The Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary is a different kind of cat charity. Instead of simply looking after these adorable pets, Safe Haven attempts to rehome them by through some very unorthodox methods.
Up Close and Personal
Safe Haven encourages people and pets to mingle together. The cats are free to roam around, while humans can come, stroke them, and play with them. But that's not all!
Safe Haven also offers food and drink, behaving a little like a restaurant or a café. This gives people the chance to socialize and enjoy themselves, all while surrounded by cute little kitties.
Fun For Everyone
Human visitors can play board games or relax on comfy chairs, all while the cats lounge around wherever they want. The proceeds from the shelter all go to paying for the cats' medical bills, and helping to get them rehomed.
A Perfect Disguise
With any luck, humans who visit Safe Haven might be encouraged to take a new friend home with them. If cats aren't your thing, no sweat! There are also "bunnies" here to adopt as well!
Everyone is Welcome
The cats are well cared for, but Safe Haven is always looking for more volunteers. One day, a stranger entered the shelter who would change the cats' lives forever.
Enter the Cat Grandpa
Terry Lauerman is a 75-year-old pensioner who, one day, decided he wanted to treat some cats. So he visited the Safe Haven shelter and offered to brush all the feline residents. Considering the number of cats who live at Safe Haven, this was no small task!
Becoming a Regular
After his first visit, Lauerman visited again. And again, and again. He started making a trip to Safe Haven a part of his daily routine.
Getting To Know the Cats
Lauerman got to know all the cats very well. Pretty soon, he knew all their likes and dislikes, and was happy to chat about them with anyone who would listen. And the cats responded positively as well!
Brushing dozens of cats is quite exhausting, and the quiet, calm environment at Safe Haven is just so cozy! It's no surprise that Lauerman started dozing off during his visits.
Naps All Round
The cats clearly feel comfortable with Lauerman. Every day, as he sleeps, they'll come and snuggle up with him as well. They really enjoy his calming presence.
The $10,000 Nap
While Lauerman's naps may not seem very important, they've made a huge difference to the shelter and its funding. Through taking a daily nap, Lauerman has managed to raise tens of thousands of dollars for his beloved cats.
The Famous Cat Grandpa
A picture of Lauerman that was posted to the shelter's social media ended up going viral. Before long, everyone was talking about the newly nicknamed "Cat Grandpa" and his naps. Then, donations started pouring in, from all over the world!
A Big Difference
The shelter's staff were blown away! While they normally got a few thousand dollars in donations every month, now they were getting ten times that much! It was incredible!
A Better Quality of Life
With all the extra funding that's come their way since Lauerman started taking his naps, the shelter plans to update their medical equipment to help keep the cats healthy and happy. But this isn't the only unusual way the shelter has received funding.
Eye of the Tiger
Aside from the Cat Grandpa's naps, Safe Haven has plenty of other initiatives to help raise funding. One includes a very special night where cats can get involved with human exercise!
Cat yoga might sound like a strange idea, but it clearly has plenty of fans. The shelter's yoga classes allow people to tone their bodies while also stroking adorable pets!
Stretching With Felines
It's hard to deny the appeal of playing with cute kitties while stretching. Even if sometimes the cats end up resting in exactly the wrong spot!
Cat yoga sessions are a great idea for lots of humans to meet friendly cats, and as everyone exercises together, they can form a genuine bond with a lot of the animals that come to see what's going on.
Yoga for Cats?
Some of the cats even have a few favorite yoga poses of their own! Impressive as this might be, don't expect them to give Downward Dog a try any time soon!
Cats for Everyone
With all these activities, Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary is clearly a wonderful place for the cats, and for humans as well. It's worth looking to see if something similar exists in your area, as these sweet felines would likely love your company.
Cat Grandpa is an Inspiration
Terry Lauerman's story proves that there are many ways to make a difference. Sometimes, the simple act of taking a nap with some friends can have a big impact on their lives. Which is good, as it's probably the most pleasant-sounding volunteer work imaginable!