Pet Project: A Street Cat Named Bob To Launch A Cat Café In Covent Garden

Ben Norum
By Ben Norum Last edited 31 months ago
Pet Project: A Street Cat Named Bob To Launch A Cat Café In Covent Garden
Photo by Brian Ledgard from Flickr
Photo by Brian Ledgard from Flickr
Photo by loganweiluo from Flickr
Photo by loganweiluo from Flickr
Photo by Leo Reynolds from Flickr
Photo by Leo Reynolds from Flickr
Photo by Garry Knight from Flickr
Photo by Garry Knight from Flickr

Hot on the heels tail of Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, London looks set to get another cat café soon — if a crowdfunding campaign is successful.

The man with the plan is James Bowen, a former Big Issue seller living on the streets of London, who made a name for himself a couple of years ago when he published his autobiographical book A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man and His Cat Found Hope on the Streets.

Bowen summarises the story:

“I was homeless and struggling with substance abuse before I met a little ginger stray tom cat, whom I have named Bob, who has helped me realise that there are more things in life to focus on than drugs. He helped me overcome addiction, by being a loyal and compassionate companion, and giving me something other than myself to look after. He has simply become my best friend, and has looked after me just as much as I have him.”

The book went on to be a no.1 bestseller and there have been several subsequent A Street Cat Named Bob spin-offs and even talks of a movie deal for the pair, though we’re not sure if that’s going to happen. But with the launch of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign earlier this month, a Bob-themed cat café in London is now looking very likely — Bowen has already raised more than £31,000 towards his goal of £125,000, with the campaign set to run until 14 April.

The cat café — which will be called Bob’s World and is aiming to open in the Covent Garden area — will be populated with cats that have been rescued, providing “a home for homeless, abused or unwanted cats” as well as a place for “other like-minded individuals to come in and have tea, coffee and refreshments whilst being surrounded by cats”.

A portion of proceeds from the café will go to charities, including Cat’s Protection, The Blue Cross and The Big Issue Foundation.

If you need a reason to donate other than a warm fuzzy feeling and the thought of a cat café in Covent Garden, there are plenty of perks. A £5 donation will get you a personalised thank you letter from Bob (no, we’re not sure either…), £17 will get you a thank you letter and a mug, and £23 will get you a signed book (signed by both Bowen and Bob) and a letter. If you’re feline really generous, £250 will get your name on the café wall along with other Bob-endorsed treats.

Here's Bowen's video explaining the project:

So, if you fancy helping Bowen and Bob's mission then don't paws — visit their Indiegogo page and make a donation.

Thanks to Zefrog for the tip-off about this.

Photos taken from the James Bowen And A Street Cat Named Bob Flickr pool.

Also see:

Barking Mad: Steak Restaurant Launches Brunch For Dogs
London Is Getting An Owl Bar, What A Hoot
Londonist Visits Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium

Last Updated 26 February 2015

Cypher

Nice idea. Shame about the fact that he stole it...

Charlotte

Whether it's an original idea or not, it's still a great cause and I love it! I'll defo donate and will visit when in the area. Yay for James and Bob 😃

James Bowen

we only are doing this for Charitable causes & the welfare of Homeless cats & Training in animal welfare & other Causes!

LilaSE1

I'm sure he means well, but it's coming across as a woolly idea. Bob is an unusually sociable and easy going cat, this isn't the case with most strays. Have the implications of cats being forced into interacting with the public - especially in a busy area like Covent Garden been looked at? Cats are territorial and the premises would have to be quite large. Lady Dinah's cat cafe in Shoreditch has a limited amount of cats, each allowed to meet the public for a limited time, their behaviour and well being appears to have been looked into very thoroughly . Surely with rescue cats the priority is to home them safely with screened adopters. Are there vets involved in this project?

Diane M Riley

Well I can't wait for it to open :-)

Dina

An excellent idea! I'm looking forward to visiting the coffee shop!

jin

I want to visit there..when i was in honeymoon me and my husband met bob and james in Reading!
We were really happy to meet them even we gone from southkorea^~^

boiledsweets1

i read the book about james and his cat,loved it!!! cant wait for the cafe and hope he gets a movie deal it would make a great film!!!

Liz Baye

Hi I feel sure that whatever happens James will take great care to see that the welfare of all cats will be a priority.I was given his book for Christmas from my daughter , WOW ! its fantastic what a guy . Good luck in all you do James and give Bob a big hug from me . Im deffo going to support this campaign ,you are a true inspiration to me .

thegrumpyoldsod

Good luck to him(them),but wouldn't the cost of all the shots for all those stray moggies be prohibitive? And what about breeding? They're going to be fighting & rumping all over the gaff! That said,I'd definitely visit!I like moggies & good coffee.