Bowen, then a recovering addict, first met Bob in 2007 when he found him abandoned. They became a team nourishing each other, selling The Big Issue magazine on London streets.
In 2012 Hodder & Stoughton published Bowen’s first book, “A Street Cat Named Bob.” The book, along with its sequels “The World According to Bob,” “A Gift From Bob” and “The Little Book of Bob,” became global bestsellers, shifting eight million copies in more than 40 languages.
A film “A Street Cat Named Bob,” based on the first book, and directed by Roger Spottiswoode (“Tomorrow Never Dies”), released in 2016 and collected more than $16 million. Luke Treadaway starred as Bowen, with Bob playing himself. A sequel, “A Gift from Bob,” directed by Charles Martin Smith (“Dolphin Tale”) is in post-production.
“As James and Bob continued to find fans all over the world, Bob led an incredible life meeting well-wishers at book signings, travelling the world and coping with feline fame. He was an extraordinary cat who will be greatly missed,” Hodder said in a statement.
Bowen said: “Bob saved my life. It’s as simple as that. He gave me so much more than companionship. With him at my side, I found a direction and purpose that I’d been missing. The success we achieved together through our books and films was miraculous. He’s met thousands of people, touched millions of lives. There’s never been a cat like him. And never will again.”
“I feel like the light has gone out in my life. I will never forget him.”