A Gift from Bob: How a Street Cat Helped One Man Learn the Meaning of Christmas

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 together with his cat Bob.

In 2010, the elements was once as bleak as his clients. Christmas had continuously been the time he dreaded. Now no less than he had Bob via his facet, yet his future health was once terrible, and he had no cash for meals or heat. there has been no selection yet to enterprise out onto the frozen streets to earn sufficient 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 used to be to provide his new lifestyles with Bob―and Christmas―a which means it had by no means had before.

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Loads of them prey on younger or susceptible humans and ship them out to wave buckets in people’s faces for hours on finish, paying them a pittance. I’d visible teams of them moved on by way of the police long ago. On one party they did a place payment and located that the charity buckets weren’t sealed as they have been purported to be to be able to make sure the cash is going on to the charity. all over again, they’d chanced on that the allows they have been showing have been cobbled jointly on Photoshop. They weren’t authorized by means of the neighborhood authority or delivery for London who ran the Underground. They have been simply opportunists creating wealth for themselves. remember the fact that, those creditors had no genuine notion of who else was once operating within the sector and what the foundations could be. and so they had totally no difficulty for others who have been attempting to earn a decent crust. I labored out beautiful quick that the folks contained in the Tube station this present day have been from one of many extra doubtful charities. I’d by no means heard of them for a commence. They claimed to be gathering for a few obscure 3rd international Anti-Poverty Fund. The badges they have been wearing have been bent and battered; all of it appeared lovely suspicious. there has been not anything i'll do approximately it as they appeared to have a licence to function contained in the station so all i'll do used to be desire a group police officer or another individual could money them out and stream them on in the event that they have been bogus. The strains have been sincerely drawn in that appreciate. I had a valid pitch open air the station, yet I couldn’t enterprise in there to promote my magazines. They have been unfastened to function contained in the Tube station. the drawback to this, from my standpoint, used to be that the chuggers have been attending to the commuters rising from the Underground prior to me. It used to be undesirable information. And it wasn’t lengthy prior to it had turn into even worse. because the night wore at the chuggers and their buckets began to spill out directly to the pavement open air in addition. sooner than I knew it there has been approximately part a dozen of them overlaying all of the exits, accosting every body as they left. I wasn’t the one person who was once pissed off by way of this. My pitch used to be contrary a flower stall and a newsagent. The proprietors of them have been fuming on the means this mob have been monopolising the realm round the Tube front. not just have been they taking spare switch which could were diverted in the direction of purchasing undefined, a host of roses or a replica of the large factor, they have been additionally using humans away. They have been making humans uncomfortable. I watched as an extended procession of commuters emerged from the Tube station with their heads bowed, unwilling to make eye touch with the chuggers, and through extension, somebody else. Any try I made to raise my voice above the noise of the buckets and the folks wielding them was once futile. i used to be simply one other voice. nobody heard me. Bob have been getting more and more agitated. He may perhaps focus on just about all the noises London threw at him, however the sound of the buckets being shaken used to be making him worried. He had curled up right into a ball and had narrowed his eyes, a convinced signal that he wasn’t chuffed. At one element he hissed at a chugger who got here too shut.

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