Almost three years ago now, I started working in a hand therapy clinic that was located in Spring Hill, a funky little patch on the edge of the city. Something that has made working for this company more than worthwhile has been my boss, Gilkey. She is this beautiful young lady with a spirit and zest for life that makes every day around work one of pure enjoyment. Not many people can honestly boast about this aspect of work, but I genuinely love going in every day. All the therapists and admin staff are a pleasure to work for and with.
A few weeks ago, Gilkey handed me a book and mentioned how much I would enjoy it. The funny thing is, Gilkey kind of knows me better than my own mum. She knows when to hold ’em and when to, well, fold them. That’s why, when Gilkey handed me a copy of A Street Cat Named Bob, I knew instinctively that it was going to be a treasured reading experience.
The same night I returned home with A Street Cat Named Bob in my ruck sack, I was into it and loving it from the opening pages. The story within just resonated with me on so many levels. James, a recovering heroin addict is woken one evening to find a ginger tom cat has entered his life and won’t be leaving any time soon. This is I guess, what you would call a sliding doors moment in ones life. Busking on the streets around London’s Covent Garden, James, a recovering heroin addict soon realises just how much Bob can teach him. Together, they become an inseparable team where James soon realised the importance of appreciating the simple things in life. Bob, in essence, becomes his guiding light to a brighter future.
Ok, I should reiterate here that when I said the story resonated with me, I was trying to suggest I have not been a heroin addict in the past. Or drug addict for that matter. Ok, well, I did smoke pot two or three times in my early twenties and perhaps, just maybe I might have snorted a few lines of coke some years ago in England but aside from those glitches, music, film, literature, fitness and football remain my drugs of choice.
So where was I? Oh yeah, back to James and Bob. Or should it really be Bob and James? After all, Bob really is the star of this book in more ways than one. Why you ask? Well, sit tight friends and let me explain.
Sometimes we get lost in life. Particularly, in a robust city such as London, one can easily get sucked into the black hole of emptiness. I guess it’s why London and I have never really clicked. I prefer the north of England much more. So when I was discovering more about the plight of James and Bob as the pages turned and adventures followed, the book helped me understand more and more how having someone close to you in life, someone who would move mountains for you is so very important. Even if that someone is a cat!
Together, James and Bob fight the struggles of a modern establishment that attempts to dumb us down and control our every thought and move. Both characters are extremely defiant and independent but together, they form an astonishing partnership as James looks to beat his habit and, in the process moves from the life of a street busker to that of a Big Issue seller. And that’s it I guess. A Street Cat Named Bob is a realisation that sometimes, the best moments in our lives arise from the ashes of our darkest moments.
I am looking forward to seeing the big screen adaptation this week. Let’s hope it is even half as good as the book has been for me.