Imagine not being able to tell your parents you love them. This is reality for 7-year-old Lorcan Dillon, who suffers from Selective mutism, the Daily Mail reports.
Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder that makes it almost impossible for Lorcan, who lives in Davyhulme in the UK, to speak to classmates and communicate his emotions to family. But all that began changing when his mother got him a cream Birman named Jessi-cat two years ago, reports the Daily Mail. The two quickly became inseparable and Lorcan has since made huge strides in overcoming his disability.
"In the past two weeks he's started communicating with people he doesn't know very well and even reads to one of the teachers now -- something he's never done before," Lorcan's mother, Jayne Dillon told the Daily Mail.
"She is a loving companion and is always interested in what Lorcan is up to," Dillon told lifewithcats.tv.
Dillon recently explained what the cat has meant to her son in a video interview with Cats Protection, a British feline welfare agency. "(Lorcan) was diagnosed when he started nursery school at three and a half. The reason I got Jessi-Cat is because pets and cats in particular are very good with children with special needs," she said.
"It is a way for Lorcan to communicate. He does speak normally at home, he does not have selective mutism with us at all in the house but he does not express his emotions. He would not say 'I love you mummy.' He just does not do it," she said in the Youtube video above.
"But with the cat he can cuddle her, he can stroke her, he can talk to her and he does say, 'I love you Jessi-Cat,' which is really nice and it is a way for him to express emotions which otherwise he would not be able to do."
As a result, both Lorcan and Jessi-cat have made the shortlist as Best Friends in the Cats Protection National Cat Awards 2012, according to the UK's Mirror. "We think all cats are special, but Jessi-Cat especially deserved a place in the final for showing what an incredible impact cats have on the lives of people of all ages," an organizer told the newspaper.
Dillon thinks that Jessi-cat will continue to help her son. If the cat wins, it could be eligible for the 'Cat of the Year' award, according to the Daily Mail.