United States Department of Health and Human Services


Outreach Activities and Resources

National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

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Toxie the Cat Day

Project/Program Date: 2010

On November 20, staff from the National Library of Medicine in collaboration with the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine hosted a ToxMystery day at the Children's Museum in Portland, ME. Toxie the Cat, ToxMystery's feline guide, was the star of the day and was represented by a 6-foot tall cardboard cutout. Hands-on activities brought the game to life and included making and wearing Toxie the Cat ears, having faces painted with cat whiskers, and going on a scavenger hunt to track down toxic chemicals hidden in the museum. Since kids were doing the hunting, no real chemicals were used and once the hazard was found kids had to have an adult pick it up and bring back to Toxie. Also fun was the Toss it to Toxie game. There was a table set up with NLM materials and NLM staff spoke with parents about NLM resources and how they could use them. In keeping with the health theme, an educator from a local animal rescue group brought live cats for visitors to meet, pet, and teach kids how to take care of them. All the children who participated got a ToxMystery "goodie bag" containing a ruler, pencil, and temporary tattoo of Toxie the Cat's face.