Nathan likes cats. He likes talking about cats. He likes making cat noises. He likes asking what the cat is thinking about various things, like world politics and the latest Marvel release.
It can make for a rather monotonous conversational exchange.
I understand that making conversation can be difficult for those on the autism spectrum and many books recommend having two or three socially acceptable fall-back conversation starters. But at the same time, there also needs to be a balance with not hijacking every conversation and turning it back to the cat.
We've been using a token system to encourage Nathan to broaden his conversational horizons. 3 tokens per day (usually done by dinner) with one mention of the cat per token. And the dinner table is a cat-free discussion zone.
I'm not sure if it's working or not. Nathan thinks talking about the cat is funny and adding the cat into a conversation is funny (and it probably is to people who haven't been talking about it for the last four years). He likes being funny and it's easier than actually following the conversation. But it's not always socially appropriate and, long-term, it's hard to be consistently funny as a social prop.
Still, he is making an effort and I don't want to discourage him from that. Even if I'm relatively tired of discussing why the cat thinks Hulk would beat Spider-man in a fight. (Everyone knows Spider-man would win that one.)