James Bowen shows us his favourite place to chill out with his cats

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13 May 2022
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When he needs somewhere to relax, James heads to the catio to chill out surrounded by his feline friends.

With this summer approaching, the backyard is looking like a building site. It’s in a terrible state — not how I pictured it being at this point.

I had this grand vision of building a Koi Carp pond, with a Japanese theme and Japanese style decking, with little bonsai trees and a little zen sand patch with a rake and rocks to rearrange. All very kind of cute and relaxing, with eastern and Japanese themed bits and bobs. 

James will head here to relax

We were going to have bamboo fencing and a little buddhist prayer temple and one of the little Bob bronze statues on a little island in the middle of the pond, with the little Japanese theme bridge going across to it, and then a little mountain at the back with a waterfall coming down to circulate the water for the Koi Carp in the pond. 

It was all very inspiring and eastern influenced to say the least. But it’s just a big hole in the ground with a pile of dirt next to it! And a few deck chairs. So therefore, I will be retreating back to the catio. 

The catio is a cage that is built on to the back door of my studio, which was fitted for Bob and the other fur babies. It has been instrumental in helping to keep my pets safe.

I know there are a lot of debates about cages and cats. Freedom versus birds being hunted et cetera but personally, having owned a celebrity cat (Or as some might like to say, the one and only celebrity cat!), it was essential that I had this kind of security. I will always be grateful to ProtectaPet who gave me this wonderful little extension to my house. 

Although as many of you know, Bob had escaped my home on the day that my world got a little darker.

It is in no way because of the catio, as if a cat really wants to get out, they will find a way, no matter what.

It's a haven for cats too!

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Relaxing space

On the lighter side, the catio is a wonderful extension where I can look out on to a little greenbelt behind my house. 

As I’ve cut down half of my fence so that it is only about three feet from the ground, I can look out on to this greenbelt where the foxes run around through the undergrowth. And the trees are all luscious and green. Despite being in the middle of a very heavy suburban area, I have this little piece of nature. 

Inside the catio, I have a beautiful leather sofa. And I’ve put a nice big roof over the whole thing as it didn’t originally have one. I’ve also put a yoga swing and an old TV in there, and a wind-proof wall on one side. So, it’s kind of turned into an open plan extra room on the side of my house that doesn’t get wet in the winter. It’s a recreational sort of area, whereas it used to be just a simple cage on the back of my studio door. 

It has become a kind of escape for me, where if I get stressed out, tired of things, or just plain bored in the studio, I can just step out into the sunlight or into the moonlight, and sit in my yoga swing — surrounded by my little fur babies.

I do intend to continue and finish my Japanese themed garden. And to buy some lovely little Koi Carp. Then I can stick my feet in the pond, with the little statue of Bob, and have them nibble at my toes.

Maybe one day the garden will look more like this!

To find out more…

James and Street Cat Bob have featured in books and movies that have sold millions of copies internationally. To learn more about their story, visit streetcatbob.com or the Facebook page HERE