Members of Quarry Hill’s Knitting and Handcrafts Group recently produced their 200th cat mat for donation to P.A.W.S. Animal Adoption Center and additional shelters.

Shelters use the soft, knitted mats as bedding for cats and kittens in their care and often send the reassuring “softies” home with the cats when they’re adopted.

Group members, including Quarry Hill resident Mabel Palermo (pictured), meet weekly to chat and swap stories while crafting sweaters, scarves and mittens for loved ones as well as cat mats and other items for donation to good causes.

Fran Sims, a nurse who takes a break from her job with Camden District Nursing to participate, said that at least 75 of the mats made over the past two years have gone to P.A.W.S., with the remainder shipped to shelters elsewhere in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, and even Arizona. Some have been sent to Loyal Biscuit pet stores in Camden, Rockland and Waterville.

P.A.W.S. executive director Shelly Butler said, “We can tell our cats love the mats from the residents at Quarry Hill. They snuggle up in them right away. They’re just that extra bit of love our cats need.”

Quarry Hill, located in Camden, is an extended-care community for adults age 55 and older. A member of the Pen Bay Medical Center family of services, it offers independent and assisted living, specialized dementia care and short- and long-term nursing care and rehabilitation.