I grew up on a small holding with several rabbits, chickens, ducks and goats. I loved taking care of the animals and being able to spend quiet time holding them and watching them go about their lives. I often feel sorry for N3S that, although we have two cats, two (wild) hedgehogs and a tortoise, he can’t experience caring for animals like I did as a child because we live on the outskirts of a city.
Luckily we are able to enjoy the Mill Cottage Farm Experience a few times each year. They came to Portsmouth yesterday and N3S and I showed up to see what treats they had planned for the visitors this time.
The usual animals were there: turkeys, ducks, chickens, goats, pigs, sheep rabbits and guinea pigs. Usually I just watch N3S smooth the animals but this time I decided to indulge in some guinea pig cuddling. I held the tiniest guinea pig, no bigger than my hand, and she melted my heart as she snuggled down for a long stay. I finally put her back in the pen over 30 minutes later. Reluctantly, I might add. There is something about spending quiet time with a cuddly animal that seems to magically erase any recent sensory overload. N3S agrees with me and I wonder if it is the same for all autistic people? What about neurotypical people? Do you find it relaxing to cuddle an animal?
N3S played with the animals for a bit and then went in to wash his hands and see what was on the cooking table. Last time we were there he made apple cheese cake and this time he made a very tasty peach crumble. I’m really pleased that I can take N3S along to the MCFE once in a while, he thoroughly enjoys himself every time and I feel less guilty for giving him no option but to be a city boy.