Author: Julia Romp
Publication Year: 2012
Date Completed: December/2012
Rating: 4/5Recommend: yes
Julia Romp's nine year old son George is autistic, and despite all of her efforts, Julia found it impossible to get through to her son. One day a stray black and white kitten appeared in their garden, he was in bad shape. When George saw the small kitten his face lit up with excitement. Julia began to feed the kitten, setting up a carrier with blanket in the garden shed and checked on the cat daily, hoping to cage it and take it to the vet. Eventually, her plan worked and, "Ben" the kitten came home to live with the two of them. A special bond between George and the kitten occurred. George was still a boy with autism, who faced daily challenges, but with Ben constantly by his side, George immediately connected with the cat, and the cat seemed to sense how much George needed him as well. With Ben always close by, George began to smile more, emerge from his shell and communicate more when they were together.
Three years after Ben arrived, mother and son went on vacation to Egypt, while they were away, Ben disappeared. George blamed his mother for the cat's disappearance, and George soon began to digress. Julia vowed to never stop searching for Ben. Through flyers, ads and internet posts, Julia tried everything she could think of to find Ben. She received numerous leads, including many prank calls, but she followed up desperate to bring Ben home, and to bring a smile back to her son's face. Eventually, just before Christmas, three month's after Ben's disappearance, a call from some (70) miles away came, and Ben and George were reunited.
I had a little problem with the writing style as the story really did not seem to flow that well. And, while, it is not really a Christmas story, it is a story that will appeal to most cat lovers, as well as families who are raising an autistic child. It's a heartwarming, tender story that will especially touch readers who have ever had a special bond with their pet.