Man who naps with cats helped raise nearly $100,000 for a pet sanctuary

Man naps with cats in need
Man naps with cats in need 02:54

Green Bay, Wisconsin — The Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary has been blessed with one of America's most helpful volunteers – a true godsend. The cat rescue's salvation is a brother at the Saint Norbert Abbey in Green Bay, Wisconsin, named Terry Lauerman.

"I've always been a cat person. To me it's a blessing to be touched by creation," he said.

A couple of years ago, the 76-year-old retired teacher started coming in to brush the cats. But his mission quickly evolved. Now on every visit, Terry settles into one of the many comfy couches there and falls asleep.

But there's more to his naps than meets the eye. By dozing off so comfortably, Terry has actually done more for the cat rescue than any conscious volunteer ever could. It started when the rescue began posted posting pictures of Terry's catnaps and he went viral.

"Oh, God, pet and brush cats and fall asleep – and I should be world famous for doing this?" he said.

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Terry Lauerman naps with cats at a pet sanctuary. Elizabeth Feldhausen

World famous and a calendar guy. He even has his mug on a local coffee blend. For Safe Haven, brother Terry has turned out to be marketing manna from heaven. 

Elizabeth Feldhausen, who runs the place, said they've raise nearly $100,000 because of Terry.

"I wish that I could fall asleep and make $100,000," she said.

The money has allowed the rescue, which caters to special needs cats, to expand its reach. Terry said it just goes to show that changing the world can be a lot easier than you think. 

"When you retire you can do all kinds of neat things. Find something and do it," he said.


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  • Steve Hartman
    Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.