By feline correspondent, Katharine Wootton
Looking proud as punch in his dapper orange scarf – just one of his collection of thousands! – Bob, the ginger streetcat, knows he's the cat's whiskers.
An international superstar and the subject of several bestselling books, Bob has come a long way since his early days as a lost, stray kitten on the streets of London.
For anyone who hasn't heard the incredible, true 'tail' of A Streetcat Named Bob, this handsome Mog changed the life of owner James Bowen, who was homeless, recovering from drug addictions and struggling with life when they met and became best friends on the streets a decade go.
With Bob's place firmly snuggled on the shoulders of his pal, James, we went to catch up with this amazing duo as they promote the DVD adaptation of their wonderful story of friendship against all odds.
James – you and Bob are currently run off your feet – and paws – meeting celebrities, doing book signings and posing for photos. Has Bob changed much since becoming famous?
Bob's getting older these days so he definitely gets more tired more quickly than he used to but he’s still the same fun-loving, exploring character he’s been since the day I met him.
With most cats you put them in a box and they’ll scream blue murder if you take them out of their comfort zone. But with Bob, as long as he’s with me he’s happy. He’s an incredible little man, just so chilled out and the absolute pro.
And he always knows what camera’s on and how to pose these days. He loves the attention – and all the treats and gifts that brings him.
He's also still an incredibly polite young man. In a morning, when most cats would wake you up at five demanding to be fed, Bob always waits until he sees me stretch before he'll jump on the bed and say good morning.
How did Bob get on with filming for A Streetcat Named Bob as I know he did all his own close-ups?
Watching the film being made, it was incredible to see how professional Bob was.
In fact, this is how much of a pro Bob is. Basically, when they said that’s the end of that scene, Bob would get up and follow the electric tracks to the door, wait for light to go from red to green, run upstairs to his dressing room and wait for me to come up and demand to be let into his dressing room. He knew his way from the set to his dressing room.
How did you feel watching the film in the cinema?
I think Bob and Luke [Treadaway, the actor who played James in the film] did an incredible job together and the chemistry between them really worked. I don’t know if that was because I was always behind the camera, keeping Bob happy but I know Bob really liked the bits where Luke played the guitar – it hypnotised him.
Every time Bob was on screen I was immensely proud and every single take was just about perfect with Bob.
The Duchess of Cambridge attended the film premiere of A Streetcat Named Bob. Tell me what that moment was like?
To have a royal red carpet for my film, oh my goodness, there are no words to describe it!
Bob was a bit grumpy that day but he did love the good scratch behind the ears from the Princess. And she was grinning like a Cheshire cat as well so it was a lovely moment.
What does Bob love more than anything?
Like most of us, he loves his food. He started out with Dreamies, then went onto Temptations and now Lick-e-Lix. But I make sure he get a balanced diet every day which is why he's got such a healthy coat and a shine in his eyes. He is literally like my baby and I take good care of my little boy.
He also loves hotel rooms. As we travel around a lot doing red carpet events in places like Berlin and Amsterdam, he's stayed in a few and I think he probably goes around telling all the other cats 'you know I've got houses all around the world'.
Once we get into a hotel room, he flops down on the bed and looks around as if to say 'this is my domain for the day'.
How about his scarves?
When you put a scarf on Bob, he sits up and looks so proud of himself. We have a case with railings in where we hang his scarves but now we've got so many we've had to start folding them up to put in drawers.
All the scarves come from Bob's fans. I know that the postman absolutely hates me because we receive a big box of fan mail and gifts a couple of times a week. But it's wonderful to see how many people have been touched by our story.
And what are his pet hates?
Belly rubs! He’s got such a fluffy, lovely belly but you cannot touch it. I've had some rather lacerated hands in the past as sometimes he’s so irresistible I can’t help but want to rub his belly but I don’t do that anymore.
How have things changed for you since meeting Bob?
Bob has definitely changed my life and I tell him thank you every day for that. When I met him in late 2006, early 2007, I never in a million years dreamt we'd be where we are today, nine books and a movie out.
What's the future for the two of you?
We've got a lot of DVD promotions and book signings coming up. Then in August me and Bob are going to Tokyo to launch the film out there.
And we're excitingly in pre-production for cartoon series about Bob.
I'd also love to do some work helping housing situations all around the world, using my experience to good ends.