Since the news of Bob’s death broke yesterday, hundreds of Big Issue readers and Bob’s legions of fans – affectionately known as Bobites – have been in touch with us to pay tribute.
Laura Picken wrote: “I’m so sad about this. I read the book during lockdown and Bob sounded like the most amazing cat. I smiled so much reading about him.”
Reader Jo Guy reflected on how Bob’s enormous popularity continued to have an impact on Big Issue vendors long after James’ stint selling the magazine ended and he and Bob became a publishing sensation with a hit series of bestselling books and a feature film. A sequel, called A Gift from Bob, is due out later this year.
Jo said: “Bob is truly a legend of the cat world and touched so many lives. I remember my local Big Issue seller having to restock multiple times in a day whenever Bob was on the cover. My thoughts are with James.”
And another reader John P Mullins expressed why Bob meant so much to cat lovers too. He said: “I discovered Bob after having lost a cat that was very similar in nature to Bob. It was through James and Bob that I learned of the Big Issue and I am proud to say that when I get to the UK I always buy a copy.”
Astrid Schandy demonstrated Bob’s worldwide appeal and how his books have played a huge role in the lives of fans both young and old. The Norwegian reader said: “I read in your pages that Bob the cat has passed… how sad for James. And it is sad for my kids too. My 16 year old daughter (Sofia) read the books when she was 12 and 13, and read them out loud to her little brother with some translation “of the best bits” since he was not as good in English then (We are Norwegian, living in Oslo). Sofia knitted I don’t know how many scarves of all colours during the course of a few months. Kindly pass on our best wishes to James and let him know that there are some kids in Norway that hold Bob in their hearts.”
We will be putting together a special tribute edition of The Big Issue. If you have memories you’d like to share please email email@example.com