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'She's my daughter's best friend': Rescue cat transforms life of little girl with autism

Marnie Quince and her new friend Domino  Picture: Cats Protection

Marnie Quince and her new friend Domino Picture: Cats Protection

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A rescued cat has become a special friend to a five-year-old girl with autism.

Domino the cat  Picture: Cats ProtectionDomino the cat Picture: Cats Protection

Marnie Quince from King's Lynn finds making friends difficult. She often struggles to communicate and interact with other people, but her life has been transformed by her new feline best friend Domino.

Adopted from Cats Protection's Downham Market Adoption Centre by the Quince family six months ago, black-and-white Domino has already had a big impact on her new owners.

Marnie's mum Nissa, 32, said: "Since coming home with us Domino has slotted straight into our family. She's cheeky and loves a game, but the biggest thing for me is how much having Domino has helped my little girl. Marnie and Domino are best friends and always together. This in turn has helped Marnie with communication."

Cats Protection conducted the research as part of its More Than Just a Cat campaign, which highlights the many ways cats enhance and enrich people's lives. It showed that 93.5pc of cat owners think that owning a cat has a positive effect on their mental wellbeing¹.

The charity's research also showed that around half of the cat owners surveyed said that they have shared a secret with their cat.

"Marnie can be often be found talking to Domino, telling her she loves her, reading her stories and asking her to play outside or come upstairs with her. It's amazing to see them together," added Nissa.

"Being only a year-old, Domino is very playful but seems to understand Marnie and has never once scratched or bitten her when they are playing together. She even comes to find Marnie when she is upset and helps her to get up in the mornings for school."

The Quince family say Domino is more than just a cat, she also helps with Marnie's bedtime routine.

Nissa added: "Part of Marnie's autism means she doesn't sleep very well and struggles to get to sleep and get up for school in the morning. At night-time Domino comes into Marnie's bedroom to sleep and this helps Marnie understand that it is bedtime.

"From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank Cats Protection for bringing this gorgeous little cat into our lives, she has helped us all so much and we couldn't imagine our life without her now.

"Domino is more than just a cat, she's my daughter's best friend."

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