Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder that makes speaking and expressing emotions (especially in front of strangers) difficult, if not impossible. But seven-year-old Lorcan Dillon is now showing significant improvement since his mother brought home a new pet, Jessi-Cat. Above, the video that the Dillon family created to nominate Jessi-Cat for a national award.

Jayne, Lorcan's mom, says that since the cat joined the family, Lorcan's performance in school has improved significantly. More importantly, she adds, "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. He does not express his emotions, he would not say 'I love you Mummy', he just doesn't do it. But with the cat he can cuddle her, he can stroke her, he can talk to her and he can say 'I love you, Jessi-Cat.'"

For the record, Jessi-Cat won the award and here she is with the Dillons on a talk show. What? Oh! No, no, I just have something in my eye. Don't look at me.

[via Buzzfeed]