Since age 5 I’ve had my own pets to care for. Between 5 and 14 I had hamsters after every death is greive and then adopt another. I knew everything about the care for the animals and the pet itself (birthday, mannerisms and personality). At 14 I moved onto a larger more intelligent rodent- rats. It was much more intense an interest as I dedicated 100% free time to my rats, again knowing all about them. Now it’s my cat and cats generally after loving big cats as a child.
Do you think an autistic persons pet can be their focused/intense interest?
I have other focused interests such as music genres. But my main interest is animals, primarily focusing on my pets.
Yes, why not. In fact, it's probably an extremely important and rewarding interest. It's another life form which is dependent on you, and upon which you can bestow unconditional love and care. You get that back, too.
My cat is now the most important other life in my life, now that my mother is no longer alive. I dote on her. She doesn't cheat on me, lie about me, run out on me. So much more rewarding than many human relationships I've had.
Definitely. I’m planning on getting myself a puppy and a kitten (when I feel able to care for them) as my companions and my special interest, I’m going to teach my dog to tricks and things and enjoy my time with them. I think you have a lovely special interest and I think animals are great companions for us, especially as we don’t gel so well with most people. I think you’ve got it sussed.
I agree. My cat is fantastic. He’s had been a stray for 3 years and lived at the animal shelter for 2 years; so he is very large and dominates the family dog!
Thank you. Caring for something has always been important for me and why not let it be a creature you can research, and observe!
Me too. I was totally lost once my son got to 18, it’s taken me a long time to come to terms with not having that caring role with him. I’ve been doing a ton of research on poodles and how to train them etc, it’s been great fun for me to do all this research. I’ve already got the names picked out for my up and coming pets/babies. I’m going to be the best mummy I can be to them. It’s taken me 50 years to realise how important caring for something or someone is to me. I’ve got plants and I love caring for them and I love caring for all my things. Some of my clothes are well over 30 years old. I think it’s in our loving, kind and gentle natures and pets are such a great way for us to express that nature in us and we get back from them far more than we could ever give. You sound lovely and like you, now I understand I’m autistic, I’m starting to integrate that in my life. So with the pets, they will give me companionship etc but also they meet my need to research etc and as you said, observe. I’m a big people watcher and I love watching animals as well.