Greg Krueger lives in St. James, Minnesota. He was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome when he was 49 years-of-age. He says all cats have Asperger’s which is one reason why he loves cats. He also loves trails. He has combined his two passions to turn a house, built for people, into one that is built for people and cats. It is the ultimate form of an “enriched cat environment“. Ruth did something similar but I’d bet there are very few homes so well modified to suit the domestic cat as Greg’s.
The video says it all so there no need to repeat it here except to pick up on some of the key elements in case the video gets pulled from YouTube.
Greg’s Asperger’s has given him that obsessive drive to keep adding to and refining his work in making his home perfect for cats. As he says, he thinks about it all the time. Asperger’s overlaps with high-functioning autism. People with Asperger’s are meant to be physically clumsy. However, Greg appears to be dextrous judging by his work. I am one of those people who believe doctors and scientists like to invent medical conditions for their own benefit but it ends up with people being labelled which I don’t think is beneficial to the person. People with Asperger’s are “different” to a certain extent but do they have a condition?
Another point worth making is that his work blends in very nicely with the interior of his home. It does not jar or clash with the human elements of the home. Doesn’t this make us think it is possible for house builders to add in some options to cat lovers when constructing new homes? When we buy new homes we are offered options about the kitchen color and type etc.. Why can’t there be a little bit of compromise to the usual formulaic home by including a cat run here or there if the purchaser is a cat lover. There could be similar mods and options for dog lovers. There is a need to better accommodate the companion animal especially the cat as many cats live most of their lives inside the home.
What about this “all cats have Asperger’s” claim? This is a reference to the book by Kathy Hoopmann. It is a book about Asperger’s using the domestic cat as a way of discussing the topic in a sensitive manner because people with the condition can relate to cat companions and are accepted by cats.
Perhaps people with Asperger’s find it difficult to fit in with society because society has an unfortunate habit of shunning people who are “different” whereas cats accept anyone who loves them. They don’t judge as people do. I am convinced that many people with Asperger’s or autism have strong bonds with cats and dogs. This is another aspect of the cat’s personality which trumps the human’s.
I love Greg’s house modifications. They don’t detract from the overall interior appearance from a human’s perspective while providing lots of vertical spaces and hiding areas; the sorts of space that cats require.