According to the Mirror, “Selective mutism is usually identified when a child starts school for the first time, and one of the biggest symptoms is a consistent failure to speak in social situations. Although treatable through certain behavior therapies, many families are now looking to animals as a viable treatment option. Most children are fascinated by animal sounds, movements, and cuddliness, but animals can also have an “intrinsic value in sharing affection, feeling, and defraying fear.”
“Lorcan is able to connect ‘love’ to Jessi-Cat, something he can’t do with people, and she’s been a great support to him when things have been really hard,” Jayne said. As a result of her unconditional love for Lorcan and the incredible bond they built toward one another, Jessi-Cat was named National Cat of the Year at Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards 2012.