Autistic Littlehampton teenager desperate to be reunited with therapy cat: 'he is my best friend'

Lisa Johns and her son Tristan with the poster for their missing cat. Picture: Kate Shemilt
Lisa Johns and her son Tristan with the poster for their missing cat. Picture: Kate Shemilt

An autistic teenager from Littlehampton is desperate to be reunited with his therapy cat, which has gone missing for two months.

Chandler was more than a pet cat to Tristan Gray.

Chandler the cat

Chandler the cat

He was his ‘best friend’ and helped him with the side-effects of being autistic.

So when he went missing two months ago, Tristan, 14, and his mother Lisa Johns were determined to find him.

The 38-year-old, from Anderson Way, Wick, had scoured the area, putting up posters and cards through peoples’ doors.

She said: “A few times I have had to leave my son with my neighbour because he was so stressed out. It is heartbreaking when I come back and I haven’t brought Chandler home.”

According to Lisa, she last saw their cat at 11pm on Monday, June 24.

She said: “He was walking along the garden fence and I was trying to get him to come in. He was just being a little tinker, so I thought ‘that’s it’ and went to bed, expecting him to be there the next morning. That was the last time I saw him.”

As days became weeks, Lisa searched Toddington Lane and the neighbouring estates, recruiting drone owners to search fields nearby. The Animal Aid UK organisation printed off 500 posters which Lisa had also put up.

While people had suggested the cat could have gone to their previous home – a flat in Berryfields Court, North Bersted, which they moved from in April – Lisa said Chandler was ‘bone-idle’ and a house cat at heart.

Lisa said: “I put butter on his paws when he first went out here so he would return home. He was terrified, and ran straight back.”

She described Chandler as large, fluffy, grey and white, aged 11, with green eyes and a yin-yang pattern on his face.

Tristan, who goes to St Anthony’s Special School in Woodlands Lane, Chichester, also has global developmental delays. He has had Chandler since he was three.

Lisa said: “He helps him if he is having a meltdown.

“They would play on the floor together and he would help keep him calm.”

He said he ‘would be very glad’ if Chandler was found: “He is my best friend. He is lazy like me. I miss him.”

If you have seen Chandler, call 07527 058308.