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Oh–A Cat and Her Boy

May 6, 2011

I’ve posted before about our cat, Ibit, who has diabetes, and the decision we’re facing (although we’ve been able to stave that decision off by continuing to increase the insulin) about when to euthanize him. I’ve worried so because Ibit has been Bobby’s cat for ten years, but the last month or so, as Bobby and I continue to have this talk about when to let Ibit go, Bobby has grown more attached to Aphrodite. She’s our garden cat and has some litter box issues. We’re working on the right balance between inside and outside time so that those potty issues aren’t issues.

She’s spent the last four nights in the boy’s room sleeping with him and using the litter box appropriately, so we’re hopeful.

Today she disappeared from sight outside for awhile and Bobby was extremely worried. She came back to the porch a little while ago, and when he opened the door and saw her, she got some serious loving and promptly taken to his room. I think, although the pain of losing Ibit likely at some point this summer will be intense, that the accidental cosmos has seen fit to give my sweet son a companion every bit as charming and connected as Ibit has been.

Animals, someone to love all their own and connect with on their own terms, are, I think, tremendously important to children with autism; Bobby has been drawn out of his isolation through the wonderful cats who’ve wandered into our lives over the years. His love of cats led him to volunteer at the animal shelter once a week, where his social skills and ability to communicate have grown significantly in the year he’s been there.

If that isn’t love and connection and the sweetest two souls in the picture above, I don’t know what is.

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