The moggie who inspired the bestseller A Street Cat Named Bob has died at the age of 14.
Recovering addict James Bowen took care of Bob the cat after finding him abandoned and injured in 2007 and the moggie could be seen with him every day as he sold The Big Issue on the streets of London.
Hodder & Stoughton, who published the bestseller, released a statement confirming the cat’s death on Tuesday, the Mirror reports.
The statement read: “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.”
James added: “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.”
James’ first book, A Street Cat Named Bob, which told the story of the pair’s sweet relationship, was published in 2012 and was followed by three sequels – The World According to Bob, A Gift from Bob and The Little Book of Bob.
The collection sold eight million copies in more than 40 languages.
Bob also became a film star, appearing in the 2016 release based on the first book, alongside Luke Treadaway as James. He will also appear in the sequel A Gift from Bob, which is set to be released later this year.
A number of tributes to Bob have appeared on social media.
One upset fan typed: “Nooooo, it felt like Bob would live forever RIP you extraordinary little cat, and I hope James is doing ok . P.S., anyone who hasn’t read ‘A Street Cat Named Bob’ please give it a go, it’s wonderful.”
A second added: “Such sad news hearing that Bob, from A Street Cat Named Bob fame passed over the Rainbow Bridge. I feel very blessed to have been able to meet him & James last year. Run free gorgeous boy……”
A third echoed: “A street cat named Bob really touched my heart. I always wanted to meet Bob in real life but sadly I will never be able to. He was an amazing cat and he touched so many people… I hope James will be okay. Losing a loved one is never easy. RIP Bob… you were so special.”