Autistic People are Cat People?

People often assume I’m a cat person. They’re wrong, but not in the way they expect. They’re also right, but not how they expect.

The other night, I was invited to meet and catch up with some out-of-town acquaintances at the Denver Cat Company, which was less about feline manufacturing and more about keeping company with cats. There were around 14, darting, slinking, and enjoying cuddles and play from others.

It was a great catch-up and meet as well, one of the first and few in which I could engage with and listen to other resplendent, neurodivergent people. I cracked open my tin of Fancy Feast™ and enjoyed about 75 minutes of late-evening conversation. It’s nice when, within my tribe, I can almost finish someone’s sentences with the word ‘anathema‘ and not be thought strange or odd, but perfectly welcome.

But back to cats, when I saw the sign, I asked to snap a pic and muse on my own enduring question:

Are autistic people cat people?

A lot of those feline guidelines sure apply to me:

  • Touch at your own risk
  • Watch for claws
  • Leave me to my refuge
  • Leave me be
  • Don’t chase me
  • Don’t pick me up off the ground

I see why we get that reputation. We’re cuddly, but only on our own terms. We’re social, but we opt into that and need to be able to bail at a moment’s notice. We’re not declawed, and if we scratch, it’s not because we hate you. We don’t want people invading our bubble, unless we somehow faintly signal that we want you to.

But we’re not all nor always cat people.

We get a puppy-like exuberance about our special interests. Sometimes we’ll follow a scent or a thing without breaking focus. We can be intractably loyal and fixed to a single person as their aggressive defenders and faithful friends. Sometimes we’re distracted by squirrels.

And that’s the autism spectrum for you: variety within variety, difference within difference.

Fun fact: Despite my cattiness, I’ve only ever owned dogs.

Cats, dogs, reptiles, fish — whatever: every time I try to fit autism into a stereotype, I fail spectacularly. Word to the wise there.  To learn more about autism from an autistic person’s perspective, follow & subscribe to The Life Autistic here and on YouTube — or follow the more whimsical, spontaneous, and amusing content on Twitter / Instagram. Thanks.

Unrelated, but my two dogs cameo in my latest video. It’s far more entertaining to see it vs. read about it. Check it out:

Don’t Fall for a Point of View Gimmick

Point of view.

Joy, another gimmick turned to rubbish by fakes, rakes, and automobiles.

That’s why we’re Writing All Wrong.


should i write a story from the viewpoint of a dog?

i like the new perspective and i want to explore


—lacy alaine renard, decatur, alabama

I’m at a crossroads of a loss. Do we deconstruct this godawful attempt at an e.e. cummings impression, or strike at the heart of an already hackneyed approach? May I use your email for next week’s diatribe? Thanks.

To shoot down your simple inquiry: don’t. I can count on one calculator the number of stories written from a dog’s point of view. I can count on one hand the number of those that are good. And only after that hand’s gripped a detonating M-80.

Might as well flush the toilet and funnel through the many drain pipes that such gimmickry leads to.

Viewpoint of a three-toed sloth:

“The hunter trekked through this lonely tangle of forest, chasing after—wait, I cannot see him now. Maybe he’ll come back. Look. There sprouts more algae upon my back. I have spent six hours moving my arm to reach the algae I noticed yesterday.”

Viewpoint of a goldfish:

“He paced rapidly, kicking a shoe about with a cuss or two following. Hates his job. Why does he hate it? I’m not sure. He’s kicking that shoe now, cussing for some reason. He says he hates his job. That’s sad. I feel sad. Now I see him kicking his shoe, but he stopped. He hates his job? Since when?”

Viewpoint of a fly on the wall:

“Hard to tell why she pulled him in here. The lights were dimmed. Pregnant? But how? My compound eyes would have welled right now, but I don’t cry over these things. I’ll be dead next month, so I couldn’t tell you what’s to become of her child.”

Viewpoint of a giant squid:

“The camera floated down to cut a wedge of light through the debris, plankton, effluent of those in the higher waters. They don’t love me, these sick voyeurs. I’d cast a tentacle of spite, but then they’d—WHALE!—

Unless you’re going all-out, keep it simple when it comes to point of view. Keep it safe. Keep it sound. Keep people reading.

Writing All Wrong can be reached via email ( and followed on Twitter (@WritingAllWrong).