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Autism and Cats

on December 3, 2011

I realized this morning that sometimes speaking to my son is very similar to attempting a conversation with my cat. I can tell that both are very intelligent, and I’m pretty sure they understand the basic idea I’m trying to get across, but we just don’t speak the same language, and sometimes this causes a major meltdown. For example:

Alex (my son): Want Eat?

Me: <searches through freezer for Dino Buddies Chicken nuggets, the only substantial thing he will eat for Breakfast, lunch and dinner> Oh no, I’m sorry buddy, we’re all out of Eat!

Alex: Eat? Eat?! (minor distress begins, whining ensues)

Me: Sorry, honey, Mommy doesn’t have any “Eat” and Daddy took the car today…can I get you some crackers or something else til Daddy gets home?

Alex: <throws body around, tantrum begins> Ahhhhh-ahhh-ahh EAT??

Me: Honey you need to calm down, it’s gonna be ok; look I have crackers and fruit snacks…

Alex: <screaming now> NO? WAHH I want eat?

Screaming, crying and convulsing body make their appearance while I try to maintain damage control and keep him safe, all the while saying “I’m sorry, honey. I’m so sorry…” The crying finally subsides and he looks at me with those big, beautiful eyes, filled with tears and misunderstanding, and softly, pleadingly says, “Eat?” My heart breaks for him when I tell my sweet boy there’s no “Eat” in the house.

Begin cycle all over again.

So how does the cat factor into all this? Well today I couldn’t find the cat food. The cat was hungry, so he begins to Meow incessantly.

Cat: Mrow!

Me: Ok, I’m looking for your food, buddy, just a minute, I know it’s around here somewhere <searches through house>


Me: Yes, I know, I’m doing the best I can, I know that extra bag is here somewhere!


Me: <frustrated after searching for a goood 20 minutes> I can’t find the food, bubby, but I can get you some water…

Cat: Mrowr. (Unhappy kitty look)

Me: I’m sorry, I’ll have to go buy some after my appointment today.

Cat: <softly, pitifully) Mew?

Me:<feeling defeated> I’m sorry kitty-cat, I’ll be back in a while =(

Is it just me, or is anyone else seeing a pattern here?

Basically, it doesn’t matter if I can’t find the danged cat food or the Dino Buddies chicken nuggets, because my cat and my boy are going to throw tantrums, then eventually give in to sadness and malcontent that makes my heart hurt. All because we couldn’t communicate effectively.

There is a boook out there entitled “All Cats have Asperger Syndrome” ( and another that claims “All Dogs have ADHD.” ( I’m not so sure they’re that far off from the truth đŸ˜‰


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