A cat has helped a young boy who has a form of mutism say "I love you" and show his emotions.
Seven-year-old Lorcan Dillon suffers from an anxiety condition that makes it very difficult to communicate, but when his mother Jayne bought a cat home, he began to improve.
Over the past two years, Jessi-cat and Lorcan have become inseparable. Ms Dillon said that her son finds it very hard to express himself but when he's with his pet, he finds it easy to talk to her.
She said: "He would not say 'I love you mummy' or anything like that but with the cat he can cuddle her and stroke her and talk to her and he does say 'I love you Jessi-Cat' which is really nice.
"It is a way for him to express his emotions that otherwise he wouldn't be able to do."
She explained that she first got the animal because cats in particular are good with children with special needs.