Pathologizing Kitty…

Pathologizing KittyI’ve been considering that we don’t impose the dog paradigm of communication, where tail wagging means ‘I am happy or excited’ and ‘please give me more…’ on the cats we know and love…

It is interesting that we realize the difference and read the cat’s message of intent in this same physical response as, ‘STAHP that or else!!’ rather than pathologizing the kittyism as poorly executed dog communication…

Perhaps this observation could be teased out with the logical progression of deductive reasoning; the assumption or inference would be that humans possess the ability to learn to understand and interpret communication that presents in a wide variety of ways.

I wonder why we so often fail to apply that understanding to other humans…
It seems unnatural…



Suspiciously eyes social constructs…

Non-existent tail swishes air in warning…


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 (2015)


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
This entry was posted in ableism, acceptance, Autism, Communicate, language and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Pathologizing Kitty…

  1. pamkirst2014 says:

    What a wonderful metaphor!


  2. coyotetooth says:

    Now swans. . . They mix it Up! Happy swish; get out-a-my-face swish; get-in-line swish; I-understand-but-you’re-crazy-if-you-think-i’m-gonna-comply swish; turn-on-a-dime swish. . .


  3. chavisory says:

    I keep being amazed at the things that other people can apparently easily figure out about cats, but can’t figure out about autistic people…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: ¿Sabes entender a tu gato? - Mascotalia

  5. VisualVox says:

    Reblogged this on Under Your Radar and commented:
    This is exactly it, as far as I’m concerned. Not everyone communicates the same way, nor should we. A non-diverse population is a brittle and extinction-bound population.


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