Since last August, the Animal Rescue League of Berks County in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, has been running a very special "Book Buddies" program. In it, school-age children come and read to shelter cats.
In this win-win situation, the kids get to practice reading without fear of being judged; and the cats can find comfort in the rhythmic sound of a voice.
Last weekend, the photo above exploded in popularity on Reddit, and the program’s been attracting attention ever since.
Don't be surprised if more of these programs pop up around the country. The Birdsboro animal rescue has already gotten calls from shelters in L.A., New York, and Chicago, all interested in starting similar initiatives.
Here are some photos taken at a "Book Buddies" session this week.
All images by Reuters/Mark Makela, unless otherwise noted.