7-year-old Lorcan Dillon suffers from Selective Mutism, an anxiety disorder that makes it nearly impossible for children and adults to speak and express their thoughts and emotions to friends and family members.
To aid with Lorcan’s social development, his mom decided to purchase a Birman cat who they fondly named Jessi-Cat. Within the next few years, Jessi-Cat has changed Lorcan’s life.
The previously silent boy has started to open up and show physical affection to his family. With Jessi-Cat, Lorcan has finally uttered “I love you” for the first time. At the same time, Lorcan has shown tremendous progress in school and has finally gotten the courage to read aloud.
Lorcan still hasn’t said “I love you” to anyone but Jessi-Cat, but as long as he’s able to shower his feline friend with affection, his mom Jayne Dillon is pleased with the progress.
“The reason why we have Jessi-Cat is because pets and cats in particular, I think, are very good with children with special needs or autism or anything like that, and it’s a way for Lorcan to communicate,” Dillon explained.
Jessi-Cat and Lorcan have been selected as finalists in the Best Friends category of the Cats Protection National Cat Awards 2012. If they win, Jessi-Cat will receive the honors of being the National Cat of the Year!