A man started going to a cat sanctuary to stroke the cats and give them comfort, but now, he goes back every day to nap with them instead.
Around six months ago, Terry Lauerman decided he wanted to spend his time with some furry friends. He approached Safe Haven Cat Sanctuary in Green Bay, Wisconsin and said he’d like to brush the cats they housed there.
The animal shelter shared some brilliant pictures of the volunteer on Facebook admitting, while Terry comes to spend time with the cats, he also enjoys a catnap.
Live with Terry 😻❤️🐾 #catnapterry #catgrandpa
Posted by Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary Inc. on Thursday, 20 September 2018
Safe Haven’s Facebook post read:
We are so lucky to have a human like Terry. Terry just came along one day and introduced himself. He said he’d like to brush cats. Eventually it became everyday.
He brushes all of the cats, and can tell you about all of their likes and dislikes. He also accidentally falls asleep most days.
We don’t mind – Cats need this! Terry is a wonderful volunteer. #nappingencouraged #grateful
The cats look so content snuggled up with Terry! It looks like both an excellent and extremely helpful way to spend your time.
The sanctuary’s post soon went viral and at the time of writing, has been shared over 15,000 times.
Speaking to Buzzfeed News, the founder of Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary, Elizabeth Feldhausen, explained how the reaction the post received had surprised her.
She explained Terry now comes to the cat sanctuary every day, adding:
Yesterday, when I told him he hit 400,000 views he said he hoped all those people would donate.
I kept telling him, ‘Terry, you’re famous,’ and he would just do his modest laugh and go back to petting cats.
I tried to show him the post, but again, he doesn’t know how Facebook works.
Today, he’s reached over 3,000,000 views, he’s on the front page of Reddit, and he’s all over other sites! I’m going to do my best to explain this to him.
I don’t know if he realized how big of a deal it was. [sic]
I don’t think Terry’s in it for the fame, he clearly just loves the cats…or napping – or both?
Safe Haven is a non profit organisation which first opened in December 2016. They rescue cats who have disabilities from places where they’d be at risk for euthanasia, and usually have about 20–30 cats at a time.
In the past two years, Safe Haven have found homes for nearly 300 cats with special needs.
We are a cage-free sanctuary that was designed to be a therapeutic environment, especially for our cats that are recovering from trauma.
I bet the snuggles with Terry definitely help with the cats’ relaxing and recuperating.
Adding to the Facebook post, Safe Haven wrote:
I just told Terry about this post having thousands of likes and surpassing 40,000 views….he was SHOCKED! I tried to explain to him that he’s famous now.
He said, “Now if all of those people would just donate $5 to help the kitties, that would make such a big difference!”
He also said we should all pray for him to win the lottery so he can donate it to his cat friends.
Oh, Terry. I want to come up with a trophy or an award I can present to him at the Furry Tail Ball if any of you have a good idea! I’m thinking something with “Honorary Cat Grandpa”.
The sanctuary have a donation page available here so you can donate in Terry’s honour.
The post finished by saying:
I would LOVE to be able to tell him that he helped raise money for the kitties next time he comes in.
Terry is a truly wonderful human!
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.