Do you recall the article we posted about the extraordinarily gifted autistic 5-year-old painter named Iris Grace? It turns out that Thula, her therapy cat, is a behind-the-scenes aide who deserves appreciation as well.
Thula is a Maine Coon that is almost one year old. Though still young and petite, Thula lives up to the reputation of this breed as the kind and intelligent giant of the cat world. Iris, a young child with autism, benefits greatly from Thula’s soft and sympathetic nature; according to Iris’ mother Arabella Carter-Johnson, “Thula has lessened [Iris’] daily stresses in life and keeps Iris peaceful, but equally has the impact of pushing her to be more social.” She will converse with Thula more, using idioms like “sit cat.”
Carter-Johnson was so close to giving up on finding her daughter an animal therapy partner. However, Iris came to the conclusion that she “simply hadn’t found the appropriate animal yet” after she connected with a Siberian cat that her family was cat-sitting for the holiday.