We’ve written about 5-year-old autistic artist Iris Grace in the past, but we’ve yet to praise her companion, who apparently makes much of her wonderful work possible.
That’s right. Little Iris Grace has a therapeutic cat, called Thula. She’s a one-year-old Maine Coon, a breed known for their gentleness and intelligence. Her gentle and compassionate nature is a particularly useful in helping Iris deal with the struggles of her autism.
“Thula has lowered [Iris’] daily anxieties in life and keeps Iris calm,” Iris’ mother, Arabella Carter-Johnson, told Bored Panda. “But equally has the effect of encouraging her to be more social. She will talk more to Thula, saying little phrases like ‘sit cat.'”
Carter-Johnson endured a long search for a therapy animal for her daughter before she witnessed Iris bonding with a Siberian cat. She eventually found Thula, and the two became fast friends.
“What ever activity we are doing Thula is there and wants to help and be involved,” Carter-Johnson said. “Waterplay, playdoh, painting, bike rides, iPad, puzzles, marble run, drawing… she offers Iris her companionship, friendship and supports me in encouraging Iris to interact.”