The Cat Who Came Back For Christmas: A Great Read Any Time of the Year

Connie McKinney By Connie McKinney, 19th Jul 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>True Stories

Don't be fooled by the title. "The Cat Who Came Back For Christmas" is a terrific book to read any time of the year not just in December. This is the true story of a cat who befriends a child with autism. Read on to find out why this book touches readers at so many different levels.

An Inspirational Tale

"The Cat Who Came Back For Christmas: How a Cat Brought a Family the Gift of Love" will make you laugh, cry and keep reading right to the end. This is a book which tells an amazing true story of a cat who brings a young boy with autism out of his own world and closer to his family. The story takes place in a suburb of London where the author, Julia Romp; her son, George; and their cat, Ben, still live.
The 272-page book was published in 2010. Copies of the book are available in all major bookstores and
Romp shares her story of being a young single mother who sees problems with George from the moment he is born. George won't sleep and constantly fusses and cries. As he gets older, he has difficulty getting on with other children and adults. He does not play well and often gets frustrated and angry. George seldom makes eye contact with anyone, a major symptom of autism. He doesn't sleep much. He won't even hug his mother, and the only physical contact they have is when they "rough play" together.
Then, a stray cat shows up in their garden. The family adopts the cat, and names it Ben. Soon, Ben and George are inseparable, the best of friends who play, cuddle and even jump on a trampoline together. Ben happily plays the same games over and over for hours and never loses patience with George. Ben even lies in the sink and keeps an eye on George when George takes his bath.
George begins to slowly come out of his shell. He starts talking more and becomes calmer and happier. He even begins to cuddle with his mother and show her affection for the first time ever. Life is going well for the family.
Then, Ben disappears while the family is away on holiday. George begins to regress while Romp searches for the cat day and night. She puts up countless posters of the missing cat, fields numerous phone calls and even checks the bodies of dead cats brought in by the dustmen - the men who pick up trash, sweep roads and dispose of dead animals.
Romp does a good job of building suspense. Will Ben be found? Where is he? Will George keep making progress or continue to regress?"The Cat Who Came Back for Christmas" will answer these questions.

A Real Treat For Animal Lovers

Animal lovers, especially cat lovers, should enjoy this book. Romp does a good job of describing Ben and bringing him to life. Ben has a real sweet tooth and enjoys sharing George's ice cream. He's also a big fan of hot dogs, ham and toast with butter.
Ben loves to cuddle with everybody, especially George. Ben enjoys rubbing against the legs of every person who walks by until he gets petted. He's friendly to all humans but not so to birds. He occasionally leaves dead birds as gifts for his family - as so many cats do.
"The Cat Who Came Back for Christmas" shows the power of the human-animal bond. Somehow, Ben senses that George has special needs and decides to become his best friend and protector. Ben, like so many other animals, never judges the humans in his life and simply shows them unconditional love and acceptance.

Shining a Light on Autism

"The Cat Who Came Back For Christmas" does an excellent job helping readers to understand what living with a child with autism is like. Romp shares her grief which occurs whenever she sees another child hugging or kissing the child's mother in public. She never experiences any physical affection from George until Ben enters their lives.
Romp shows us how frustrating being a parent of a child with autism can be. Romp tries to explain her son's problems to other mothers but the other parents still avoid her and her son. They don't understand what she's going through.
Romp hears angry comments from other people when George has a melt down in public. They think he's spoiled and that she's a terrible mother who can't discipline her child. What actually happens is that George has sensory issues which many people with autism have. Crowds can overwhelm him.
Anyone who has a relative, friend, co-worker or acquaintance who has autism or is a parent of a child with autism will relate to this book. "The Cat Who Came Back For Christmas" should be required reading for anybody who plans to work with children or adults with autism including teachers, psychologists, social workers and counselors.
Readers will be amazed and touched by this story, especially its feline star, Ben. He really is an inspirational cat - even if he is fond of ice cream.

For more information on autism, visit the Autism Speaks Website

To hear Julia Romp tell her story to National Public Radio's "Snap Judgment" Program, click on 412 Segment C after you visit


Autism, Autism In Children, Autistic, Autistic Children, Book, Book Review, Book Reviews, Books, Cat, Cats, Cats And Humans, Cats As Pets, Cats At Home

Meet the author

author avatar Connie McKinney
I enjoy exercising, pets, and volunteering as well as writing about these topics and others.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
22nd Jul 2013 (#)

Thanks for sharing... I've heard if this book before -- still need to read it.
Sorry I haven't been commenting much lately. We are prepping our house for sale and have found another we really want, so we are very busy bees!!

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author avatar Delicia Powers
22nd Jul 2013 (#)

thanks Connie...:0)!

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author avatar Connie McKinney
22nd Jul 2013 (#)

Thanks, Phyl. Good luck with the sale. Hope it sells quickly.

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