Kelly Nugent moved from Florida to New York two months ago to take care of her father. She also brought her cat, Sweet Potato, who was there to help.
She desired to be near her father, who was undergoing treatment for bone marrow cancеr. Nugent told The Dodo that the man “started having a really hard time moving around and doing things” and that he “pretty much needed 24-hour care while he was recuperating.” My best friend, my father, and I both knew we needed to be there.
Her 2-year-old cat isn’t a licensed therapy animal — but he’s the next best thing.
“He’s the sweetest cat on the earth,” Nugent said. “He just loves everybody and wants to be around people. He has that dog-likе personality.”
While Nugent’s dad loves animals, he considers himself more of a dog person. He’d never owned a cat and didn’t think of them as particularly loving or supportive animals. But Sweet Potato made sure to change all that.
“As soon as we got there and Sweet Potato acclimated, he became a madman for my dad,” Nugent said. “He would not leave his side, and still, to this day, they’re just 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 likе, ‘This is my job now. I’m gonna help heal you.’ It’s likе he knew.”
The cat and her father have grown close and do everything together in the two months since Nugent and Sweet Potato came.
“As a result, when my dad sits in a chair and puts his arm on it, Sweet Potato would always leap up, sit in the small nook in his arm, and snuggle with him, according to Nugent. He will rest in either his bed or his room. When my father is on the computer, [Sweet Potato] will rush to the keyboard. Sweet Potato likеs to sit on the paperwork while my dad is doing any paperwork at the table. Simply put, he must be on top of him.”
Nugent started posting videos of Sweet Potato and her dad on TikTok, and the sweet films have found a large audience. “When I read him all the comments, it was so cool to him that so many random people were rooting for him,” Nugent said.
But Nugent and her dad’s favorite joke is that he and Sweet Potato are basically twins. “My favorite part is that so many people say they look alikе,” Nugent said. “Sweet Potato has a little white mustache, and my dad has a white mustache … and it makes us laugh so hard.”
Nugent’s father’s health has significantly improved since nurse Sweet Potato took over. She also can’t help but believe her cat played a role in it.
He has definitely benefited from Sweet Potato’s emotional support, cuddling, and simply being there, she claimed.