13 Signs That Cats Have Autism



1. They have poorly developed social skills and little interest in playing with other animals.

2. They have great problem solving skills. If they want something, they will find a way to get it.

3. They’re not big on empathy, but they can be very loving towards those who are close to them.

4. They won’t sleep at night if they don’t want to.

5. When they’re not sleeping at night, they’re doing whatever they can to keep you awake.

6. Understanding what they want often involves a combination of guesswork and luck.

7. They can make you laugh when you least expect it.

8. They will lash out and scream bloody murder if you try to cut their nails.

9. They will lash out and scream bloody murder if you try to get them to swallow a pill.

10. If you try to give them a bath, you will often end up with more water on you than they do.

11. They won’t play with the toys you buy them, but they’ll find new and exciting uses for a piece of string.

12. They have a superhuman ability to focus for long periods of time on things that interest them.

13. When they snuggle up to you with absolute love and trust, that is the best feeling in the whole world.

(Photo credit: Kirsten Doyle)


Teen Series Part 3: Don’t Make Empty Promises

Last week I introduced you to Vicky Rinfreschi, a South African teenager with wise words. She has a close and open relationship with her parents, and her love and respect from them can be clearly seen in her words. Last week she gave advice that can help parents attain that kind of relationship with their teenage kids, and today she is back with more. Without further ado, here are the rest of Vicky’s words, uncut and unedited.

DON’T MAKE EMPTY PROMISES! This is just as bad as lying. My parents aren’t perfect but they are pretty close. Even so this was an area when we used to butt heads quite a lot. Now that I’m older I do understand – but at the time it caused me hours of misery. You have to be aware that a child’s memory is loads better than that of an older person. They remember EVERYTHING! You will say a mindless comment like, “Not now honey just a bit later and I PROMISE I will play that game with you.” Or “Next weekend I PROMISE we will go to that shop and find it”. Everyone has said something along those lines just so you could get a moments rest. But then did you do it? My parents had a track record of 6 out of 10 when it came to doing that thing later (if it wasn’t a priority – such as a board game etc.). I understand that to an adult your child’s little requests aren’t such a high priority, like Kirsten said, worrying about feeding your kids is higher on the list than going to the beach; but to your child , even your teenager (though you might find it hard to believe), nothing could be more important. It’s a cry for quality time. It may even be (as it was for me) that your child wants to distract YOU from your worries and make you smile for a period of time no matter how small. So before you make that statement make sure you can back it up with action and before you blow off that action think about how nice it would be to connect with your child before you’re no longer the centre of their life. That period of time when your child idolises you won’t last long. Enjoy it now and maybe, just maybe they will never stop idolising you. I haven’t. Everyday I strive to be as wise and loving as my mom and as smart, strong and as caring as my dad. Be the parent you wished your parents were, and trust me you won’t go wrong.

Another big issue is MONEY. Be honest about your finances. I remember when I was little I had no concept about money; I just knew what I wanted, when I wanted it and that was often right then and there. Most parents make the mistake of saying no to their kids without giving them a reason – leading that child to believe that “my mommy/daddy don’t love me because they wouldn’t get me that toy/chocolate.”  Don’t make that mistake. My family have been through ups and downs when it comes to finances. Some years money was abundant and birthdays, weekends and Christmases were filled with all sorts of goodies. But some years money was tight (really tight) and we couldn’t afford the little goodies that make children feel loved, but my parents where HONEST about it. Yes I would be disappointed for about 5 seconds but I got over it because IT WASN’T THAT MAY PARENTS DIDN’T LOVE ME – they would have bought me the earth if I so desired it. Don’t think that just because we are young we won’t understand. We perceive a lot more than most adults. Show your kids that they don’t need little gifts for you to prove your love – good old fashioned quality time at home with a soccer ball or board game does the trick ten times over. So give up a little television or facebook time and play a game with your child. Trust me. That’s a foundation that you should nurture from the beginning.

The biggest thing and maybe the main reason why I consider my mother one of my best friends and my father my advisor, is because they never let me forget, not for 1 second, how much they loved and supported me. IN EVERYTHING, NO MATTER WHAT! It may seem frivolous; but to randomly go up to your child and tell them that you love them and that you are proud of them actually makes a huge difference. Especially (even though most won’t admit it) to a teenager. He/she might have had a typical downer teenager day at school and you, with no hidden agendas, telling them how much you love and them, could turn the dark cloud they have been nurturing with self-loathing thoughts, into a fluffy pink one filled with love and confidence. You don’t need a reason to express your love for them. And make sure they know that no action could change how you feel;  yes you might get mad or be disappointed for a bit but that’s because your love runs so deep and so strong that you wish you could take away all the problems and hurt. Let them know that you are a safe place for secrets and advice. DON’T BREAK THAT CONFIDENCE EVER!!!!

In short; treat your children as you would want to be treated, because they will do as you do and not what you say. Trust your kids and they will trust you as long as you show them that they can. And most importantly earn their respect by showing them respect and your relationship will evolve into a beautiful friendship that will last for the rest of your lives.

(Photo credit: Vagawi. This picture has a creative commons attribution license.)


Teen Series Part 2: “You Don’t Learn Respect, You Earn It”

Last week, I was honoured to have a wonderful guest post on my blog from South African teenager Alex. The post was a candid and honest view of the world from the eyes of a sixteen-year-old. Today, we hear from Alex’ best friend, Victoria Rinfreschi. Vicky is the daughter of a dear friend of mine who seems to have been getting it right when it comes to raising teenagers.

Vicky sent me plenty of words, too many to fit into one post. But I did not want to edit or cut a single word, so Vicky’s post will run in two parts. Here is the first half – uncut and unedited.

My name is Victoria – but I prefer to go by Vicky.

I currently live in Cape Town South Africa, with my parents and my older brother. I’m 16 years old. I’m currently training to be a waitress at my local spur (a South Africa food franchise based on American cuisine). I take maths lit (aka maths for stupid people – no really it’s a waste of life), English, Afrikaans, Tourism, and 2 practical subjects namely Visual Art and Design. I take 2 extra subjects; Sport Science, Italian and an extracurricular; Animation (learning graphic programs and how to animate anything you want).  I’m a qualified level 3 first aider and I write little news articles and draw cartoons for my school’s media portfolio. My parents say I do too much – sometimes I feel I don’t do enough.

When I get out of high school my goal is to study at a graphic collage. I don’t quite yet know what I want to do – but I know my field. The only thing that interests me (and the only reason I go to school) is to draw or express myself creatively in a medium of my choice – be it clay or charcoal/graphite, paint or mixed media, or even just on 3D max, my life revolves around Art.

Okay, so now you know a bit about me. I’m an “artsy-fartys” person, who works too hard, sucks at maths, and takes subjects she finds useless. Good, now that we have that out of the way, it’s time to get down to business. I’m going to write about my personal experience and what l have learnt and know. I’ve had these conversations with my friends on many occasions and I remember the thoughts behind the words. I will touch on what I feel are some of the key mistakes most make – and maybe reading this will help you have that better relationship with your child now , before those adolescent years.

Something that I didn’t mention above is that I’m possibly one of the luckiest teenagers out there. My parents got it right from the start, the Lord knows how they did it – but I certainly don’t.  Working at a family restaurant I constantly see things that shake me. Such as parents leaving their children (ages varied form 3-4 to 7-8) unattended at the restaurant for hours only to return and be upset that they can’t find their kids. Or cursing at their 5 year old telling them that they should go and die because of some arb little reason. You don’t realise it now, but the foundation you lay with your kids from the beginning determines how they will be as teenagers. It infuriates me when parents complain about how their teens are “rebellious” or need to learn respect. Well let me tell you something. YOU DONT LEARN RESPECT- YOU EARN IT! You determine how your children are going to turn out! Every word, every look, every action, imbeds itself in your child for eternity! They might not consciously remember it and you might not either but it’s there, burrowing away at their subconscious and eating away at the relationship you are trying to forge many years later.

I always knew where I stood with my parents. This is key. Everybody craves certainty. We can’t function or grow properly without it! It’s a basic need. It was my certainty that no matter what I said or did – they would ALWAYS love me, they would never take their frustrations out on me and they would ALWAYS (I shall repeat for emphasis) ALWAYS be honest with me. It was this that made it so easy to form such a great bond with my parents and make it what it is today (at the “height” of rebellious actions and puberty). If your child asks a question – no matter what it is, answer it honestly. Believe it or not, we can all tell a lie from a fact and we will question your integrity if you can so easily lie straight to our face. We aren’t going to listen to a hypocrite. Why should we be open and honest with you if you can’t lend us the same curtsy? Besides we won’t be able to trust you – you’re liar. At the end of the day it’s not what’s wrong with your teenagers; it’s what’s wrong with you. As babies we have no say about how you treat us or act around us. But as a young adult we can choose not to take it anymore.

Yes I admit when I grew up I asked some pretty difficult questions; and to be honest I mostly did to test my parents – often I already knew the answer, I just wanted to see if they would tell me the truth. And they never failed me in that respect. Don’t underestimate your child. We know a lot more than adults give us credit for. They always answered me honestly, but they always gave me just enough information that was appropriate for my age at the time.

(Photo credit: Woodley Wonder Works. This picture has a creative commons attribution license.)