IT THINKS IT’S A DOG: The Trials and Tribulations of Life With an Allistic Feline Sibling

by Gracie, the Autistic Academic’s PROPER cat.

The other cat thinks it’s a dog.

Don’t get me wrong.  I try to be a very tolerant individual.  Some of my best friends aren’t even cats!  But that OTHER CAT – well – I’m not even sure you can call it another cat.  It doesn’t even realize it’s a cat.

So, while pretending to sleep on the keyboard the other day, I read this silly article at Reductress: Vaccinations Made My Cat Autistic.  I’m not sure what this “autistic” is, since Admiral Ticklebelly’s behavior sounds like perfectly normal cat behavior to me.  But it did make me realize that there has to be a name for the pattern of obviously deviant behavior the OTHER CAT – I shall not deign to refer to him by name – engages in on a regular basis.

OTHER CAT definitely has some kind of pervasive disorder that has resulted in his utter failure to behave like a proper cat.  He eats literally anything the humans put in his food bowl, even day-old kibble, as if he has no taste buds or sense of smell whatsoever.  He plays “fetch.”  He perseverates on the issue of being petted, begging for belly rubs for hours at a time.  If he doesn’t get them, he simply begs harder and more pathetically.  When the humans pull into the driveway, he rushes to the window, obviously anticipating some connection between his own presence and theirs.  And when they walk in the door, he assaults them with a barrage of highly inappropriate mouthnoises.  So rude!

These pathologically attention-desperate behaviors were tolerable when he was a kitten and I could just smack him.  But now he weighs more than I do, and there is no place in this world for a grown adult who still has to climb all over the humans, try to vocalize in their silly language, or chase things they throw and bring them back.  And by “in this world,” I mean “in my house.”

Somebody please cure this “cat.”  He has a case of severe low-functioning allism that I have to live with every single day.  It’s ruining my twenty hours a day of naptime, my normally assiduous self-cleaning ritual – even my cherished nightly can of canned food.   And, judging by the way I caught myself rolling belly-up for pets this morning, I think his condition is catching.