Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Mimicking animals

Do you enjoy mimicking animals?

I like to mimic animals. I have in my life time mimicked cats, dogs, chooks, cows, kookaburras, whales, wolves, and horses. I mostly identify with a cat though. I like to talk cat, i.e. Meow, purr, growl, hiss as ways of expression. I asked my Facebook friends and people who follow my Facebook page about their stories of mimicking animals and what animals they mimicked. I got some great responses. My blog is inspired by another AS Mother asking in the group about whether anyone else and their family mimicked animals. It sparked interesting responses and I remembered a particularly funny story of when I mimicked a Kookaburra. I mimicked a kookaburra so well that my mum thought there was a kookaburra in the backyard. We lived in NZ! She got all excited for a second until I told her it was me. It was quite funny! To add context to that story we had just come back from visiting our relatives in Australia and I wanted to have something to remember the trip by.

I also remember longing to have a tail as a child. I used to use ribbons and whatever else I could find to make myself a tail. I had so much fun pretending to be a cat and having a tail. I am tempted to buy or make myself a tail just because I can. I want to embrace my inner animal and child.

I have always felt a connection to animals and love trying to connect with them in their language on their terms. 

The other night I was taking the a bag of rubbish to the wheelie bin and there was a cat on the driveway. It froze when it saw me. I started meowing at the cat while I put the rubbish in the bin. I could see the cat visibly relax as if to say, 'this is a safe person, they get me.' It was so cute!

Here are some of my friend's responses:

"My daughter has always done most of the behaviors mentioned. When she was little she would put anything long down the back of her pants to make a tail. My grandma sewed tails for her of many animal prints to play with. She also has a very realistic dog bark and wolf howl. Great for creating ambiance on Halloween! We regularly chicken cluck to each other."

"I made a noise like a seal and flapped my 'flippers' together in kindy class one day and my teacher made me do it all recess as a punishment!"

"My cat and I have long conversations in her language hahaha!"

"As a baby I purred like a kitten and crawled around enough that my Dad gave me the nickname Kitten.
As a kid, I thought it was neat to mimic sea gulls especially. 
My kids like to mimic animal noises also. My middle child does it the most correctly and not how it is written, for instance a horse does not go "neigh" and a pig does not "oink"."

"I have upset a few dogs by barking at them. Surreptitiously, I have barked at dogs in a car next to me at traffic lights, and turned their car into pandemonium ... very funny to see the driver's frustration and confusion!"

"I cheep like a bird a lot lol. I'll ask my partner if there's any animal noises I'm unaware of. Both of my girls regress into animal personas when they're stressed or threatened. Iris mostly becomes a cat and Lou changes between many different animals."

"I used to bark a lot as a kid. Today I generally... meow."
"I also use (and always have used) the more threatening dog and cat sounds. Hissing, growling etc."

"Yes I do. When he was little, my son told me off for mewing back at the cat: 'Stop it, Mummy! You must never miaow at cats! Or woof at dogs!' And crows, incidentally, are just asking to be cawed at."

"I do it off the wall out of nowhere!!! Chicken, monkey, dog, cat, cow and crow."

"My mom said that when I was little, I used to hide under the table and bark when a babysitter came over. And when I was in college and intoxicated, I would start mooing. Come to think of it, I'm physically incapable of passing a field of cattle without mooing even while sober (from the safety of my own vehicle so people don't think I'm crazy - LOL). And yeah, I meow at my cats sometimes."

"I would often try to communicate with my cats by mimicking them, and I think I figured out a few of their common signals, I could usually get the expected reaction. To communicate with people though? I would his at people to get them to back off, even through high school. I'm pretty sure it only worked because I weirded them out, but it was still very successful!"

"I've always made animal sounds - hens, roosters, dogs (especially howling and whimpering) neighing, bleating, mooing and I speak to my cat in "trill" language and we have quite long conversations. Howling at the moon was one of my favorite things! My mum even had a black cat suit made for my 10th birthday (it doubled as a wolf costume). I was a country tomboy and had to make up my own amusement."

I am tempted to get for myself:

Cat's ears

A cat's tail

Further reading:

Wrong Planet discussion on animal mimicking and Autism

Do Animals and People with Autism Have True Consciousness? by Temple Grandin
This article kind of related and I thought it looked interesting.

1 comment:

  1. oh my goodness gracious me ! ... I thought mimicking animal sounds and behaviour was just something that I did and no one else. I mimic lots of animal vocalisations! My dog Suzie, passed away recently, but when she was alive (and even now) I used to mimic all her vocalisations, as well as talking in a weird cartoonish kind of language, that was supposed to be "doggish" or something... I had the feeling that if my Suzie could talk, it would be in the language and accent that I had invented. In regards cats, I always "meow" in various tones when I see a cat, and 'talk' to it that way... and they always respond to me too. Same with birds and any other creatures I come across, including Alpacas and Llamas. Their vocalisations intrigue me and all I want to do is reply to them in their own language. I've always thought that I probably appear strange to other people when I do this, but I can't help myself. Even now that my Suze has passed on, I still talk to her in her special language, and just talk in the language whenever I feel like it. It's such a liberating and enthralling thing to do. When I've mimicked animal sounds sometimes, people have also thought that the real animal was right there LoL. Thanks so much for talking about this topic, because now I really know I'm Autistic :-)


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