Aspies often have a connection to animals, and my favorite has always been cats. My family has gone through 3 cats. The first was Kitty, an orange and white bruiser of a cat that liked to chase dogs around the neighborhood and attack us from the bushes. He was awesome. We moved away and left him with a neighbor. Next there was Katy, who we had from the time she was a kitten for about 3 or 4 years. She ended up running away. Then we got a cat we generally referred to as “kitty” or “the cat” but never formally named. We had her for about 16 years. My mom took her to the vet about two weeks ago to be put to sleep because she was in pain all the time from arthritis and she was pooping all over the house.
I took the loss of this cat harder than I’ve taken the deaths of any of the humans in my family who have so far died, which consists of all my grandparents (my mom’s mom was the last to go just a few days ago) and a cousin (a tragic shooting in Detroit). We aspies tend to get close to animals because I think we understand each other on a level that we don’t with other people. Maybe we’re more like them than we are like other people. Maybe we’re magical animal-communicating wizards. Who knows? What matters is that we feel a connection, and when a pet dies, it’s as difficult for us or more as when a person dies. I’m not depressed any more about the passing of my cat, but I still get sad when I think about the last moments I spent with her, knowing it was the last time I would ever see her. She was under a bed in the guest room, probably in a lot of pain and wanting to be left alone. I felt like we were friends, and I’ll miss her.