We all need a regular supply of heartwarming stories to balance out all the negativity in the world and cheer us up. And while that doesn’t necessarily mean that these kinds of stories always involve animals, this surely does. Animals make this world a better place and sometimes all we need is a support cat. Cats are not widely considered very affectionate or caring and there are no therapy cats to prove my point, but as I am writing this emotional story with my cat sleeping on the table with paws wrapped around my hand, I realize that cats are very intuitive and are always there when you need them.

After her best friend, who also happens to be her father, was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer, Kelly Nugent decided she needed to be there for him and help him go through treatment, so she packed her stuff and her two Scottish Fold cats and moved from Miami to New York. She thought she was going to care for her dad, but one of her cats with the adorable name Sweet Potato, or simply Tato, took over and hasn’t left his grandpa’s side ever since.

Disclaimer: you might need something to wipe your tears away.

More info: Instagram | tiktok.com

A few months ago, Kelly Nugent’s father was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer and she decided to be close to him and help

Image credits: french75vintage

So she packed her stuff and her two cats and moved to New York

Image credits: french75vintage

After one of the cats named Sweet Potato acclimated, he revealed the true reason he was there and that was to support his sick grandpa

Image credits: french75vintage

Image credits: french75vintage

It seemed like Sweet Potato knew that something was wrong and became an instant therapy cat

Image credits: french75vintage

In an interview with The Dodo, Kelly Nugent said that after over two months since they arrived at dad’s house, Sweet Potato and her dad are “attached at the hip”:

“It’s just the sweetest thing you could ever see because I know [Sweet Potato] can sense something’s wrong and that he’s needed,” Nugent added. “So he kind of just stepped up to the plate and was like, ‘This is my job now. I’m gonna help heal you.’ It’s like he knew.”

Image credits: french75vintage

Nugent’s dad considered himself a dog person until Sweet Potato changed his mind

Image credits: french75vintage

Since Sweet Potato arrived at the house, they’ve become inseparable and do everything together

Image credits: french75vintage

“So my dad has a recliner that he sits in and he’ll put his arm on the recliner, and every single time, without fail, Sweet Potato will jump up and sit in the little cove in his arm and cuddle with him. He’ll sleep in his bed or in his room. Whenever my dad’s on the computer, [Sweet Potato will] jump on his keyboard. Whenever my dad is sitting at the table to do some of his paperwork, Sweet Potato will sit on the paperwork. He just has to be on top of him,” Nugent told The Dodo.

Nugent started sharing bits of their relationship in TikTok videos and it’s the most wholesome thing on the internet

@french75vintageSometimes all you need is a support cat ##catsoftiktok ##catlover ##supportcat ##bestfriendscheck♬ Home – Edith Whiskers

Image credits: french75vintage

 

@french75vintageUpdate on my dad and cat becoming best friends. ##catsoftiktok ##catlover ##besties ##bestfriends♬ Just the Two of Us – Grover Washington, Jr.

They have become best buddies—they cuddle together, go outside, and even play golf

@french75vintageUpdate: Tato is now my dads cat. ##catsoftiktok ##catlover ##bestfriend ##besties♬ You’ve Got a Friend in Me – From “Toy Story” – The London Film Score Orchestra

Image credits: french75vintage

Image credits: french75vintage

Image credits: french75vintage

@french75vintageThe world needs more dad and cat content. ##besties ##bestfriends♬ With a Little Help From My Friends – Joe Cocker

People say that they even look alike with a little white mustache

Image credits: french75vintage

Image credits: french75vintage

Sweet Potato’s unconditional support is helping Nugent’s dad go through his treatment

Image credits: french75vintage

Nugent said she truly believes Sweet Potato is helping her dad heal: “I really think the emotional support of Sweet Potato and the cuddles and just being there—it’s had a huge impact on him.”

Nugent said that since Sweet Potato started ‘nursing’ her father, his health has significantly improved, he is close to remission and he is set up for a Bone Marrow transplant in June

@french75vintageBest Friends Forever ##bff ##bestfriendscheck ##bestfriends ##besties♬ Lean on Me – Bill Withers

Pet therapy is the best therapy. Our little companions cheer us up just with their presence and positive energy, but cats seem to have special powers when it comes to healing or even preventing some diseases, from minor problems like headaches to fatal ones. For example, according to a 2009 study in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology, cats can be associated with decreased risk for myocardial infarction and cardiovascular diseases, including a stroke. Another study by Dinis, F.A.B.S.G. and Martins, T.L.F. showed that petting a cat can reduce heart rate and blood pressure. Interestingly enough, health benefits are larger the stronger the level of attachment between the pet and the owner.

A study by Karin B. Stammbach & Dennis C. Turner (1999) found that cats are an additional source of emotional support for their owner. Dr. Glyn Collis from the University of Warwick found that stress symptoms were the lowest amongst cat owners, second-lowest amongst dog owners, and the highest amongst non-pet owners. So owning a cat is beneficial both for physiological and psychological well-being and it’s a scientifically proven fact.

Image credits: french75vintage

Some researchers believe that the positive impact on human health might also be linked to the cat’s purr and it might be their healing mechanism. And while a cat’s purring has soothing qualities for us, humans, it is a lot more complex. We may think we know what our cat’s purr means (usually, we assume it’s happy), but that’s not always the case and it can actually mean it’s self-repairing. According to a hypothesis by Elizabeth von Muggenthaler from Fauna Communications Research Institute, cat purring vibrations help them heal because they have been shown to fall between 25 and 140 Hz, which is the same frequency that has been shown to aid in the healing of broken bones, joint and tendon repair, and wound healing. So it might be possible that this cat vibrational therapy can help humans heal faster, too. Scholars are yet to put this theory to the test, but Sweet Potato isn’t waiting for the proof that he can help and is actually doing it.

People in the comments were touched by Nugent’s videos