I tip my hat to Mark Haddon’s wonderful novel of similar title;
albeit that particular tome refers to a noctural canine & covers somewhat different subject matter to that which I am about to describe.
Mind you, we do have a cat with the feline equivalent of Asberger’s Syndrome: the lovely Nevada, possibly the prettiest Maine Coon you’ll ever see, does suffer from the condition & therefore her special needs have to be carefully catered for.
When she first came to us it was felt that she should never be allowed outside as it would simply overload her delicately confused circuitry; however, after Tony observed her sitting for hours in the window & exhibiting the perfectly normal feline behaviour of ‘chattering’ at birds, we decided that she should at least be given a chance with the Great Outdoors. And she loved it.
Now that we live here on the Ffarm it’s the perfect, safe environment for her; & whilst she hates to go outside when it’s cold & wet she relishes the sunshine & at the first sniff of a warm, Spring day she’ll be out-&-about for hours, catching mice & sleeping on the sunny slate slab in the garden.
Ironically her Auntie is a star of the silver screen, & played the evil Mrs Norris in the Harry Potter films; & Nevada certainly does have that mad look about her on occasion! The family resemblance is also fairly obvious although Nevada is an innocent ‘shiny happy people’ sort of a cat rather than a grumpy, vindictive one.
Actually, the ‘curious incident’ to which I’ve alluded, doesn’t involve Nevada at all: it’s Moriarty. He is absolutely milk-obsessed; & once the goats start to kid he hangs around constantly, begging for a sneaky sip. But he’s actually very useful, as well. Not only is he highly effective at keeping the vermin population at bay in the Dairy Complex, he also is an excellent & fierce protector of the newborn kids.
When Wattie had her triplets he amazed me by strolling into the pen & sniffing one of the newborns. I was about to intervene when he began gently washing the partially-dried kid whilst Wattie attended to her other baby. And she left him to it; didn’t seem to perceive him as a threat.
I think that especially because the kids smell so strongly of the milk he adores, he’s happy to make their acquaintance. I’ve occasionally gone into the barn to do the late check; & found ‘Uncle Mozzer’ curled up with one of the little ones who has inadvertently slipped out of the pen & lost Mum. And he puts up with all sorts of torment & torture, from them; they pull his tail & tweak his whiskers but he never, ever so much as raises a paw against them.
And he’s great for keeping an eye on them, when (like today) the cheeky little blighters escaped outside….although he didn’t try to prevent them from attempting to dismantle the control box on the irrigation tank, alas.
Even so – what a wonderful, quirky cat.