Shared from ClickAbility – ‘My Wonderful World of Work’

“When I was a child, my dad had a market garden. Times were tough and he worked long days to keep us all fed and clothed. He even had lights in the greenhouses so that he could work after dark. Some days I would only see him at breakfast and dinner. The main lesson I took from this was that you need to work hard to survive.

I left home at 17. In order to fund my independent living, I got a job. This was in 1992, in the middle of a major recession. I went to a lot of job interviews and ended up getting a job in a fast food restaurant. That ingrained work ethic from my childhood meant that I was highly proficient at a job I actually hated. I was promoted to junior manager….”

View the full post at: clickability.com.au/blog/my-wonderful-world-of-work/ 

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Gender identity – thoughts on being ‘out’

I have known within myself for some time that the two options for gender that I spent so long thinking were the only ones didn’t quite work when it  came to how I saw myself. I was a called a girl and saw all that entailed in our society. For a long time I thought that the constructs of gender were false and imposed upon us for whatever reason. I met very ‘girly’ women and thought they must have been brainwashed or something. I have always been noticed and singled out by school bullies – yes, even an adult – for a number of reasons. When I was a kid the gender stuff just got added to all the other stuff but when school children have felt the need to publicly criticise my adult self as I walk past, the ‘insult’ is always the same ‘Are you a boy or a girl?’ I always wanted to say ‘I’m not either, I am me’ but instead looked at the ground and prayed they would go away. I occupy the space of a different gender – something I often thought of as a third gender which doesn’t fit neatly into the male or female expression – for my whole life. My choices in my dress sense and hair and other external expressions of identity change every several years. I spent my teens and early twenties with shaved short hair and wearing check flannelette shirts and work-boots. Bus drivers used to call me ‘mate’. In the last six or so years my outward expression has been about sparkly and shiny and colourful. This is a conscious part of my work as an autistic advocate but it is an expression I imagine would perhaps be considered more ‘feminine’ but I don’t really know. When I wear what I like to call a ‘frock’ it feels like I am playing stress ups rather than being genuinely ‘me.’ My comfort – ‘being me’ – clothes are pants and t-shirts and runners with big jewellery and a coloured wig or hat. I am not at all questioning or unsure of my identity. I know who I am. My gender is ‘Jeanette’.

Despite knowing who I am, I haven’t really formalised or articulated my thoughts about my own gender identity until recently. I have some great friends who are trans, gender fluid and part of the gender diverse community. I have been discussing these thoughts about who I am in terms of gender identity for some times and have received some great support and encouragement. The other day I announced my wish to be referred to as they / them rather than she / her. I put it on Facebook, just like that. It has been the start of a very fertile time of thinking and consideration and reflecting on who I am.

I posted this the other night: 

I recently publicly affirmed and declared that I identify as being of non-binary gender and that I prefer being referred to as ‘them/they’ to being to as ‘she/her.’ It has been incredibly liberating and opening new possibilities to my understanding of myself and others. It makes me feel sort of young, like I am discovering more about myself than I knew was there. I am wondering why it took me so long to get to this point of identifying and understanding. There is a lot of contented happy wandering through life tempered by occasional worry and uncertainty.

Oddly enough the uncertainty is around something I would jump right on if heard someone else say it. I keep wondering if it is a ‘phase!’ – like the parent of a teen who brings her girlfriend home in the 1980s might have said!  I find that really absurd. I am being discriminatory against myself! I counter that one by reminding myself of how liberated I feel having come out and the fact that I am 43 years old, so probably ‘phases’ aren’t part of my age group’s experience! (And the ‘phase’ idea around edgier and sexuality is pretty silly and unhelpful, not to mention kind of bigoted anyway.) 

Because I have known that I am non-binary for a while I thought coming out would be almost like a formality. I didn’t anticipate what it would mean. My identity has just blossomed into something I didn’t know was there. I feel like a plant which has been growing slowly in the shade and all of a sudden it gets put in the sunlight – it was getting by before but now it is just blooming and reaching its potential. I know that there are some other more specific descriptors of gender identity which I am not sure whether I belong to yet so will need to find out more about them. While I am thought of as an expert in autism and a bit less of an expert in mental health things, I feel very short on expertise around gender beyond my own experience and those that friends have described to me and written about. This kind of thing is very exciting. There is more to discover about me. 

Embracing my me-ness is like unknown territory in many ways. I think it also brings me closer to a lot of friends which makes me happy. Because I have a profile in the autism and autistic community it seems to be a lovely thing because I am hoping it will be relatable to other gender diverse autistic people. There are actually a huge number of us, both anecdotally and in research evidence. It also opens the conversation around gender diversity to people who might not otherwise think a lot about it.

I keep asking questions which I can’t easily answer: Should I keep running my women’s group? (My thinking is that as long as none of the members of the group have an issue there shouldn’t be a problem. I am definitely all for feminist principles and empowering women and have facilitated the group perfectly well since 2011!). Should I change my name? I am wondering about this. I would quite like to but I think I should let that one sit a bit longer and see how I want to approach it. Will I have to justify myself or defend myself for deal with more discrimination as an ‘out’ non-binary person? Maybe, probably. I don’t know but I do know I will be using my identity to support others who may face discrimination where I can. 

I am liking my unfolding identity. It is a huge adventure and I’m not quite sure where it will go but I am glad I took the step to tell everyone. It is like the first chapter of the book, just after the introduction…

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‘Too nice’: avoiding the traps of exploitation and manipulation

When I was nineteen I worked at a fast food restaurant as a casual employee. This was my only income. My employer would roster me on for one or two shifts a fortnight and then, knowing how horrified I would be and stressed that I was about to lose my job, they would call me in every single day to do a shift. I remember my anxiety every time the  phone rang at three pm as it was always my boss, but it never occurred to me to decline the shift or even to just let the phone ring out. This was 1993 – long before ordinary people would have mobile phones! I genuinely couldn’t work out that I was being played so would be delighted to get all these shifts, even being happy to do two all night shifts on the weekends. Looking back I imagine my managers thought I was some kind of fool for not realising that I was being played. In fact I wasn’t a fool but I was a person who used different ways of communicating and interpreting communication than my employer did. 

I am writing this post because someone asked me to. I don’t generally do that. This is not so much because I am some arrogant princess thinking only I can come up with good blog post ideas but simply because a lot of the topics people want me to write on are largely beyond my knowledge so I would not write a very ‘real’ post and it might be more like a literature review or case study! However, the topic of autistic people being taken advantage of, manipulated and duped is sadly something all too common in my experience.

I think every autistic person has probably experienced this or still experiences it. There is an actual concrete reason that we tend to be taken advantage of and it starts with the difference in communication between autistic people and neurotypical people. Autistic communication is generally on one level. We are honest, up front and do not often do things like manipulation and deceit. We generally do not lie although many autistic people are capable of lying if they feel the need but usually it doesn’t come naturally.

Neurotypical  people (or ‘allistics’ if you prefer) operate differently in how they communicate. Their communication tends to happen on more than one level. Mostly this doesn’t result in them being predatory or unethical and just results in some confusion when they meet an autistic person who operates differently. However there are some people who prey on others and when they come across an autistic person who sees things on one level and doesn’t realise others don’t and they become aware of the difference then predation can occur. It can be seen as the difference between visible light and infrared light. If you can only see visible light then it is hard to imagine what infrared looks like, even if you are aware it exists. I am forty-three and have been taken advantage of so many times I have lost count. I am better at working out that people are capable of doing this but I still struggle to see it happening until after it occurs. One thing which can happen – and which is certainly true for me – is that I have become hyper-vigilant about these things and often refuse to trust anyone I don’t know well, even people who are not trying to take advantage of me.

Some circumstances this kind of exploitation commonly occurs in include:

  • People cold calling or approaching you about products for sale or in some cases charities seeking donations. Autistic people not only tend to struggle with realising they are being taken advantage of financially, they may also not feel able to practice assertiveness. I know one older autistic woman who would talk to scammers who called her on the phone thinking they were genuine software company staff. While she probably did an unintentional good service by taking up their time and meaning they weren’t calling others, it does seem a little like making a cup of tea for a burglar you surprise going through your jewellery box! 
  • Many autistic people are thoughtful and respectful and polite and don’t want to be disrespectful which can exacerbate this issue. Others find practicing assertiveness almost impossible.
  • In some intimate relationships, autistic people can be manipulated and taken advantage of by their partner. This often takes the form of emotional exploitation and being controlled but can also involve  abuse and violence.
  • People involved in criminal behaviour can convince autistic people to carry out criminal activities in return for approval and ‘friendship’. If they are caught, an honest autistic person can take all the responsibility not realising they have been set up.
  • Schoolyard and other bullies often use this promise of approval and friendship to convince autistic people to humiliate themselves publicly or online. 

The more I know about all of this the more I find myself viewing everyone through a lens of cynicism. This is not a good place to be in either. We need to be aware of the potential threats and ways to avoid being victimised but also to remember that it is a fraction of neurotypical people who behave this way. 

Some strategies which can help include:

  • Compare notes with autistic friends and peers. We can learn from each other about situations which exploitation can occur and support each other to stand up to them and avoid getting involved 
  • Remind yourself that you do not HAVE to do things because others tell you to. If something feels wrong it probably is. 
  • Do some training or practice around assertiveness. I used to think it was impossible to learn assertiveness but I have learned to do it a lot better now. It can take a while but it is  a great skill in this – and other – areas.
  • Everything you do to support your autistic identity, build your self-worth and self-esteem is going to go towards equipping you with the skills and confidence to avoid being taken advantage of
  • Reflect on where exploitation has happened to you or people you know. Think about what would have helped in the past situation. Keep a record of this and if a similar situation rises use the strategies you have identified
  • And if it does happen, work through the issues and feelings but don’t ‘beat yourself up.’ You were not the person in he wrong and it was not your fault. As with all setbacks, try to learn what you can from it, get what support you need and move forward, 

My final point is to remember that this behaviour is in  no way the fault of the autistic victim. These issues arise as the result of a person or group of people intentionally taking advantage of a communication difference for their own gain. 

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‘Please don’t smash my toilet!’ – Autism and accessing mental health services 

This is a post about services. Could you imagine how you might react if you called a plumber and they came over and were so inept that they made the issue you needed fixing worse? Or if they turned up and smashed up your the toilet? And could you imagine if they denied that anything wrong had happened even if it was obvious to everyone that it had? You would rightfully be pretty pissed off I imagine. You accessed  a service hoping it would help address something serious and instead it made matters much worse. That is very poor service delivery. Yet when many people – and many autistic people particularly – access mental health clinical services the metaphorical smashed toilet is all too often what they experience.

I will preface this piece by saying that I know there are some great mental health workers and my concerns are more directed at the mental health system and attitudes than individual staff members.

In many of the times I have sought help for my mental health issues, a number of factors have combined to effectively smash my (metaphorical) toilet. Autistic people trying to access mental health services share similar stories with me quite often, as do their parents and others who love and care for them. Crisis phone lines are a frequent source of misery and angst. For someone in crisis it is hard enough to bring yourself to make the call. It is anxiety provoking, especially for people who dislike or have high anxiety around using the telephone. In my experience the common horror stories people report after using crisis support services centre around them being treated like they are a child or that they are just wasting the clinicians’ time. I’m sure this isn’t intentional on their part but being on the receiving end makes many people reluctant to use these services even when they are actually in danger. Psychiatric wards are another place where invalidation happens on a regular basis. Autistic people are frequently misdiagnosed and as diagnosis trends to determine treatment for mental health issues, this can result in inappropriate and ineffective treatments and can even be dangerous. Stereotypes around autism are frequent. I remember a psychiatrist in hospital once telling me I was ‘too cool to be autistic’. While this was probably a throwaway line it horrified me. I had written a book on autism and gave talks at conferences and at schools. Surely my T-shirt and Converse sneakers wouldn’t preclude me from autism advocacy?

Most of the issues I have experienced in psychiatric services are focussed on a  poor knowledge of autism by mental health clinicians. Autistic communication can be ignored or be incorrectly seen as a symptom of a mental illness. Autistic people frequently get seen as manipulative when accessing mental health services. This is preposterous given that autistics tend to operate on one level and many are incapable of deliberate manipulation! Being labelled as manipulative in clinical psychiatric settings is not a good thing.

Autistic people can be utterly baffled by what is going on in clinical settings. The experience can be invalidating and traumatic for a number of reasons including being verbally or physically attacked and bullied in clinical settings – and not always by fellow ‘consumers’ (and when someone comes up with a less offensive term which encompasses ‘consumer’ without the ickiness please tell me. I’ve been trying to find one for years!!). People who have hyper empathy can find hospital settings overwhelming and horrific as not only do they feel terrible anyway but they are also surrounded by other people feeling awful and feeding into their mood.  If autistic people have meltdowns in clinical settings and staff do not understand what is going on this can result in a lot of misery and even legal sanctions. There can be a lot of inconsistency in mental health care, particular in hospital settings. This can add hugely to anxiety. Autistic people may respond differently to expected with medications. Being in a hospital setting for anyone usually seems to result in invalidation and condescension. But for autistic people this can be a huge issue. The frustration at trying to tell a nurse or doctor that something is upsetting or stressful or that they have misunderstood a vital part of your description of what is a problem for you can be off the scale.

Going into a mental health clinical setting is often highly disempowering. I have always felt like I was thought of as difficult in hospital. But I think  a lot of the issues outlined here could be more effectively addressed if clinicians in crisis teams and psychiatric wards knew a lot more about autism. If there was better understanding of autistic ways of communicating, more listening to people’s experiences and what is difficult and what we need to be done differently. Psychiatry is unfortunately a profession which has a lot of hierarchy inherent within it. I think everyone would benefit if some of that hierarchy was revisited and a more collegiate, listening approach taken where people accessing services were respected and listened to.

I think that a lot of the metaphorical toilet-smashing comes from ignorance and a lack of understanding the needs of autistic people accessing mental health services. Last year I gave a talk to a room full of psychiatrists. They absolutely loved it – which was good. The issue I saw was when all of them that spoke to me said ‘I love this emerging work you are doing Jeanette’, to which I replied ‘I have been doing this since 2005.’ We need more understanding of autistic experience in mental health services – a LOT more of it. Simple as that. If we don’t then the experiences that myself and so many others have when trying to access help will be as useful as that smashed toilet.

My mental illness is just one of my attributes. I don;t know why I would ever feel ashamed of it

 

‘You don’t speak for me….’ Autism, advocacy and representation 

I had a bit of a personal criticism of my work today. The complainer saw my work as somehow gelling autism and mental illness together. Apparently I have no right to ‘speak for’ autistic people because my mental illness somehow muddies the waters or cancels it out. Or something. I have had a few of these criticisms which are pretty unhelpful and I won’t waste my time or yours going into the ins and outs. Going beyond the criticism and trolling aspect, these comments highlight an issue I come across which relates to more people than just me: The idea that advocates and activists are ‘speaking for’ autistics and that they should be required to satisfy some criteria to be worthy enough to do this.

There are a few versions of this and they come from some very varied quarters. They include:

  • ‘Parts of your experience (e.g. mental illness) disqualify you from speaking for autistic people because your experience  is not ‘truly’ autistic
  • ‘You are nothing like my autistic child. You cannot speak for my child’.
  • ‘You are not (or alternatively ‘you are too’) political enough to speak for autistics.’
  • ‘Your autism is pretty mild. I don’t think you should get to make commentary on autism given how successful your life is.’

Massive Oh Dear at all of these! They are all quite offensive and invalidating and oddly enough I have been on the receiving end of all four. The main issue in all of them seems to me to be the same: there is some quality of autistic-ness which autistic people speaking about autism need to satisfy in order to be allowed to speak on behalf of the community. These attitudes are really unhelpful and discourage some autistic people from doing or saying anything in advocacy,

In fact, underpinning all these statements is the idea an individual speaks for all autistics or on behalf of us all. This is complete nonsense. When I – or I imagine any of my colleagues – get up on stage to speak on autism I’m, fairly certain we are talking about our own knowledge and hoping that others can relate to that. I have never said and I will never say that  I speak on behalf of anyone, autistic or otherwise. I can’t. I am not them. Sometimes people say they are happy for me to speak on their behalf which is very lovely and affirming but I never actually consciously think I’m speaking for another person or people. I share what I know and hope that others can pick up useful things from it.

Beyond the logic of the thing, the statements outlined above all come with a good whack of prejudice and / or ableism. They are not respectful. Considering how difficult it is for so many of us to speak up and be heard, having others trying to shoot us down in flames isn’t very useful for anyone.

The more autistic people who speak publicly, write, engage in decision-making and do all the other things which are part of advocacy and  / or activism, the better.  However some people are put off after seeing trolling and harsh criticism levelled at their peers and colleagues.

In terms of my own representation, being criticised for speaking on mental illness and autism when a lot of my personal experience and professional experience relates to autism AND mental illness is a bit baffling. Intersectionality – that very helpful idea that people experience discrimination related to the intersection of a number of attributes. So for me, any intersectional groups are Autistic person, person with schizophrenia, woman, and person who identifies and Queer / asexual. The idea that one should ‘just’ be autistic in order to speak and write confuses me. Should Autistic people with other, different intersectional experiences not advocate either? I think the more of us there are speaking from understanding informed by our different perspectives then that is a really good thing as it will help with inclusion and more fulsome representation.

Finally, I have to wonder who it is that gets to decide what advocates say and do and who they ‘should’ be. My work was borne out of an autobiography which thrust me into the autism world in 2005, when I knew very little about anything and Q&A sessions after my talks filled me with terror as I was worried that I couldn’t answer all the questions.  I had no ulterior motive then and I don’t have one now. I did what I do to help make things inclusive and respectful and to try to help improve some of the huge disparities and disadvantages we experience. I imagine that most of the other advocates out there have a similar motivation. To be criticised and told essentially that I am not ‘pure’ enough to talk to people about autism is just insulting and rude.

I don’t really don’t represent anyone other than myself. I am at a point in my life where trolling and keyboard warriors result in anger and blocking rather than me turning their nastiness inwards. However these experiences will be putting other people off saying anything and making them fearful to speak out at all. I don’t like to think of that. It is as if the people criticising those for representing ‘wrong’ are themselves speaking on behalf of all of us and silencing voices of others who could make a positive change. Noble franchise meme

‘Do what I say not what I do’ – addressing perfectionism

There is a Simpsons episode where Homer is unsuccessful in a job interview. The successful candidate goes in before Homer and is asked the question ‘What are your weaknesses?’ He responds with ‘Well, I’m a workaholic and a perfectionist…’ Presumably the meaning here being that the candidate’s weaknesses are actually big strengths. I actually am a workaholic and perfectionist and can report that sometimes those qualities are a good thing but often they aren’t.

I have been talking and writing about the dangers of perfectionism for some time. Perfectionism is like a mixture of anxiety about change, anxiety about performance and fear of failure. Perfectionism can stop people form doing any work at all for fear it won’t be good enough. Some people won’t take on  new challenges because they might do it ‘wrong’ and some will not try new skills or activities – even leisure ones – for fear of not being proficient. I struggle playing games with family because there is a perception I am supposed to be very good at word games and trivia. What usually happens is that I am indeed very proficient but I’m also very stressed which can manifest as being pushy and competitive – not much fun for anyone really.

Perfectionism is a common quality for Autistic people. I can’t speak on behalf of others but a lot of my own perfectionism centres around a need to have some control and knowledge of an uncertain and confusing world. I have immense perfectionism around social situations and if I get it ‘wrong’ I am filled with regret. When a social situation goes ‘wrong’ I blame myself and become highly anxious. I feel like I have failed in some fundamental sense. I go through extreme anxiety and sometimes meltdowns, I feel I need to sort it out instantly and apologise to the person or do whatever I think I need to in order to ‘fix it’. Mostly perfectionism doesn’t stop me from doing much as in addition to perfectionism I have a strong dose of determination and motivation which makes me take on challenging things which I am know I won’t be instantly proficient at. However when I was younger my perfectionism limited my capability to work and also resulted in a major episode of mental illness.

I was just getting my life back together after some years of misery. Everything was a challenge and I was desperate to make the ‘right’ choices so I could have a better life. I hadn’t worked for many years but my aspirations involved working in a full-time professional job and I kew I needed to work up to that ad build my employment confidence. One of my housemates in supported accommodation got me a casual job washing dishes at a restaurant two nights a week. It was not a responsible job at all. The worst outcome of an error would probably be that one of the diners might sent back a dirty knife I had missed. That was it. But in my mind I was desperate to be completely perfect at my job. I was terrified I would make an error that would somehow put the restaurant out of business. My anxiety grew to an immense level to the point that I was highly anxious all the time. Anxiety like that triggers psychosis in me and that it what happened. Not only did that jeopardise my future as an employee, it actually put my life in very real danger. I did end up building my employment confidence armed with the knowledge that if I started getting this feelings of high anxiety and perfectionism about an activity I was doing I should tread very carefully.

So I have known since that time that perfectionism is rarely your friend but it is so hard to practice what I preach with this one. The odd thing is that now it probably looks like a positive quality to anyone who isn’t me, but for me I still struggle with it. I said to a manager I was working wth recently that I was a perfectionist which ‘is good for, you but not so much for me’. This is usually true. I rarely make mistakes at work and on the rare occasions that I do I alert anyone who needs to know and go and make amends. The issue for me is that I am always in state of controlling my world which  – as I tell other people – is largely impossible and so quite stressful. I try to ensure every singe thing I do or say is ‘perfect’. It adds a level of anxiety to my life but means I am very accomplished. Most of the advise and thoughts I share with people in my writing and presenting are things I know and do but managing my perfectionism is a definite work in progress.

There are some strategies I use to help address these things:

  • A sense of perspective is often the enemy of perfectionism. Think about what the worst outcome of an error is because usually our fear is much greater than the situation requires
  • If you feel that if you weren’t a perfectionist about your work or interactions wiht people or whatever you worry about, and that you would be terrible at it and make careless errors, reflect that you are not going to get complacent or careless by letting go a little control. We don’t generally do things we do not want to do. The difference between perfect and terrible is a long distance indeed and it is highly unlikely if you are not perfect that you will go to the other extreme.
  • Work to address anxiety in your life. Anxiety feeds perfectionism so the less of it you have the better. There are a large number of strategies to work on anxiety including mindfulness, psychotherapy, berthing exercises and distraction. The other benefit of this is that it will help reduce your anxiety generally, which has to be a good thing.
  • Appeal to your logic and reason. It actually isn’t possible to be perfect in most of life’s endeavours. If you aim to do the best you can rather than perfection, through the lens of logic, that is essentially the same thing but in terms of your thinking and approach, doing the best you can do is  a much healthier aim than absolute perfection.

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Awesome is a fine aspiration and it definitely isn’t perfection!

Mr Kitty’s thoughts on life, the universe and his human

My name is Mr Kitty. I live in an art gallery called Whimsy Manor with my human whose name is Writer.

I remember a very long time ago I didn’t have a home. It was cold and I had to hunt for rats and mice to eat. I was very scared. Sometimes other cats and dogs would try and attack me, so I got to be very tough and I still don’t like other cats and dogs.

One day I got caught in a cage. I thought this was terrible and I cried and cried. A human came and took me out of the cage. This human spoke in a  kindly one of voice and told me what a pretty cat I was and I would be OK.

Not long after that I got taken to somewhere new. I was scared. But it was actually wonderful because a lady took me out of the cage and held me close. I knew she was a good person and I purred and purred. I heard her say ‘I’m keeping this one because he is beautiful and I love him.’ And there I was at home with my human forever. Every day my human tells me again ‘Mr Kitty you are beautiful and I love you.’

Most mornings my mummy goes out, She says ‘I’m off to work Mr Kitty. See you later. Be good.’ I go and sleep on the bed until she comes home. Sometimes I look out the window at the world. I don’t want to go out there – it is scary and cold – but I like to look. I used to think that my human mummy wouldn’t come home. If there was food in my bowl I would leave it, not knowing if she would ever return. But I don’t do that any more because she always come home and I know she wouldn’t leave me.

She buys toys for herself. I know she likes sparkly things and glitter. She has a whole box of human toys but I help her to share them with me. She says ‘you’re a funny bugger’ and picks me up and gives me a big cuddle. I love that.

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Every once in a while a bunch of other humans come to my house. They all talk and laugh. One of them is a young human with long hair. She is very good at art and shows my human and the other humans her drawings. There is another young human with fluffy hair. I play with it. None of the humans is every angry with me and they all tell me how much they love me. I usually visit all the humans’ handbags and smooch them or climb inside. The humans stay up really late and I always go to sleep before they leave. I think this is called movie night. I like movie night.

My human gets really sad and scared sometimes. She tells herself ‘it’s not real’ and doesn’t even sit at her computer. I go up and give her a big cuddle. She holds me really close and tells me she loves me. I love her too and I hate when she is scared. She always gets better but I worry about her. One time she said ‘your face looks like a demon but I know you are an angel.’ She needs me I think.

At the end of every day my human mummy climbs into the big bed. I climb under the covers right next to her and lay my head on the pillow. My human puts her arm around me and holds my paw. When I wake up later she is still holding my paw.

I love my human. I am so happy at home with her. I have lots of toys to play with and cat food. I say thank you every day with cuddles and purrs. I rescue my human every day, just like she rescued me. I had a good life for a kitty.

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