How a special bond formed between a Maine coon cat and a girl with autism

Iris Grace Halmshaw, a young English girl with autism, and her Maine coon cat, Thula, are gathering admiration and attention from around the world. We think you’ll enjoy this video, which shows how Iris goes about her days, painting extraordinary watercolors, exploring outside and even swimming. (Maine coon cats have water-resistant fur that makes it easier for them to swim.)

Everywhere she goes, Thula goes with her.

“From the very start, they just seemed to connect,” Iris’ mother, Arabella Carter-Johnson, said. Whether it’s bike riding or napping, Thula keeps Iris company — and lends her comfort.

“The feeling that ‘different is brilliant’ is an amazing feeling. We don’t have to conform. We can just go with the flow, follow Iris, and she’s happy,” Carter-Johnson said.

If you know of a Maine coon cat who has helped a child in Maine, please let us know in the comments. We may be in touch.

Visit Iris’ Facebook page here and her website here.