The Incredible Friendship of a Little Autistic Girl and Her Cat

The Incredible Friendship of a Little Autistic Girl and Her Cat
Francisco María García

Written and verified by the lawyer Francisco María García.

Last update: 22 December, 2022

A little girl named Iris, has gone viral due to her works of art. However, the appearance of her cat Thula has caught even more attention.

Iris Grace Halmshaw is a six-year-old British girl who was diagnosed with autism at the age of two. From that moment on, her parents tried their best to have her connect with outside world.

Nevertheless, the most important breakthrough for Iris came with the appearance of her pet Thula. A two-year-old Maine Coon cat that became the little girl´s inseparable companion.

Iris’ mother, Arabella Carter-Johnson, claims of trying to have other animals before Thula. She was familiar with an animal-child connection theory for autistic children.  They tested having dogs and horses but nothing interesting really came out of it.

Iris´s Disabilities:

Iris painting with her best friend

Iris’s type of autism consists of having irregular sleeping patterns, obsessive behavior, lack of eye contact, introspection and lack of communication.  She has very little social skills ,and doesn´t have playful interaction with both of her parents and other children. Also, she feels very insecure about anything new or unknown.

Iris and Thula story took place when Arabella’s brother was needing someone to take care of his cat in order to go on vacation. It was a surprise to the family to see how quickly the little girl and the cat clicked.  As a result, Iris´s mother began researching on what type of felon would best suit her daughter.

She looked up information on Maine Coon cats which are very gentle, affectionate, intelligent, and curiously fond about getting wet. This was a great success. Incredibly, Thula is naughty while being with the rest of the family, but she knows what to exactly do when she is with Iris.

If Thula notices the little girl gets upset about something, for example while being in the car. The cat comes over and sits on her lap, until she calms down. If Iris wakes up scared during the night, Thula will stay with her until she falls back asleep.

A tight relationship

Iris doesn’t talk or interact with anyone, except with her feline. Very simple words, such as “sit cat” or “more cat.” Well this is seemingly small, but it is huge burst of excitement for the family.

The relationship between kitty and child is so tight that the mother, Arabella, can hardly believe what she sees daily.

Best friends forever
Source of the image:

The little cat Thula, is from one of the world´s most intelligent breeds. Her fluffy hair is very similar to petting a stuffed animal. Her character is sweet and compassionate. Qualities that are very important for Iris, since autism is a disorder consisting of a lot loneliness, and little sociability, communication, imagination, planning and emotional reciprocity.

Although it’s not a problem for autistic children being able to enhance their own abilities; nevertheless, Iris is talented in painting, and she has got her faithful assistant and friend. Her therapeutic cat “Thula.”

Thula helps Iris lower her anxiety level and gives her peace and good self-esteem. The words like”sit cat” are not common to hear from autistic children. According to the mother, “Before we took Iris to equine-assisted therapy, but she didn´t seem very interested or stimulated. We also had a dog, but the licking and wagging of the tail, this sort of activity didn´t make her feel good. Thus, she didn’t want to get too close.

Arabella continued, “After different animals and therapies, but on one Christmas day coincidence changed everything. My brother’s girlfriend arrived and she asked if we could take care of her cat because she was going on a trip abroad. I responded yes. Thula and Iris got to know one another. I thought they would have connected wonderfully and I was right.” .

This precious story is going viral on social-media.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.