He was a cat with his own bestselling book series and hit movie — now Street Cat Bob has a statue too.
The stray ginger tomcat, who died in June 2020, became a global celebrity after the emergence of his heartwarming friendship with busker and Big Issue seller, James Bowen.
Bowen first came across Bob in north London in 2007, when the moggy was injured and abandoned. As Bowen worked with pet charity Blue Cross to nurse Bob back to health, the loyal feline helped Bowen rebuild his own life, affected by homelessness and drug addiction.
The unlikely pair became a fixture outside Angel tube station, with the knitted scarf-wearing Bob sometimes perched on Bowen's shoulders while he strummed guitar.
Bowen went on to pen a series of Bob books, about their journey together. They became international bestsellers, with a spinoff hit movie released in 2016.
The life-sized bronze statue of Bob, created by sculptor Tanya Russell, depicts Bob in his trademark scarf, perched on a stack of books. It's positioned on a pink granite bench, engraved with the motto:
He is my companion, my best friend, my teacher and my soulmate. And he will remain all of those things. Always
You'll find the statue and bench in the top right hand corner of Islington Green, across from the Waterstones where Bowen penned his first Street Cat Bob book, and where you can now buy the series.
Commenting on the statue, unveiled in July 2021, Bowen said: "I am so incredibly proud of Bob and grateful for the time we shared. He enriched my life from the moment I met him. He saved me and he touched the lives of millions, providing optimism to people across the world."
You can buy your own miniature version of Bob's statue from Tanya Russell's website.