rummaged around for something that he could feed the cat and found a blanket to get it warm. As the days passed by the cat was always waiting for James at the end of each day. He refused to leave. Finally James gave in and named the ginger cat Bob. They became a pair, going everywhere together. Bob would ride on James' shoulder or walk beside James. Bob had his own scarf and sweater for the cold and rainy days.

One of James' regular patrons was Mary. Mary encouraged James to write a story about his relationship with Bob. The first publication in England in 2012 was small. James envisioned maybe 20 or 30 books at the most. After all, how many people would be interested in reading about a cat? When signing time came more than a 100 people stretched down the road and around the corner. There was not a book left to be signed that night.

In 2013 James' first book, A Street Cat Named Bob and How He Saved My Life, had crossed the pond and grabbed a pretty permanent spot on the American best seller list.

By 2013 James and Bob had become recognized the world over. You can follow the pair on Twitter @Street CatBob; "like" the James Bowen "Street Cat Bob" Facebook page; visit the Around the World in 80 Bobs, blog at; and watch videos of James and Bob on YouTube.

It's 2014 and James, by popular demand, has published a sequel to his first book, The World According to Bob: The Further Adventures of One Man and His Streetwise Cat

The Palo Verde Valley Library now has this book in its collection, with a waiting list. If you are eager to touch bases with Bob and James, you can ask to be put on the waiting list for faster service.

The Palo Verde Valley Library is across the street from the north side of Todd Park at the corner of Chanslorway and Broadway. The library opens weekdays at 10 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. Saturday the library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sundays, we let the books rest.

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