For the past two years, Terry Lauerman has been visiting an animal shelter to volunteer his time with the special-needs cats that reside there.
No-kill shelter Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary Inc. in Wisconsin specialises in a cage-free environment for the dozens of cats waiting for forever homes.
One day the 75-year-old retiree walked through the doors of the shelter to offer his services.
“He said he'd like to brush cats,” a spokesperson for the shelter told Yahoo News Australia.
After the usual grooming and much-needed play time to keep the cats happy, Mr Lauerman fell asleep and unsurprisingly, the cats loved it and curled up with him for a well-timed cat nap.
“Cats need this!” the shelter wrote on their Facebook page, along with photos of Mr Lauerman at work.
Each day Mr Lauerman arrives and brushes every cat at the shelter, spending enough quality time with each one that he has become familiar with each animal’s personality.
“[He] can tell you about all of their likes and dislikes,” the Facebook post reads.
The Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary specialises in rehabilitating cats with physical or psychological disabilities, so Mr Lauerman’s unique services help the cats interact with humans in a relaxing way.
“They all have special needs at our sanctuary and he loves helping to rehabilitate them,” organisers at the shelter said.
Two years on Mr Lauerman hasn’t missed a day of the crucial cat-nap service that he provides, and staff at the shelter said it was not just the cats benefitting from the cuddles and catnaps.
“He comes in because it’s so relaxing and rewarding to brush the cats,” they said.
The spokesperson for Safe Haven said their volunteer “accidentally falls asleep most days”, but Mr Lauerman has the naps down to a fine art and wakes every hour to “change cats”, making sure they each get enough of his attention.
“Terry is a wonderful volunteer,” the shelter staff said.
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