Cheryl Yates, a woman from Ontario, Canada, recently banded together with her family to help her 88-year-old father, Lewy, though the final stages of dementia. A cat lover his entire life — raising nine felines in total at one point — Lewy began asking for his kitties more often. Restricted to his hospital bed, Cheryl recently bought her dad a robotic cat from Joy For All — a Hasbro company dedicated to helping our ageing loved ones — and naturally, it made Lewy's day.
"My father loves cats and dogs, especially cats. He was a real cat man and always had cats," Cheryl wrote in a Facebook post. "For Christmas, we bought him a Joy For All robotic lifelike companion cat in his favourite orange and white tabby colour. This kitty is amazing, totally interactive, and responds to petting, human touch, and voice. This robotic cat purrs, meows and licks its paws. It rolls over, blinks, and head butts. My dad LOVES this cat so much. He named his kitty Buddy and my dad is so much happier and calmer and this cat brings him so much comfort and companionship."
"To see his face and eyes light up that he has a kitty again was priceless. It made me cry."
Cheryl had a hunch her father would gravitate to his new friend given his past. Known for his incredible sense of humour and deep love for animals of all kinds, there was no better gift. "My dad found homes for so many strays and took many to shelters and humane societies over the years," she told POPSUGAR. "He always donated to humane society and animals shelters. He loves animals so much and was always asking for his cats, so now he has his kitty again. To him, this cat is as real as a real kitty, that is the silver lining. It's one of the last wishes he is getting. He can't come home, but he now has his kitty with him."
And Cheryl's not the only one who noticed a big change in her father, the hospital staff have taken notice, too. "To see his face and eyes light up that he has a kitty again was priceless. It made me cry," she explained. "My dad was so happy on Christmas Day. He holds the kitty in his arms constantly. My dad believes this is a real, live kitty. All the nurses were blown away by the difference in my father. I highly recommend these companion robotic cats for any seniors with dementia or Alzheimer's."
Scroll through to get a look at this newfound friendship that's sure to completely warm your heart.