For the past two years, Terry Lauerman has been using his spare time to visit an animal shelter where he volunteers to help special-needs cats that reside there.

The 75-year-old retiree started volunteering at the no-kill shelter Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary Inc in Wisconsin when he one day showed up and told staff he liked to brush cats, a spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

After he groomed and played with the fluffy animals, Lauerman fell asleep and unsurprisingly, the cats loved it and curled up with him for a well-timed cat nap.

Mr Lauerman brushes all of the shelter cats and then
Mr Lauerman brushes all of the shelter cats and then "accidentally" falls asleep most days, waking each hour to snuggle with a different cat. Photo / Facebook

"Cats need this!" the shelter wrote on their Facebook page, along with photos of Lauerman at work.


Each day Lauerman arrives and brushes every single cat at the shelter as he tries to spend enough quality time with each one to learn their personality.

"[He] can tell you about all of their likes and dislikes," the Facebook post reads.

The shelter specialises in a cage-free environment for the dozens of cats waiting for forever homes. They rehabilitate cats with physical or psychological disabilities, so 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.

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...

Posted by Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary Inc. on Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Two years on, Lauerman hasn't missed a day of the crucial cat-nap service that he provides — and staff believe the cats are not the only ones benefiting from the experience.

"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 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.