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“My Son Can’t Stop Talking to Me… About Cats”

At an age when many boys start pulling away from their mothers, my son with ADHD can’t stay quiet about the book series ‘Warriors.’

Incessant talking is one of the classic symptoms of ADHD, and boy, does my son talk a lot. At the dinner table, in the car, at the grocery store — to strangers on the street who may or may not want to hear from a 10-year-old kid. The boy is always, always talking. Sometimes this is great. At an age when many boys start pulling away from their mothers, my son wants to talk to me.

Do you know what he wants to talk about? Cats. Thank you, Erin Hunter and the Warriors series. My son loves the books so much that he won’t stop talking about them. I cannot fault him for his love of reading, but he has taken his interest in the series to a fanatical level.

Not only does he want to tell me all the things Jayfeather and Ravenpaw are up to in their fictional world, but he finds ways to connect the books with things we are doing in real life. Think a trip to the science center has nothing to do with a group of feral cats? You’d be wrong, because my kid finds a way to connect them. Before you know it, you’ll be listening to a 30-minute monologue on how dinosaurs are actually like cats.

Think gazing at the stars and picking out constellations on a clear night would be free from Warriors-talk? Wrong again. My son will launch into a discussion explaining how the stars are elder-cats placed in the sky to watch over and guide us. He’s even taken to writing Warriors fan-fiction, which I get to hear about.

I’m going to be honest: Sometimes I zone out and nod every few minutes.

“Are you listening, Mom?” he’ll ask.

“Absolutely, buddy,” I’ll reply.

I’m not listening. I’m probably making out the grocery list in my mind or thinking about where we should visit on the next school break.

To make matters worse, he’s recruited his little sister into the cat-worshiping cult, and she doesn’t even read the books. I now get to drive down the road listening to the illustrious sounds of cat-clan battle reenactments in the back seat, complete with artificial claw-scratching sounds and dialogue.

I know this is a phase, but could the next obsession please hurry along? He’s recently started reading the Percy Jackson series, and I’m hoping for a Greek-god phase. I can talk about Greek gods all day long, not just cats.

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  1. My daughter is exactly the same about cats. Everything she does or talks about evolves around cats. I hadn’t realised until reading your article that it was part of her Inattentive ADHD.
    Up until 6 months ago every book she read would also involve cats, until I persuaded her to read David Walliams very funny books. This has definitely made conversations more varied.
    Good to know I’m not alone on the whole cat obsession. Although it has also worked to my advantage, as my daughter very happily feeds our cats twice a day now for her pocket money!

  2. Yes. All of this. But we are a dinosaur family. As a mom with ADHD, I retain facts. My favoriteeee is when my son stubbornly refuses his “fact” is incorrect. I’ve recently started daring him to pick up a book to prove himself right. (Five minutes of silence!) At 8 years old, all of his friends are pulling away from their moms..my son is not. I still get hugs in public. Also very glad to know someone else’s child can make the connections and turn any situation into what they want to talk about.

  3. My son’s obsession is Plants vs. Zombies. He talks to me all day about the different kinds of characters and their special abilities. It is exhausting trying to be interested all the time when I’ve heard the various customizations for each character for the zillionth time. I am glad to read this article though because it’s reassuring to know there are other families like us, and also because I hadn’t realized that I should remember to appreciate the fact that he still wants to talk to me about things that interest him. I’ll keep that in mind tonight when we read PvZ: Plant Your Own Path at bedtime.

  4. Oh my!
    My daughter is obsessed by warrior cats. And talks non stop!! We are just getting her dad a ADHD disgnoses. I’m wondering if my daughter might have it too. It’s like this constant background noise. I lost my ability to really listen to her months ago. Which makes me feel bad- but it’s exhausting!

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