Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cat Helps Boy with Selective Mutism Express Emotions

The world can be a lonely place for children with Selective Mutism, an anxiety disorder which affects the ability to speak in social situations. But seven-year-old Lorcan Dillon has a very special friend at his side to help him cope with the condition, Jessi-Cat.

Lorcan and his family live in Davyhulme, in Greater Manchester, UK. The boy’s condition makes it hard for him to communicate with teachers and school mates, and to express his love to family members.

But all that began to change when his mother got him a cream Birman named Jessi-cat two years ago. The two quickly became inseparable and Lorcan has since made huge strides in overcoming his disability. 

Lorcan’s mum Jayne Dillon says: “She is a loving companion and is always interested in what Lorcan is up to.”

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. "

"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."

Jessi-Cat is one of the Best Friends category finalists in the Cats Protection National Cat Awards sponsored by Verdo Cat Litter.

Sources: Huffington Post and 
Image via Cats Protection


  1. absolutely wonderful :)

  2. Cats are amazing. They are emphatic creatures that know what we need, when we need it. It doesn't surprise me that a cat was the one that could get through to this little boy. Thank you for sharing this touching story.

  3. That's so fantastic! We kittehs are so good at that kind of cuddle therapy, aren't we?

  4. Cats could probably do more to help people if there wasn't such a prejudice against them as being cool and aloof. i'm delighted to see this.

  5. What a lovely story. Made even more special because it features a cat helping a child. Almost always we see how dogs help people and children with special needs. How nice to see a cat in this role. So wonderful.

  6. I wish @PerryTheBirman was here to see this. He would be SO proud! What an amazing story - what a great Mum and cat helping Lorcan.

  7. i luv dat Jessi-Cat... purrs... birmans rawk!!

  8. I love your blog. My son also had Selective Mutism and his Pug Dog helped him get thru it:)

  9. Is it normal to feel a lingering sadness in you all the time? Like I know the sadness is there but sometimes it just reaches its surface and I feel depressed and almost like nothing. I bet no one knows how it feels to be scared all the time. To be scared of anything that breaths. To being so scared of saying the wrong thing that you don’t say anything at all. To let people control you. To act as a shadow so no judging eyes or sayings are said about you. To people thinking that this is what I want. To all people THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANT AND THIS IS NOT A CHOICE. From my parents to teachers to all the kids no one understands what I have. It is not a thing of where I can start randomly speaking. I am not stubborn I am not holding it in. Its like a force that says that I would almost rather die than speak. It is sad but it is true. I rather take pain than start speaking to anybody that I wouldn’t normally speak to. People think talking is almost like eating you don’t really think about it the food goes in your mouth and you just chew. But to me its not that simple I just over think everything and while im thinking nothing comes out. I mean can you imagine sitting at school with no friend. Me wanting to talk but nothing comes out. Im like a stupid puppet that just sits there. I don’t even know what my classmates think of me. But I know they make fun of it. The girl that doesn’t talk. That’s what I have been called all my life. It makes me sick. I hate how people always ask me if Im okay or if I have a tounge. And im not stupid I am actually really smart but no one can see that because of everything Im hiding. I like having fun and many friends but I know that this is almost impossible for me. Is it weird how my hearts starts beating really fast when I have to say please and thank you in a certain situation. Is it weird how my hands shakes when Im handing the cashier my money. Is it weird that I am hiding myself in a little girl becaseu I cant grow up to be like this. Im told that I have a beautiful singing voice but I cant do anything with it. I think im smart but the stress of not being able to talk collides with it. I think im also funny but no one will be able to hear my many jokes. Imagine sitting there for at least 4 years while everyone talked about whatever they wanted. But no you just sat there and listened and wished that you were anyone of those kids. Heck I would trade places with the really fat girl or even that druggie if that meant that I could at least speak. And worst of all my mom doesn’t even understand. She thinks Im doing this on purpose that I can talk but I don’t try. What she doesn’t know is that to me trying is like dying. I remember in preschool in our classroom picture I was the only kid looking down. My eyes were down and I remember not talking to anybody. This is the worst feeling ever. I cant even share this with anyone either because of the humorous reason of how I cant talk. Teachers and classmates think Im a brat. But what the hell. Who doesn’t like talking? Silence is never an option. Silence is my worst enemy