Pic www.nickfairhurstphotographer.com

A cat from Manchester is one of the first pets to be honoured by a new countrywide scheme dedicated to celebrating the nation’s most amazing animals.

Jessi-Cat is famed for forming a special relationship with owner Jayne Dillon’s son, Lorcan, who suffers from selective mutism, a severe anxiety disorder, and struggles to express his emotions.

Jessi-Cat helped him connect and communicate with others, and even show signs of love and affection.

A green plaque for Jessi-cat was unveiled at the family home in Davyhulme with the Mayor of Trafford Tom Ross and local MP Kate Green in attendance, together with Jayne Dillon

Pic www.nickfairhurstphotographer.com

The new scheme by house and pet sitting business TrustedHousesitters sees green plaques placed on homes across the nation to recognise beloved pets in the same way noteworthy humans are celebrated by blue plaques.

“There are countless stories across the country of pets who have a special bond with their owners or do something incredibly heroic,” said TrustedHousesitters managing director Tim Lyons.

“For over 150 years we have honoured deserving people with blue plaques, we felt it was time to celebrate the nation’s love for our animals by honouring them in a similar way. We’re now looking forward to hearing more inspirational tales of cherished pets as the scheme continues to grow.”

Each plaque gives a brief description of the animal’s achievement and even features ears to set the new plaques apart from any others.

Other animals to be honoured include Walnut, a heart-warming whippet who made the news headlines when his owner, Mark, sent an open invitation for fellow dog lovers to join them on Walnut’s final walk; Flora, a dog that can predict when its owner is about to have a blackout; and a cat that fights bullies.

The brand was inspired to launch a plaque scheme solely for pets when recent research  revealed that some of the nation’s animal owners value their pets just as much, if not more, than friends or family.

One in five (21%) UK pet owners admit that they would rather spend time with their pet than their partner. And just over a third (35%) admitted that they would rather be with their pet than their friends.

Over 20 plaques have so far been placed on homes all over the UK.

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