By James Bowen
In this poignant new tale, A reward from Bob, James Bowen remembers the final Christmas he was once to spend at the streets, busking and promoting the Big Issue along with his cat Bob.
In 2010, the elements was once as bleak as his customers. Christmas had consistently been the time he dreaded. Now a minimum of he had Bob via his facet, yet his overall healthiness was once bad, and he had no funds for nutrients or heat. there has been no selection yet to enterprise out onto the frozen streets to earn adequate to pay for his electrical energy and―with luck―to come up with the money for a few small treats for Christmas as well.
What James discovered via this hardest of occasions was once to offer his new lifestyles with Bob―and Christmas―a which means it had by no means had before.
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Extra info for A Gift from Bob: How a Street Cat Helped One Man Learn the Meaning of Christmas
I simply smiled at him. I wasn’t certain what to claim. there has been an ungainly silence for a second. ‘Anyhow, i've got removed all my flyers. and that i now need to return domestic to paintings on my sermon. Who understands? you are in it,’ he acknowledged. ‘Huh? ’ ‘The parable of the large factor vendor and the ginger cat, you want to have heard of it? ’ ‘Now you’re taking the mickey, mate,’ I acknowledged, giving him an affectionate slap at the again. ‘Sorry. That’s a behavior of mine. ’ We shook fingers. ‘A Merry Christmas to you, erm sorry, I don’t understand your identify. ’ ‘James. ’ A Merry Christmas to you, James – and to you, Bob,’ he acknowledged, lightly stroking him at the again of the neck. He was once quickly disappearing into the Tube station. It wasn’t lengthy prior to we in his footsteps. For a metamorphosis, Bob and that i received the Tube again domestic. It intended an extended stroll on the finish of our trip, however it additionally intended Bob may do his enterprise in a small park that he beloved. i may additionally stroll off the discomfort in my leg which had lower back after status within the chilly for thus lengthy. status within the busy teach carriage, i discovered myself looking at a type of ‘Poems at the Underground’. I usually learn them. i discovered them really inspiring. This one used to be a contemporary piece, although. I didn’t fairly get it. in its place i discovered myself brooding about my day and particularly my stumble upon with the fellow from the church this night. after all I’d heard the most message of that passage he’d recited ahead of. I’d truly obvious it in a single of the Christmas playing cards that I’d been given. I’d concept it was once only one of these seasonal slogans that somebody, most likely a Victorian, had get a hold of. I hadn’t realised it got here from the Bible. Which used to be beautiful silly of me, quite. I wasn’t going to all at once turn into a born-again Christian. He must convey his Christmas Eve sermon with out me in his congregation. yet there has been anything admirable in regards to the guy’s quiet knowledge and his mild, non-confrontational demeanour. It made the sort of friendly swap. He was once additionally useless correct approximately me; I had discovered a worthy lesson in those previous couple of days. Giving out these playing cards had given me this kind of kick. It have been a true pleasure to determine such a lot of people’s faces lighting fixtures up. He, or extra effectively, the ebook of Acts, used to be spot on; occasionally it fairly was once greater to offer than obtain. bankruptcy 6 The workplace celebration there have been now in simple terms days until eventually Christmas Day. I’d made up our minds to spend a number of hours busking in Covent backyard. I additionally had a number of extra Christmas playing cards to provide out and hoped that i'd see one or of my regulars from there. It have been one other lengthy, gradual bus trip as a result climate and, to make issues worse, Bob and that i were compelled to get off in the course of Oxford road as a result of a diversion at the roads. It used to be like getting into a scene from Bedlam. With Christmas virtually upon us, Oxford road used to be stuffed choked with anxious-looking humans, dashing frantically alongside as they attempted to get their purchasing comprehensive. virtually once Bob had climbed directly to my shoulders and we begun strolling, we handed a Salvation military band and choir making a song carols.