Little girl's incredible bond with her therapy cat will melt your heart

6-Year-Old Girl with Autism Has Unbreakable Bond with Her Pet Cat
6-Year-Old Girl with Autism Has Unbreakable Bond with Her Pet Cat

Iris Grace Halmshaw is only 6 years old, but she's already known as a world-renowned artist with A-list stars like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt snapping up her work. Many people don't realize however, that she's had a tiny little friend helping her along the way.

Iris Grace's mother, Arabella Carter-Johnson, says that when her daughter was 2 years old she was struggling with difficult behavioral issues.

"Eye contact was a rare occurrence, she didn't want to or know how to play with us, showed obsessive behavior, got desperately distressed when we took her near any other children and her sleep patterns were all over the place," she wrote on her website.

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All of that changed when the little girl was diagnosed with autism in 2011. With the help of therapists, the family discovered that Iris Grace was able to express herself beautifully through art. Further research prompted her mom to purchase a therapy pet for her daughter.

As soon as Iris Grace met Thula the cat, they had an instant connection. The long-haired Maine Coon is friendly, gentle and even loves to swim!

See more of Iris Grace and Thula the therapy cat:

Her mother told CNN that Iris Grace used to hate things touching her skin, like clothing or water. But as soon as Thula arrived, the water-loving feline would take baths with her and helped make her more comfortable in difficult situations.

With Thula by her side, Iris Grace will continue to create more of her incredible works of art and help raise awareness about autism.

Learn more about Iris Grace Halmshaw's art:

Related: Take a peek at these adorable therapy animals:

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Originally published