Memeng The Publishing Cat

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Meet Memeng Labial (pronounced as Me Ming), the publishing cat of Puiyin W.L. Publishing.

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(Baby Memeng)

Memeng is a male tabby cat who came into my life at only four weeks old in the summer of 2016 shortly after the launch of Puiyin W.L. Publishing. When I first laid my eyes on him, I thought he was just like any other kittens; playful, cute, adorable. But it was his fur pattern that got my attention. He was handsomely beautiful with his rare looking green eyes and large white patch infront of him (which I nicknamed ‘The Vanilla’) that made him look like a tiger-gentleman in a suit. My husband, son and I didn’t have to think twice about getting him.

On the way home in the car, Memeng wouldn’t stop crying. I even tried comforting him by trying to pet him while he was in the comfy pet carrier. But he didn’t want to be touched as he kept avoiding my hands. He just looked scared, valnerable and fragile. Mind you, he didn’t once tried to scratch us. When we arrived home, we left the door to the carrier open. But he didn’t want to come out as he continued to cry. There was nothing we could do but to give him time.

After what seemed like over an hour, Memeng stopped crying and slowly made his way out of the carrier. He then started to explore the house curiously and with caution. We pretended not to take notice of him, although we kept our eyes on him. After a while, the unimaginable happened. I was lying on my front on the carpet watching TV when I heard a soft meow from behind. I glanced around and saw Memeng approaching me. I remained in position and gently ushered him to climb onto my back. I expected him not to understand me. But to my surprise, he looked at me with his then soft, curious eyes and fearless expression before making the rest of the way to me. And with a little bit of a struggle, he managed to climb onto my back without my aid and rested there. I was beyond astonished at what had just happened. I wanted to pick him up and scream with joy at his little accomplisment, but I had to contain my excitement, because I didn’t want to scare him. Also, I didn’t want him to see what a crazy momma cat I was. I didn’t want him to think he had a crazy momma to put up with for the rest of his life. Deep down, I was so happy he was finally beginning to settle down in his new home.

Since then, Memeng and I had quickly developed a strong, tight-knit bond. Of course, he is close with my husband and son, but my relationship with him is different. I feel he is my spirit animal. Memeng is kept indoors most of the time. He will not leave the house without any of us, and that’s usually to our garden. Otherwise, he would follow me everywhere in the house, even if it was to the same place continuously. He would follow obediently. When I am working in my office at home, he would either sit on my lap or on the desk, watching me work. Sometimes he would stare at the computer or laptop screen, looking like he was reading and editing.

During times when I have to work long hours without any breaks, Memeng would know how to tell me to stop by putting his paw on my hand or climbing onto the desk and smooching my face and blocking my view. He is never in my way at work. Having him by my side is theraputic and helps to control any busy day under control and stress-free. Some days when I do have to leave my office at home to work outside, Memeng would stay home and wait for me. According to my husband, Memeng would sit by the window and wait. Sometimes he would make a crying sound, as though he was missing me. And that is how Memeng became my publishing cat aside from being my cat son. I’ve also nicknamed him Tiger Assistant during working hours as he looks like a tiger who knows his way around the office. After any long day’s work at the office, Memeng and I would go to bed and sleep head to head. He is like my fluffy pillow. He doesn’t do that to my husband, therefore, he’s extremely jealous.

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We never had to train Memeng. He has walked into our lives with his already known knowledge, intelligence and awareness of his surroundings and everyday life.

On my mind – a personal post on autism

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(Photo credit – Autism Awareness)

Every year, around this time in the UK, it is the season for charity and special needs awareness, such as breast cancer and Children In Need. So for this post, I would like to take the opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences with autism, a cause I strongly support.

As mentioned before, I like to make this blog personal. Whatever is on my mind, I write. Don’t care about spellings or grammars. I have never written such a personal post before, but I’m about to. Please bear in mind that I do not mean to offend anyone (if) with this post, nor cause any problem. It is all about my personal reflection and experience with autism. I don’t expect some to understand or agree with me. After all, not everyone would understand autism. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about my son and autism. I love my son, and when it comes to him and autism, I wouldn’t change him for the world. I know the past is the past, but sometimes I cannot help but look back at some of the experiences.

One afternoon, I was taking my son home from school. We were catching the tube (train in London for those who don’t know the term). While waiting for the train, my son was sitting down on one of those ‘waiting seats’. Another young boy went straight up to him, up close, face close, like 2 inches apart, and asked my son,

“Why don’t you have front teeth?”

My son didn’t look at him. He started to slowly spit. Mind you, he wasn’t spitting directly in the boy’s face. It was like he was spitting slow bubbles if that makes sense. And by the way, my son doesn’t spit directly AT PEOPLE (not defending my son on this matter. It’s the truth). The reason why he was spitting was because the boy was up close in his face. My son doesn’t like that. It makes him uncomfortable, especially if he’s a total stranger. Meanwhile, the boy’s mother looked at me and rolled her eyes. I told her politely,

“Sorry, please mind my son.”

She smugged and said rudely,

“Huh, well, spitting is just disgusting.” (Her exact words)

I said angrily, and yet calmly,

“Actually, he’s autistic. And the spitting is part of his condition.”

She immediately became shock. She said,

“Oh, ok.”

I said again,

“I apologise for the spitting, but he’s autistic, OK?”

She said,

“Ok.”

She looked nervously around her and ignored me.

 

I know sometimes with autism, and some other disabilities, people can’t tell if one actually has a disability. The mother had the right to be angry, I’m sure. Spitting is unhygienic and disgusting. But she could have just ‘asked’ if my son could stop spitting rather then give me the attitude.

Another experience…..

Those with autism can have eccentric behaviours. That goes for my son. He especially likes to run or sing when he’s really happy. We used to live with our landlord. She knew about my son being autistic and said she was fine with it. One morning, she barged into the kitchen and asked loudly and rudely,

“WHO THE HELL SLAMMED THE DOOR?”

I was confused. It wasn’t me, nor my son. I said,

“I don’t know. Not me.” (It was the truth. No idea who slammed what door)

“You know what. You should control that child of yours. He makes so much noise in the morning. Learn to shut him up.” (Her exact words)

I immediately became angry.

“NO, I cannot shut my son up because he is autistic. He makes those noises because he is happy to go to school.”

“I don’t care what he is. Stop making excuses and start taking responsibility.”

Hmmmm, what responsibility??????? The fight ended with her storming out the kitchen and not listening to what else I had to say.

 

Another time my son and I were in a takeaway chicken shop. We were in line. My son started making noises because he was getting impatient. A group of teenagers sitting nearby started making fun of him. I turned to them and said in a normal tone of voice,

“My son is making those noises because he is autistic.”

They ignored me and laughed. I said no more, although I wanted to punch them all in the faces.

 

My son has even been called a retard or asked,

“When are you going to learn? You don’t know anything. Speak!”

I know parents from my son’s school who pushes their special needs children, who are older looking, in children push chairs. They get ‘funny’ looks when they are out in the public. But it’s ok for grown ups to push another grown up in a push chair, because we would automatically assume they are disabled.

During the Paralympics, especially during the London 2012, many say how inspirational those paralympians were. Many say it’s inspirational because we get to see those with needs, not just those with physical needs, do incredible sports. And amongst the cheering crowds, we see support. No one in the crowd would make fun of the paralympians. No one would shout out ‘RETARD’ to them or make fun if they made funny noises for no reason. No one would look at them differently. Instead, we saw them as heroes and inspirational figures. But outside of the Paralympics, it seems ok to make fun of those who make the same funny noises, or to be looked at differently if someone awkward looking was in a push chair.

I am writing this post to share my thoughts and experiences. I am not looking to start a debate or an argument. I am not saying I am in the right. All I am asking is, for those who don’t understand autism and special needs, then please be patient and understanding. If you see a child, or someone, spitting or behaving differently from others, don’t immediately assume the worse, because sometimes, they are the way they are and not because they want to be naughty or want to cause a scene.

I am so proud to say that my autistic son is already in training to one day represent Team Great Britain swimming in the Paralympics, maybe Japan 2020.

Never judge.

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(Photo credit – Facebook (Autism and other ramblings)

 

 

 

 

The Reason I Jump

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I’ve just finished reading a non-fiction book called ‘The Reason I Jump’ by a young, teenage, Japanese author, Naoki Higashida, who is autistic. As far as my understanding goes, the book was written when the author was thirteen years old. The book is about the author’s life with autism.

Those of you who don’t know or understand autism, here’s a brief explanation. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability. Those with autism will usually find it hard to communicate and relate with others. It can also affect how they see the world. They can be sensitive to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, colours and lights. Autism itself is broad. Each autistic individual is different. Some severe, some not. Some can grow up and live independently, whereas some would need long-term caring support.

I have an almost-six-year-old boy with autism, and having read the book really gave me a much better understanding of my son’s certain behaviours. Not that I don’t understand about autism. I do. What I mean by understanding my son’s behaviour is, for instance, after reading the book, I have a better understanding as to why sometimes he would flap his hands repeatedly, especially when he’s out in the sun, or when he repeats what I’m saying, or showing lack of emotional expressions and not speak. Naoki would explain the real reasons behind many of the different and awkward behaviours, expressions, and emotions by those with autism. I could totally relate to the book. It was as if Naoki was writing about my son. It changed the way I look at autism. It also changed the way I look at life and the way I am living it, because like Naoki mentioned, those with autism tends to see the real beauty of the world. They see the beauty of life and living, something many of us don’t see or take notice. There were some parts in the book that made me sad and almost cried, like the part where those with autism always feel isolated, and that they are usually referred to as ‘retards’ and not ‘normal’ people. Never once in my life did I think of my son as a retard. Naoki even mentioned a few times in the book about encouraging us not to give up on those with autism. Instead, he wants us to be patient and understanding. He even wants us to know that majority of those with autism understands people and the world around them, even though it might not seem like it. When I first found out that my son was autistic at the age of three, I was scared. But at the same time, I was willing to fight for him. And with the many help, advise, and support from doctors, playgroups, and parents and friends with autistic children, I managed to pull through and learn/understand about autism one day at a time. Today, I couldn’t be a prouder mother to an autistic child.

Naoki really proves that it doesn’t matter if you are autistic or have a disability or not. No one is not ‘normal’. We are humans. We are all the same. We shouldn’t judge an individual just because he/she might behave differently from others. Look at Naoki. He is an author, and ‘The Reason I Jump’ is a No1 Best Seller. And don’t forget, he’s autistic.