A PURR-FECT car which provides companionship to psychiatric patients is in the running for a national award.
Two-year-old Schnookums won her place in the final of Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards 2012 after having a profound impact on the lives of vulnerable psychiatric patients.
She also inspired a campaign to introduce animal therapy into their treatment.
Schnookums is down to the last three in the Most Incredible Story category and, should she win, she’ll be in with a chance of scooping the prestigious title of National Cat of the Year.
Her owner, Dr Laxmi Kathuria, is a psychiatrist and took her to visit dementia patients in hospital.
Dr Kathuria, who is a volunteer at Cats Protection’s Glasgow Adoption Centre in Auchinloch, said: “She wandered about purring and nuzzling at patients and the effect she had was remarkable.
“One lady who has severe dementia and hadn’t spoken for many months, suddenly said: ‘I had a beautiful cat like that’.
“The effect was so dramatic that since then I’ve been undertaking research and campaigning to include animal assisted therapy in psychiatric treatments.”
Closer to home, Schnookums has helped Dr Kathuria’s family cope with her own grandmother’s dementia.
Comedian Ed Byrne will be judging the Most Incredible Story category.
The winners will be announced at a star-studded awards ceremony in London on August 16.
Schnookums is pictured with Dr Kathuria.
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