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Cat Gallery Brings Community Together

For years now, we honor the dogs in our retirement community with a dog show during the Dog Days of Summer. This annual event is a big hit and draws a large audience. But with every activity that I do, I ask myself how I can make it better. In the past, I wanted to showcase that we have just as many cat owners and allow them a chance to show their pride for their pet too but knew that a cat show would not really work well. This year, I learned that "Hug your Cat" day is June 4 this year so, I made that day the cat owner's special day in our community and though it is not as big as a show, it is something special for the cat lovers.

I've asked the residents to bring a picture of themselves with their cat to me. I will be making a display area to feature their photos and place it in our main lobby for a few key hours on "Hug Your Cat" day. I will decorate the table with their photos with cat items that I have and that residents have shared with me. I have one resident who has a written a poem and will display that as well.

The cat display is not as involved as a dog show, but already it has create conversations with resident cat owners and with cat owners and me (a dog and cat owner). I really do believe that even the simplest programs like this are essential for your community. One resident said to me the other day, that sometimes it is difficult to come up with new conversations when you see the same people all the time and that it was frustrating for her. I think when we, as activity directors, host any kind of special program, be them complex or simple, that it offers the community something new to talk about....... and happier residents.  What new program will you try next?

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