Kearney High School is home to the Bearcats, who are now "paws-ing" to lend a helping hand to housecats in need of a good bed, a Kuranda-style pet bed. Made of durable PVC pipe, they are elevated and easy to clean.
But, not every cat is lucky enough to have such a bed, and that can affect animal shelter survival rates.
Kearney Area Animal Shelter Director of Operations Jamie Jensen: "It actually gets the cats up off the bed, it gives them a place to hide. It actually generally makes them more healthy. They're less likely to get upper respiratory, less likely to get stressed in the shelter environment."
Kearney High School shop teacher Andy Moland mobilized his students to create a batch of the "cat cradles," sharpening their shop skills.
Andy Moland: "They were, ...seemed to be almost amused at the idea. I don't know if it's just the cat beds, or if it's the PVC piping or whatever, but as you can see, they've really bought into it."
While some of the students we spoke with confessed to being something other than cat lovers, they also said they derive satisfaction from the idea that these beds will make life more comfortable and healthier for the felines in their community.
They've worked intently to crank out the first batch of fifteen before the seniors wrap up for graduation.
Kearney High School junior Derek Zimmerman designed the beds on a CAD system -- that's "computer aided design" -- and when Mr. Moland laid out the project for the class, Derek and his classmates were ready to pounce.
Derek Zimmerman: "We were set to do a job, and he told us what he wanted done and so it was very structured; we knew our deadline, and wanted to get it accomplished."