#SheWatches – A Gift From Bob

December 1, 2020


A Gift from Bob is just what we need right now in this strange 2020 environment and the perfect family movie in our lead up to Christmas but make sure you have a few tissues on hand. 

The opening scene pulled my heart strings, and you don’t have to be a cat lover to be touched by the obvious bond between animal and minder. Bob was once a street cat until he met James, proudly secured around James shoulders they walk as one to greet revelers at a London Christmas party. 

Based on a true story, Bob plays himself which is such a treat. It was also wonderful to see Luke Treadaway return in his role as James Bowen.

But not all is so happy and carefree as it seems and it doesn’t take long to be exposed to the life of a struggling busker. James had been battling a drug addiction in 2007 before he met and nursed an abandoned injured cat back to health. He christened Bob who soon became James ‘cat’alyst providing a new meaning and sense of purpose to life. Bob provided strength, friendship and inspiration. They were inseparable and their relationship became famous as they won admirers busking and selling The Big Issue on London streets. We are given an insight into particularly the struggles young people face trying to make ends meet as they battle their own demons. 

Based on the original series of books by James Bowen A Gift From Bob movie is the sequel to the international 2018 hit film A Street Cat Named Bob

The night before the initial release, the original film had a major premiere at the Curzon Mayfair in London, attended by royalty, the Duchess of Cambridge. 

Bob was the star of the show, spending over an hour on the red carpet, perched on his owner’s (James Bowen) shoulders, as multiple cameras flashed and adoring fans cried out. A long way from where he and James were a few years back, homeless and struggling. This was followed by a world tour promoting the film in Germany, Holland, Norway, USA, and even Japan.


Now in 2020 James and his best friend, Bob embark on a new journey together.  Writer and executive producer Garry Jenkins gave voice to the books and provided a realistic perspective on the life of people living on the edge of homelessness. Scraping for a living that many would not otherwise see, let alone consider themselves in this position. 

The director took us on another emotional ride wondering where the highs and lows would leave us. The fight against bureaucracy, the power of human nature, caring kindness, and people’s ability to change, “what goes around, comes around”. This is a beautiful movie and its carefully selected songs, gives meaning to the Christmas spirit.  A movie I could watch every Christmas. 

On a sad side note, Bob the world famous street cat, passed away in June 2020. He is now immortalised in film, and this Christmas, 2020, his fans will get to see him in action on screen for the final time.

James Bowen’s statement upon Bob’s passing said it all, ”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 continues to live in London where he writes music and is an advocate for homeless and animal welfare charities. 


Cast and Production:

Starring Luke Treadaway, Bob the Cat, Kristina Tonteri-Young, Phaldut Sharma

Directed by Charles Martin Smith

Written and Executive Produced by Garry Jenkins, 

Produced by Adam Rolston, Tracy Jarvis, Steve Jarvis, Andrew Boswell and Sunny Vohra


Thank you @ThinkTankCommunications @RialtoDistribution  @SheSociety #SheWatches

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