Big cats and small cats in London|GianFranco Belloli|KnowLedge World Network|Activities|KNOWLEDGE CAPITAL

  • 2018.1.18
  • Big cats and small cats in London
When you think of London, the first thing that comes to mind is probably not cats.
Actually, when you think of the British capital, you rarely make a connection between this place and animals (especially wild ones), but the city became famous in recent years for opening up a big cats project and thanks to a small (but very special) stray cat story.

In recent years, the city opened up a special project to rescue big and endangered felines, which were saved from the wild.
This project is called Cat Survival Trust and it is a park which relies on charity to manage a twelve acre enclosure for wild felines in the outskirts of London. The place is run exclusively by volunteers who run multiple tasks, from the organization of fundraising events to managing the administration office and they also sell merchandise in the souvenir shop to raise more funds for the project. Some specially trained volunteers also care for the cats and design the buildings in which the big cats are housed.

Volunteer workers are always welcome to join the project and visitors are of course an essential part of the success of this place, which also promotes preservation of the natural environment and awareness of endangered species.
The project is the first of its kind in England and it’s very different from regular zoos.

When it comes to small cats instead, Bob, a street cat, is definitely worth a mention.
He became very famous in London as the co-star of a book of great success, released in 2012, titled “A street cat named Bob”.
In order to tell the story of this beautiful red cat we must start from that of his master, James Bowen, a street musician with a past of alcohol and drugs, which until the publication of the book lived thanks to the generosity of the people who listened to him playing the guitar in London’s Covent Garden shopping area.
In 2007, James found a scared and sick, stray cat and he decided to take care of the animal and named him Bob. Once the cat was healed, the guy wanted to give him away, due to the difficult conditions of life he was forced to do, but Bob did not want to go his way and he started following James tirelessly everywhere.
Just like that, a wonderful story of friendship and sharing began.
It was also a story of solitude and recovery because James had to face difficult daily battles to survive and detox from drugs.
In the London area where the two inseparable friends used to perform, everyone knows Bob and his owner.
Thanks to the sale of the book, that quickly became a best-seller in England, James and Bob got a new life and subsequently the book also became a bestseller in many other countries and it was also made into a film.
The day of the release in the bookstore, the fans lined up to have the autograph of the author, especially that of Bob’s paw!
The docile red cat has been pampered by all the admirers rushed to see it and, as James once said, they saved each other's lives.
I think it's a great story, simple but very moving, which is worth reading and probably reading the book would help many people to be more understanding, not only towards stray animals, but also to people living moments of difficulty.


  • GianFranco Belloli
  • AgeMouse(NEZUMI)
  • GenderMale
  • Jobblogger/musician

I moved to London over 2 years ago but only last year I started writing for a local newsletter for Expats in London telling about my experience in this big city and giving advice to newcomers. London is a very dynamic city and has a lot for everyone but it’s important to have a local point of view to navigate it without getting lost. Let me be your guide to hidden London!

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