Being the former spouse of a special education teacher, I've had the pleasure over the years of meeting some wonderful students with a variety of life challenges. Watching one of our cats sitting at a window making clicking noises at a bird outside, I was struck with an epiphany ... cats are autistic. High functioning, no doubt. But autistic to the core.
Let's look at some of the common signs of autism in humans, and it will become crystal clear to you too.
* Acts as if he/she is deaf - How many times do you have to say it? Get off the kitchen table!
* Resists learning - You might say, well, they poop in a box. That's just because they refuse to flush, so it's not like you are going to train them to use the big potty.
* Has no fear of real danger - I can hit you with a shoe from 20 feet, but you still insist on chewing all of our plants to nubs. Right in front of us.
* Resists change in daily routine - Why isn't the window open today? It was yesterday. Why not today? How can I lay in a closed window? I think I will stand here and ponder why it is closed until you open it again. That will be soon, right?
* Uses people as "tools" to satisfy their needs - Time to wake up and recognize my presence human. I'm awake, so therefore, you should be too? Here, let me help you up by laying on your face. As you can tell, I just went to the bathroom. By the way, the box needs some work.
* Does not use their finger to point or show you things - I've always thought if cats could use their middle finger, oh, would they use it!
* Hyperactive - Fly! FLY! There is a fly in the house!
* Sensory issues - Even though I don't have claws anymore, I can't help but try to sharpen my non-existent claws on the edge of the chair for three straight minutes.
* Unable to use their imagination during play (i.e. pretending a banana is a telephone) - Right. It's not that they can't pretend a banana is a telephone, but their refusal to even care there is a banana at all.
* May become angry or upset if their daily routine changes in any way - I noticed the litter box was getting a little full. As a reminder, I left you a little memo on the carpet right in front of the box.
* May focus on only a small part of a toy or object - Maybe if I lay here and stare at the little bell inside the plastic whiffle ball, it will come running out to play with me! Or maybe it can't get out. Like I can't get outside the house. So ... I AM the bell ... let me ponder this for a while.
* Obsessive attachment to objects - This is my paperwad. There are many like it, but this one is MINE. My paperwad is my best friend. It is my life. I must master my paperwad as I must master my life. My paperwad without me is useless. Without my paperwad, I am useless!
So clearly, cats are firmly rooted in the autism spectrum. For my next thesis, I shall discuss the widespread mental retardation of dogs.
Written by: Bob Richards
Originally published: May 7th, 2009