A Gift from Bob

by James Bowen, 2014

This is the true story of James and his beloved cat, Bob, and their Christmas together in London 2010. It is when James finally had a beautiful Christmas and learned that it is better to give than to receive. They start out freezing cold with the electricity and gas in their apartment turned off due to non-payment. James and Bob have to go out and earn some money. They do! Many of James’s loyal customers give him money and gifts for Christmas. They are able to get the heat turned back on and food and a gift for Belle, that he leaves on a bus. But, he finds a piece of concrete with beautiful stones on one side, in a construction spot where he had to let Bob down to go to the bathroom. Bob is there for him. There is a bad person – a drug pusher who tries to force James to take some free heroin. James literally has to run away into a crowd of people. There is a good person who is handing out flyers for a sermon he is giving on Christmas Eve. He talks to James and tells him he is being christian, like in Acts 32:5 (it is really in Acts 20:35) where Paul quotes Jesus, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” James has been giving out Christmas cards to his customers and seeing their faces light up has given him that warm, happy feeling. But James won’t go to Christmas Eve services – no way. He has bad memories of Christianity. But, he and Bob have a beautiful Christmas together, his first ever.

I looked up James Bowen and Bob died in June 2020 and it may be that James is back on drugs because there is a post on his facebook page from someone named ‘Sam’ that he has agreed to go to rehab.