[This post is dedicated to autisticook, because of literal brains, cats, and the kind of inside jokes that are only jokes inside your head…]
So like, autisticook was talking about how she often gets totally ridiculous mental images because she interprets things people say/write literally. I also do this. It entertains me greatly. All the time. However, it also sometimes is a recipe for heartbreak, because a lot of times, my literal interpretation of what people say/write is just so much more awesome than what it turns out they actually meant. And then I’m super disappointed. Case in point (I have no excuse for the third-person narration, it just happened):
It is a rainy day in 2013, and Emma is browsing one of the science journal databases she frequents (for fun, duh). She takes a look at articles available online from one of the journals of autism research. She sees the article circled in the image below [click to enlarge], and excitedly shouts “YOU GET A CAT!?” Now she’s super pumped and takes this screenshot and sends it to her ASD cat-loving science friend because she is so pumped that there is a therapy where they just like, let you bond/hang out with a magical service cat. COPING CATS! Emma would love to have a Coping Cat!
This is a screenshot of a journal website Table of Contents, where I’ve circled one article, titled “The Coping Cat Program for Children with Anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.” I’ve drawn an arrow pointing towards the circled article, with a giant all-caps caption saying “THEY GIVE YOU A CAT!!!?!?!?!?”
I was super giddy…until I went to read the article abstract.
AH, CURSE YOUR SUDDEN BUT INEVITABLE BETRAYAL.
There are no cats. There were never any cats. Coping Cat is just the name for a cognitive behavioral intervention program for anxiety. The only cat is a cartoon on the cover of the “Coping Cat Workbook.” I still haven’t quite gotten over this. My literal interpretation was so much better than the actual thing they were talking about. I want a coping cat! Literal cats are always better than non-literal cats.