(The following excerpt from 5-Year-Old Autistic Painter Has Amazing Relationship With Therapy Cat by Gillian Fuller recently appeared on elitedaily.com. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)
Different types of therapy work for different people, and for some, specialized therapy pets — like cats — are an effective method of therapy.
Such is the case with Iris Grace, a 5-year-old girl with autism.
Iris is relatively famous for her artistic abilities: She’s an incredibly talented painter, and her work has been shared all over the Internet. Regardless of her talents, her autism renders her less willing to communicate with others.
That’s where her therapy cat, Thula, comes in.
Thula is a 1-year-old Maine Coon, a breed of cat known for their intelligence and kindness.
According to Iris’ mom Arabella,
“Thula has lowered Iris’ daily anxieties in life and keeps Iris calm, but equally has the effect of encouraging her to be more social. She will talk more to Thula, saying little phrases like ‘Sit, cat.’ ”
The cat does everything with Iris, and she’ll even get in the bathtub with her to keep the young girl calm during what (for her) is normally a high-stress situation.
They make the cutest team you’ll ever see, and they’re clearly both attached to each other. Check out some pics of the pair below: