Thula is a one year old Maine Coon Cat who lives in Market Horborough, England in the United Kingdom. Thula is a therapy cat to a 5 year old girl with autism named Iris Grace Halmshaw. The story of Iris Grace Halmshaw was originally featured at Autism Light in July of 2013 when she was named Autism Light #285. Thula is an Autism Light for the way in which she helps serve as an autism therapy cat to Iris Grace. Thula helps young Iris Grace to overcome anxiety in social situations and cope with everyday routines such as getting her hair washed.
Puss in Boots :-) Thula to Iris - ''See Iris, if I can wear them, you can too'' pic.twitter.com/JKkNtJ1uYm
— Iris Grace Painting (@IrisPainting) July 26, 2014
Petango writes this about the Maine Coon Cat breed, which is the official cat of the State of Maine in the United States.
Unlike some other people-oriented cat breeds, Maine coon cats are not overly dependent on their human family. Instead of pestering you for attention, they will remain close by for companionship. Not usually “lap cats,” they prefer to sit beside you instead of on top of you. Maine coon cats make great buddies for kids and generally socialize well with other pets (Petango).Arbella Carter-Johnson, Iris' mother, told Bored Panda, "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 (Bored Panda).'"
Online Resources: You can read more about the heartwarming friendship between Thula the cat and Iris Grace in these online articles.
- Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks did a feature about the special bond between Thula and Iris.
- Bored Panda. There are many beautiful pictures of Thula and Iris Grace in this Bored Panda article on Thula the cat that you will enjoy.
- Buzz Feed. Buzz Feed explains in their article on Thula that she is more than a therapy cat but a best friend to Iris Grace.
Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.