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And How He Saved My Life

by James Bowen

Pub Date: July 30th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-250-02946-1
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

How a cat helped one man on the road to recovery from drugs.

"I was a failed musician and recovering drug addict living a hand-to-mouth existence in sheltered accommodation,” writes London street musician Bowen. “Taking responsibility for myself was hard enough.” So when a mangy, unneutered tomcat with a festering sore on his leg hung around his apartment building several days in a row, it was with some trepidation that the author invited the cat, whom he named Bob, into his home. Little did Bowen know that this simple act of kindness would create such a bond between them. Earning his living as a street musician in London's Covent Garden, Bowen had to busk on a daily basis to survive. The added responsibility of an injured cat prompted the author to play more frequently and for longer hours; it was only when Bob came with him to Covent Garden that Bowen realized their relationship had deepened into a true friendship. The oddity of seeing a handsome ginger cat curled into a guitar case caused people to stop and chat, take pictures and give more generously than they had in the past. Bowen moved from being a street bum to someone people recognized and wanted to talk to, and Bob was given all sorts of handmade clothes, treats and toys. The author describes delightful moments spent with Bob as well as a harrowing instance when the cat streaked off into the city streets after being threatened by a dog. With confidence gained through his ability to earn money and to tend to Bob's needs, Bowen was finally able to kick his drug dependency and make amends with his estranged mother.

A rich, moving story of the link between a street-wise cat and a man who earns his living on the streets—perfect for cat lovers.