Ever since I was young my mother always told me that while my sister was like a dog, I was like a cat. As a die-hard dog lover this sentiment always offended me greatly as I hated cats. But now that I possess the power of foresight, I can amuse myself with the fact that autistic people are indeed like cats.
We Aspies are very self-driven people: we do not do anything that we do not want to do (at least not without a fight). So when my mother became frustrated with the fact that while I loved to give hugs I hated to receive them her first thought was of the finnicky cat who will purr and rub against a person’s legs one minute and run away at the sight of the person the next.
I am also similar to my cats in that we are able to pick up on the slightest sound, even if it is high-pitched. When we do hear such a sound we tend to become agitated. My cats and I both prefer to eat the same meals every day and value routine (though mine does not consist of 18 hours a day of slumber). The sensation of rubbing against objects for cats can be as calming as pressure for an autistic person.
This similarity to cats (or to any animal) is actually an important observation which is very helpful in understanding people with autism. The comparison between autistic people and animals is quite striking. What makes us alike is probably a combination of our reliance on our instincts and our lacks of empathy. Animals do not have a problem eating each other because they do not feel emotional attachment towards one another (though they may enjoy the company of one another), as do people with autism. We also tend to trust our instincts more and as a result do not easily trust other people. In a similar way animals (particularly domesticated cats) tend to be skittish around humans whom they do not recognize.
For these reasons it comes as no surprise that I have a strong connection with my three cats. I find that they can be interesting to watch and can be very comforting to spend time with when I am upset. It would seem that cats and autism just go together like abrupt blog endings and my tiredness. Good night!