Some films are hard for me to talk about. Not because they’re bad, but because they touch my heart in such a way that it’s simply hard to put it into words. Even into writing, which has always been easier for me when it comes to expressing my feelings.
Or in other cases, they are so emotionally exhausting that going back to them simply means reliving all of the intense emotions all over again, which I don’t always feel like.
In the case of A Street Cat Named Bob it’s both. It took me 2 weeks to be able to start writing this blog. But I’m so happy I’m finally here, because you do need to hear this story and you do need to see this film – a film, which might just be one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen. And the fact that it’s actually a true story makes it all the more powerful.
A Street Cat Named Bob is inspirational, heartwarming, yet very sad, too. But I’d hate to discourage you from watching it. There’s much more good to the film than the bad. Some people even claim it’s uplifting. And in a way it truly is – it’s an amazing story of a man and a cat who found each other – and save each others lives. It’s a film that teaches us a lot about our society and humanity. And the picture is not always nice. But luckily there are still people with their hearts in the right place, which gives me hope. It’s a film about second chances, a film about true friendship of a man and his cat and above all a film about unconditional love.
James Bowen (Luke Treadaway) is a recovering drug addict that’s been living on the streets of London for almost a decade, estranged from his family and making living (if you can even call it that way) by playing guitar in Covent Garden. He’s barely surviving and no one cares about him. To the world he’s just another of the low forms of existence living on the streets – by his own fault. No one even as much as looks at him, left alone speaks to him. Until he meets Bob. A stray ginger cat that shows up on his doorstep one day and decides to stay – and to save them both.
At first, James tries to find Bob’s true owners, but then gives up and realizes there are none. When Bob comes the next day wounded, he takes him to the vet without hesitation and pays for his medication with the money he had for a whole month, while he’s left with nothing to live of. This moment is one of the most beautiful moments of the film. Your heart will ache with love for James. Because his heart’s just got it right.
And it makes you wonder, why it’s always the people who have almost nothing (or literally nothing in this case), that can show so much compassion as opposed to those that have everything and wouldn’t spare a single penny for say, some stray cat? Why those that have plenty seldom wants to share it?
When Bob recovers, he and James become inseparable. Bob comes to Covent Garden with James every day to play for the crowds, always faithfully by his side (or on his guitar, or his back). That of course catches people’s attention. All of a sudden, James turns into something like a star. People are acknowledging him, talking to him, taking photos with him and Bob, and things begin to look better. But… you know people, right? Things will not be this good for long… People will try to separate them. People will make sure James will not be able to make money..
The scene where Bob is meowing hungrily in their apartment not understanding why there’s nothing to eat, is another heart-breaking moment. Yet one of the most powerful. You watch these two lost souls struggling together, sharing the good and the bad, yet never abandoning each other. I wonder, how many people like that you have in your life? Even when James has nothing but a tin of beans to eat, he still shares it with Bob. I don’t know many people who would do that.
I wasn’t familiar with the book James Bowen wrote about his life on the streets and how meeting Bob changed his life. All I knew prior to watching the film, was that there actually is a book that the film is based on, and that the real Bob plays the Bob in the film.
Therefore, even when I was dreading how things will evolve, I knew it will end well. Which was a great comfort to me. But even despite that, I was still fighting the fear throughout the film, that something bad is gonna happen to Bob. That somebody will try to separate Bob and James. Because people are cruel and especially when it comes to cats (or people who don’t fit their idea of normal). I know it too well. From all the stories I’ve heard (and I’m still hearing every day) while I was volunteering in a cat shelter.
Isn’t that just sad? To be watching a film with a thought like that? Knowing for the fact that people are indeed cruel? Not for a second doubting it? Just pretty much waiting for it to happen? Not all of them of course, but the bad ones always finding their way..
I love cats more than I do most people. Not because I’m a weird anti-social type of girl (although maybe I am), but because cats are simply the best companions you could ever think of. They’re always there for you and by that I don’t mean they come and wipe your tears away (although they do that, too!) but that they follow you and do everything with you. They make you laugh even when you think you’ll never laugh again. They help you live in the moment and put all the past hurts behind you. Because all that really matters is here and now – and here and now you are loved. You have a home and you’re loved. What more do you need?
No matter how bad you might feel, they give you a reason to get up of your bed everyday – and not just because they throw down something from your shelf because they want your attention and their breakfast. But because you know they need you. As much as you need them. They give purpose to your life. They give you love.
Yes. I love cats. And sometimes, for us cat lovers, it’s hard to explain to somebody who doesn’t own cats (pardon me, isn’t owned by a cat) what they mean to us. People who don’t know cats, simply don’t understand. And if somebody tells me one more time “I’m not a cat person” or “I’m more of a dog person” or “I don’t like cats, especially not the stray cats” I swear I’m gonna slap their face. Yes. I’m gonna slap their face, tie them down and make them watch this film. (And by the way, stray cats are not ‘stray’ by their own choice, dumbass.) This is exactly what it means to have a cat.
It means having the best friend you could ever imagine, possibly the only living creature you can truly rely on. Cats are loyal, and once you have a love of a cat you’ll have it forever. And you should feel so damn blessed to be a human chosen by a cat! Because cats know good people when they meet them.
(Of course many can argue it’s the same with dogs, and I’m not saying it’s not! But I will never understand how someone can be just a dog person. Either you love all living creatures or you don’t…)
A Street Cat Named Bob is seriously, one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen. Not only thanks to the true life changing story and the fact that it shows the essence of what it means to have the love of a cat, but it’s also beautiful from the film making perspective. It has everything a good film should have. Great cast, great screenplay, great directing, great camera.
Luke Treadaway deserves an Oscar for his performance and I wish there were Oscars for animals, too 🙂 Bob must the most amazing cat, I’ve ever seen (just don’t tell my cats, please) and the shots were you get to see the world through Bob’s eyes are a great indication of who’s this story’s true hero (and they’re also genius).
This film is done with love and you can feel it. I’m more than sure everyone who was part of it put their whole hearts into it (and most likely left part of it there forever). And it shows. It just shows.
You will keep your fingers crossed for James and hope he will find it in him to get back on track of life. And you know he will because he finally found somebody for whom he’s gonna do it. Somebody who cares. A street cat named Bob.
If we’re talking about inspirational stories, new beginnings and finding the courage to start over after going through some rough times – take this as your inspiration. If James and Bob could do it, you can do it, too. Because they had the world against them (even James’ dad turned his back on him). But they persevered. Their only guidance being love.
I have a soft spot for ginger cats. I have one myself and my dad has another one who is very much like Bob – walking him to work and walking him back home every day (and yes, he climbs on his back, too!). Ginger cats just seem a bit more intelligent than the rest and this story is yet another proof. However, cats in general are incredibly intelligent creatures. After, all it’s no coincidence Buddhists think of them so highly!
If a cat shows up in your life one day, don’t send it away. The cat knows why it chose you. It’s never a coincidence. And it will reward you with the kind of love you never knew before.
Please, go and watch this film. It might change your heart forever – but in the best possible way. These are the films that should be talked about. I doubt you will ever be able to forget it. And if this story doesn’t move you to tears, then I don’t know what will.
I really hope Bob will live to be a hundred. He’s one special cat.