Autistic Artist Gains Inspiration from Her Adorable Cat
byKaitlin StanfordOct 06, 2014
Great artists always derive their inspiration from somewhere. Maybe it's from listening to their favorite music or being outside with nature. For others, it's an indescribable internal drive that keeps their hands moving.
But for UK 5-year-old Iris Grace—who has already wowed art enthusiasts with her stunning painting skills—she gets inspired and motivated by one very special four-legged friend: her cat, Thula.
You see, back in 2011, when Grace was just a toddler, she was diagnosed with autism. Her parents watched, somewhat helplessly at first, as she struggled to express herself and showed signs of communication issues, but soon they had to act.
That's when they decided to immerse her in all sorts of activities, from painting to music. Last February, they finally brought home Thula, a long-haired Maine Coon kitty who instantly bonded with their little girl.
Though while the connection was instantaneous, the effect she had over their little girl was soon undeniable, as well.
As her mother later wrote in her blog, Thula's very presence seemed to improve Iris' social interaction, communication skills and ability to show affection.
For the first time, Iris manages to say a clear ‘Painting’ and ‘Paint’ along with all sorts of other words she has used before. My excitement about the ‘Painting’ word sets her off running around the kitchen and to the hallway with her hands in the air as if she has scored a goal. She returns and adds some more paint to the paper and then rushes off again with the brush, over the carpeted floor and onto the sofa where Thula is lying. She is showing her best friend the colour by dotting spots onto the sheet Thula is lying on. Iris wants her to be included in the activity and enjoy the colours as she has. We laugh as Thula tries to catch the colour, putting her furry paws over the spots of paint. For Iris, painting isn’t an activity she does at a set time, it is part of her therapy, but it’s on her terms with the table and paper out at all times.
It wasn't long before the pair became inseparable.
Today, they do just about everything together.
They take naps ...
... and head out on long car rides.
They make Play-Doh stars ...
... and explore the backyard.
And best of all, they paint together. (Well, Iris paints—Thula just supervises.)
This is one adorable duo we just can't get enough of. You can watch Iris in action in the video below (though sadly, the clip does not include Thula).