Mugue has been partner in the project “I thought I saw a cat …”, aimed at visually impaired children in hospital pediatric facilities and promoted by Frida’s Friends Onlus.
The project, carried out at the Niguarda Hospital in Milan, involved cats (Rag Doll breed, one of the sweetest, affectionate and docile cats that exists), and was aimed at visually impaired children who are included in a rehabilitation program of the pediatric low vision center.
The program started in November 2019 and continued throughout 2020.
These were individual activities, in which took part two qualified Pet-Partners couples (operator / cat) assigned to children who are identified by the structure. There are also two meetings for comparison and evaluation between therapists and operators. The meetings last about 20 minutes for each child on a weekly basis.
The general objective was to promote attention and self-regulation skills, arouse emotions, facilitate relationships, improve the quality of life of users.
The therapists point out that physical and mental improvements can be achieved, including improvement in the emotional relationship with the pets, improvement in socialization and participation in new activities and interaction skills, reduction of closure in itself, improvement of some specific movements, improvement of short-term memory, attention and concentration.
“A study by the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine of Arizona explains that caring of a cat and its needs lowers the stress level and produces a calming effect on the heart – explains Mario Colombo, founder and President of Frida’s Friends Onlus – A project in collaboration with our cat friends structured in a new pediatric ward dedicated to children with various visual impairments becomes something very innovative.The cat, which is a pet more wary then the dog, more phlegmatic and reflective is a being to be approached with as much calm and positivity, which is then one of the psychological “jobs” that little patients have to do on themselves. It is a pilot project that can truly become a reference point in Italy for its scope and growth potential “.
Frida’s Friends Onlus was founded in 2012 and deals with spreading the practice and knowledge of the Pet Therapy and of assistance dogs. Frida’s Friends team is composed of specialized professionals in all problems of the psycho-physical sphere: from anorexia to bulimia, from relationship difficulties to the issue of bullying (the first project realized in the world with the application of Pet Therapy). The Association is aimed at healthcare facilities, public or private, schools, RSA, airports.