A family puss has been named National Cat of the Year, thanks to his role in enabling a little boy with an anxiety disorder to utter the words “I love you.”
The two-year-old feline, known as Jessi-Cat, was honored at the Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards ceremony on July 19.
Jessi-Cat is a constant companion to seven-year-old Lorcan Dillon, who has selective mutism, a condition which affects his ability to speak and express himself and often leaves him feeling isolated and lonely.
Thanks to Jessi-Cat, Lorcan is finally able to say ’’I love you’’ and has learnt ways to share his emotions when he finds it difficult to speak to people.
The Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards are the UK’s largest celebration of real-life stories of companionship, bravery and survival in the feline world.
At a ceremony at London’s Savoy Hotel, winners were chosen in five categories — Best Friends, Hero Cat, Most Incredible Story, Outstanding Rescue Cat and Celebrity Cat.
Jessi-Cat was crowned overall winner after first winning the Best Friends category, chosen by celebrity judge, ex-YES keyboardist Rick Wakeman.
Rick said, “The bond between Jessi-Cat and Lorcan is incredible. Jessi-Cat helps Lorcan to communicate and express emotions that ordinarily Lorcan would not be able to do.”