The other day I came across with a cute story about an autistic girl and her therapy cat Thula. Her name is Iris Grace, a 5 year old with an extraordinary talent to express herself through painting. Many art experts are comparing her to Monet, founder of French Impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting.
Iris Grace parents disclosed on their website that they have been encouraging Iris to paint to help with speech therapy, joint attention and turn taking.
"Then we realized that she is actually really talented and has an incredible concentration span of around 2 hours each time she paints. I make up some cups of very watery paints, she chooses which one she would like to use and gets me to make more when she needs it and she mixes her own colours from mug to mug. Her autism has created a style of painting which I have never seen in a child of her age, she has an understanding of colours and how they interact with each other. She beams with excitement and joy when I get out the paints, it lifts her mood every time."
Iris Gace is such a cute adorable girl but equally adorable is her Maine Coon cat Thula, that seems to pay attention to everything she does and follows her everywhere, including the bath tub! Thula has become a therapy pet for Iris Grace.
“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.’”
Maine Coon Cats are know to be "gentle giants". They are intelligent, trainable, described as “dog like”. A Maine coon will follow you around but, instead of getting in the way, will observe what you are doing. They will look you directly in the eye when you are talking to them, and they will usually respond. Instead of the typical meow sound, the Maine coon has more of a chirp, giving them another special characteristic. Most Maine Coon Cats have a fondness of water, to be in it, watch it, wash their food in it, or just plain play in it, so we are not be surprised to see Iris and Thula playing in the tub.
Iris and Thula are a good reminder that all living things matter and they are placed on this planet for a purpose. Thousands of cats that are euthanized every year because there are more pets than there are responsible homes for them. Please consider adopting a cat at a local shelter rather than getting one at a local pet shop.
If you want to follow Iris Grace's incredible journey, and learn more about her art, painting auctions and check out her amazing online shop please visit: irisgracepainting or visit her Facebook page.
*All photos provided by Iris Grace Facebook page.