How Thula The Cat Helps A Girl With Autism Live Life More Fully

    Thula is more than a therapy cat: She's an amazing best friend.

    Iris Grace Halmshaw is a 4-year-old girl from the U.K.

    After her diagnosis, Iris' parents looked for activities through which she could effectively express herself.

    With Thula around, Iris became more verbal and open.

    Thula is more than just a therapy cat, she's Iris' faithful best friend.

    The pair are inseparable, as Thula stays by Iris' side as much as possible.

    She chats with Thula about all sorts of things, even teaching her about sea creatures when Thula joins her for a bath.

    Despite her patience and good nature, Thula can be a bit mischievous like any other cat.

    Thula even received a gold star from Iris' special sticker collection.

    The pair does nearly everything together, and Thula is innately in tune to Iris' emotions and needs.

    They share a daily after-lunch nap...

    ...and they also go on bike rides together all the time.

    At night, if Iris is restless, Thula is there to comfort her.

    While Iris eats breakfast, Thula waits patiently in the paint room for her — knowing her place as Iris' devoted friend and artist's assistant.

    They play hide-and-seek in the wood near their house...

    ...and Thula accompanies Iris on all of her backyard adventures.

    Thula even helps Iris' mother during their homeschooling sessions.

    Thula plays along with Iris whether the Play-Doh is out...

    ...or the jewelry, which is one of Iris' favorite toys.

    Iris and Thula share a special bond, Thula giving undeniable love and loyalty to "her girl" and Iris loving her back just the same.

    Find out more about Iris' amazing artwork and her adventures with Thula on her Facebook page and website.