Six months ago, when Terry Lauerman volunteered to come in and brush cats at the Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary in Green Bay, Wisconsin, he had no idea that he was going to become famous. Moreover, to become famous for something mildly embarrassing. When he sits down on one of the comfy couches at the shelter and begins to brush a cat he often falls asleep to his chagrin. The photos tell the story.

Cat Grandpa Cat Napping
Cat Grandpa Cat Napping

Image via Love Meow

The shelter specializes in rescuing felines with physical and psychological disabilities and is cage free and no-kill. Lauerman was drawn to this shelter because of these qualities. He even brought his own cat brush to groom the needy cats. He comes by every day now.

Cat Grandpa Cat Napping
Cat Grandpa Cat Napping

Image via Love Meow

When Lauerman comes through the door of the shelter the cats come running to him. You can almost hear them shouting "Grandpa!" They know the man with the magical brush and the cat treats. They climb happily all over him and rub themselves on him. It must be wonderful to have so many adoring grandcats.

Cat Grandpa Cat Grooming
Cat Grandpa Cat Grooming

Image via Love Meow

Lauerman, a retired Spanish teacher, says that in each cat in the shelter he sees all the cats he has had since he was a kid. All of those comforting purrs must be a part of the reason that he ends up falling asleep -- which is a great treat for the cats. I guess grooming 20 to 30 cats must really be exhausting work.

Cat Grandpa and Grandcat
Cat Grandpa and Grandcat

Image via Love Meow

One day the shelter posted a picture of Lauerman sleeping with some of his furry friends and that was when all hell broke loose. Interest in the shelter became intense and donations started pouring in. It was so much that their website broke for awhile.

Cat Grandpa Cat Napping
Cat Grandpa Cat Napping

Image via Green Bay Patch

Lauerman is having a hard time believing that his falling asleep on the job has caused so much of a fuss, and that he has gone viral. He doesn't own a computer or a cell phone so he isn't in touch with the internet. The photographs of his naps have brought in more than $40,000 in donations for the specialty shelter. It has also brought in new volunteers to help care for the cats. Lauerman has become as much of an attraction for visitors to the shelter as the cats.

Cat Grandpa and Grandcat
Cat Grandpa and Grandcat

Image via BBC News

The extra donations will be used to help upgrade the aging building to be safer and more amenable to the feline residents. They will also put in more quarantine rooms so that they can take in more vulnerable cats.

Elizabeth Feldhausen, the owner/operator of the shelter, says that people have even been requesting that she make a calendar out of pictures of Lauermen napping with his kitty chorts.

I'd buy that one.

Sources: BBC News, Green Bay Patch, Love Meow

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