The Cat Whisperer: Autism, Animals and Quiet Acceptance

The doors and windows are flung wide – and we are likely letting entirely too much pollen and farm dust and other outdoor things inside the house.

These days of warmth and sunshine are irresistible though.

It is tempting to let the spring in after months and months of Vancouver rain.

And on this warm May evening two neighbourhood cats have just come to the screen door…

They actually stood up on their hind legs and looked in… just like Pus’n’boots!

CanHplay.jpgSeriously – they called on H…

catstring1.jpgH abandoned his electronics and went out to play…

catstring2.jpgHe is outside playing with them still…

thatsmykid.jpgI don’t think Finnegan the Labradoodle is impressed!


But these two cats sure are!

I quietly suggested to H: “You are the Cat Whisperer”

“Nah…” he breathed back, “I am the Animal Whisperer!”

This is not the first time I have seen this connection between H and animals. There is definitely something very special going on with this boy and his gentle heart and his ability to reach out to animals in such a sensitive way.

Tonight though… I am even more enchanted by this magical-almost-unbelievable-thing: that the cats called on H!

And too, I am certain there is something to this from which we could all learn.

I can’t quite pin it down, but I think it is about the pacing…

and quiet…

and the opportunity presented for H to take the lead…

and the time to observe and respond to the clear and distinct interests and desires of another…

and the positive power of complete acceptance…


This THIS is joy!


30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism, (2013)

About Leah Kelley, Ed.D.

Leah Kelley, M.Ed, Ed.D., Writer, Consultant, Activist, Speaker, and Educator, working with Teacher Candidates at UBC. Authors blog: 30 Days of Autism. Projects support social understanding, Neurodiversity paradigm, Disability Justice, and connecting Disability Studies in Education(DSE)to Educational Practice. Twitter: @leah_kelley Facebook: 30 Days of Autism: Leah Kelley
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10 Responses to The Cat Whisperer: Autism, Animals and Quiet Acceptance

  1. Cats are almost always better company than people anyway… 😛


  2. Damoris says:

    These children/people definitely know or sense stuff that we don’t. They have a certain power that is beyond our imagination. We’re all special in many ways, we’re a\different and weird in our own ways but as you say, these children have so much to teach us. I wish more people had ears to listen, eyes to see and hearts to feel them.
    Thank you for sharing your stories. They are so warm, true, and beautiful.
    This Sunday is mother’s day over here, hope you have a good one.


  3. I loved reading this, I have Aspergers & love animals pretty much more than humans.
    I have 2 dogs in the house I live in & treat them like they are human lol it’s terrible! I tell my friend I am a animal whisperer too at times jokingly but really I am!
    They are intelligent more than most think..
    They are beautiful & it’s so nice to see your boy interact with them!


  4. I truly think there is a connection with these awesome kids/people. We have white tail deer in our yard often and my son who is on the spectrum is the only person they don’t run from. Beautiful.


  5. There’s a reason that “All Cats Have Aspergers” was written. You’re right: there is a connection many children and adults with Aspergers and autism feel for animals. Animals are honest, predictable, and there for us. We humans can learn a lot from them!


  6. Renee Salas says:

    This just made me feel good… Thank You! ❤


  7. pat sharp says:

    amazing photos.thankyou.


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