George And Ben

Fourteen year old George Romp was born with autism and found it difficult to make friends, learn in school and express his feelings, but that all changed when Ben, a black and white stray cat entered the family.

Julia Romp, a single mother who brought up George, had spotted the cat in her back garden several times but thought nothing of it beyond extending it the natural help she could. She’d had a few pets before which George took no notice of. But one day after she was concerned for the cats health and took it to the vets, George spoke out to the cat and began talking in what she calls the “cat voice”. They took the cat home and George began talking more and more to Ben, sharing stories and making up his own adventures that Ben had been on. His school performance improved, he made friends and he expressed to his mother that he loved her. But that all changed when Ben went missing while the pair were on a family vacation.

After Julia received a call saying Ben had been missing, George insisted they return home and changed back to his old self, closed off from others and unable to connect. Three months passed with Julia searching frantically for the cat, and then one night a call from a town 70 miles away claimed they had found Ben and identified him through the microchip. When Julia returned home at 4 a.m. holding Ben in her arms she called out to George and it was as if he’d never left, she said Ben was in Brighton and George simply replied;
“I know, he wanted to try the best fish and chips in the world.”

Julia knows that Ben wont be around forever, and that it is not a miracle cure for her sons autism, but says she cannot imagine her life anymore without him, how much of an impact he has had on her family life. She hopes when the day does arrive that Ben passes she can introduce Ben’s “baby” another cat, and hopefully continue the connection George has.

Source: The Daily Mail – November 20th 2010

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