A street cat named Bob


By Tracey Fox

Rated G

4 stars

A STREET cat named Bob truly is catnip for the soul.

It is the true story of a young junkie on the road to recovery, who one day finds a ginger street cat that has broken into his public housing flat in London happily eating his only source of food – cornflakes.

The film is both heart-warming and life affirming all at once.

The cat, which of course steals the show, is in fact the actual cat that helped save a young James Bowen from a life of drugs and living on the street.

There is an obvious and charming bond between actor Luke Treadway and Bob.

James comes from a broken home, his mother lives in Australia, and his dad has remarried to a shrew in London and together they try to shield his step sisters from James – the previous drug addict with a heart of gold.

A musician, who busks for his food money while on methadone treatment James struggles to overcome his addiction.

As anyone who has been lower than low knows, when you are down to your last dollar, the last thing you need is a pet, which needs to be fed and is in dire need of urgent veterinary care.

But when James finds Bob in his flat he goes out of his way to provide whatever help he can.

In time the two become inseparable and Bob joins James as he busks in the streets.

They meet a sweet natured fourth-level vegan (with an ironic pet allergy) who volunteers at the local not-for-profit vets, and together they get poor old Bob back to good health.

Of course life on the street, with no real job and having to take on selling newspapers for the local charity to sustain them both, James and Bob have many a misadventure along the way.

Eventually clean of all drugs, and hopelessly trying to build a relationship with his estranged father and the pretty vet nurse James and Bob slowly become a YouTube sensation leading to the local papers getting interested in a humanitarian story.

Their lives go from the gutter to the good stuff after a long suffering journey, when one of the people who enjoyed stopping to hear them play on the streets offers James a book deal.

Shot in a simple telly-doco style, with wonderful camera angles from the cat’s point of view, you really can’t help but fall a little in love with the ginger loveable rascal and his greasy-haired care giver.

There is something pure and innocent about this film.

Perhaps it is the fact it is a true story about a real young man struggling on the streets, with the added bonus of a quirky cat that gives this simple story a big enough boost to cat-apult this little film into the heights it so very much deserves.

Whether you are a cat lover or not, A street cat named Bob will captivate you from the very onset, and perhaps encourage some to go adopt a kitty down on his luck who can share the true gift of ultimate friendship we are all longing to experience.