Bob The Cat Marmalade Tabbies

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



2020 - March (1)
2020 - January (1)
2019 - May (4)
2019 - January (3)
2018 - November (1)
2018 - October (5)
2018 - July (1)
2018 - June (2)
2018 - April (1)
2018 - March (3)
2018 - February (2)
2018 - January (2)

All - 2020 (2)
All - 2019 (7)
All - 2018 (17)
All - 2017 (65)
All - 2016 (107)
All - 2015 (52)
All - 2014 (112)
All - 2013 (143)
All - 2012 (109)
All - 2011 (119)
All - 2010 (85)
All - 2009 (85)
All - 2008 (49)
All - 2007 (2)
All - 2006 (3)


Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

BOB THE CAT - Marmalade Tabbies

Date: 29th May 2012

As far as I am concerned Marmalade Tabby cats are highly intelligent and seem to be able to very much land on all four paws.

Any of you who’ve heard about, or read the excellent book by James Bowen- A Street Cat named Bob – will know how the marmalade tabby, scrawny and with cuts and scratches and a nasty abscess on his leg, adopted James a down and out street busker. The tale is emotionally uplifting and has led to enormous mutual benefit for both cat and man.

I’ve always been a Dog person having ‘lost’ a couple of cats when in my youth and deciding not to put myself through that heartache again. However late one night in July 1999 a little marmalade kitten was found in the lane near my cottage. At the time I had two dogs – a boxer and a standard poodle. I fed the kitten some tinned tuna being the only thing I had which remotely resembled what I thought might be appropriate to a cat’s diet. It wolfed it down and then calmly walked over to where the dogs were lying and plonked itself between them. I left notes in the surrounding dwellings – not many as it was very countrified - and heard nothing until many days later when a woman from the local stables knocked on the door and said that three of the stable kittens had gone awol and my little scrap was one of them but that I could keep it if I wished. (The other two were never seen again and probably provided a good meal for some specimen of wildlife). Heaven knows why I said Yes but I’ve been rewarded a million times over for taking the little creature into my home.

On taking it to the Vet I learned that it was a male and duly arranged to have him seen to. The Vet reckoned he was between 6 – 8 weeks old and that put his birth round about the time of my own son’s Birthday so the kitten’s birthday was registered as the 18th May. I christened him Tamby after Tamburlaine the Great – and please don’t ask me why!

Tamby was an extremely handsome kitten with the most beautiful and symmetrical tabby markings. His beauty-symmetry was only marred by the pigment on his nose which gives him even more character.

Over time the dogs passed on to Doggie Heaven and I had to sell the lovely cottage and downsize so having a cat was far more manageable although I very much miss having a dog to take for walks.

(Last year I purchased an adorable Klee Kai puppy on the understanding that Tamby would have to accept him. Tamby didn’t – firstly he stopped eating and then he left home for two days. The Klee Kai went back to the breeder! They do say that you own a dog but a cat owns you)

As he has aged Tamby has got more and more affectionate and has many endearing little habits. I bought him a new scratch contraption and tried to show him where to put his claws other than on the furniture. He followed suit and I rewarded him with a treat. So, what does he do now? Jumps up onto the scratch pad platform and looks at me as if to say – Aren’t I clever so now where’s my treat. He takes me to the fridge when he wants his cat milk and just lately has taken to waking me up in the morning by pawing my face. Just occasionally he forgets to retract his paws so it’s a rather rude awakening.

Three weeks ago he became very ill and was diagnosed with a chronic blood infection. Thank goodness the lovely Vet – Niss – was able to make him well again after a few anxious days and nights when he stayed at Animal House. Thank heaven they do still man the surgery. My poor sister had a dreadful time when her cat got a terrible infection from which he eventually died – leaving Gilly with a bill for just under £5,000 and most of that came from the fees for Vets Now. The poor girl had to take the desperately ill cat with all the tubes etc. in a cage from her vet to Vets Now over two weekends because her veterinary surgery no longer does ‘In house’ care. Apart from the cost, the trauma to the animal must have been unimaginable. Bit like Doctors who no longer man a surgery at night or at weekends leaving you at the mercy of locums who know nothing about your medical history and may not even speak our language adequately.

I brought Tamby home from the Vets’ on his birthday and someone asked me what I’d bought him. I replied that I thought a £200 vet’s bill was present enough. Actually I have bought him better beds etc and he rejects them so there’s really nothing I can buy.

I’m not sure if I believe in Karma etc. but a year before Tamby came into my life a cat ran into the road in front of my car. I swerved but sadly hit him. On going back I found that he was still alive. There were three houses by the side of the road but I could find no-one whom I could tell about the cat. I raced to my Vet as that was quicker than trying to search for one in the area where the accident occurred. Sadly there was nothing the Vet could do. There was nothing I could have done either but I felt terribly guilty. I have a strange feeling that Tamby coming into my life was perhaps a re-incarnation – or am I being daft.

Tamby is now 13 and I pray I’ll have him in my life for a good few years yet. But when he goes there will be a huge hole in my life and my heart.

Tamby is forever asking for treats and recently I taught him to sit and stay before getting a treat.  He learned so quickly that I'm wondering what else I could have taught him if i"d started when he was a kitten.

My lovely Tamby – and I’ll post a photo in the Gallery of the Book cover – A street cat named Bob and you will see how alike they are.


BOB THE CAT - Marmalade Tabbies

What do you think? Send your feedback to