An 81-year-old man living by himself in Tennessee had a close brush with death last week, but he survived, all thanks to the cat he didn’t know he needed.
Jimmie Nelson wasn’t sure what to expect when his daughter, Teresa Seals, brought him a shelter cat — aptly named “Shelly.” The 81-year-old Claiborne Country resident had never owned an indoor cat before. His wife had never wanted one inside.
But Seals thought her father could use the company around the house now that he lived alone. They never imagined that Shelly would become Nelson’s hero.
Not long after bringing the cat home, Nelson woke up one morning to discover that he had been in great danger while he slept: A venomous copperhead snake had managed to slither its way into his home.
“I got out and looked under the table and there laid a snake,” Nelson said.
The serpent, which was several feet long had blended into the kitchen floor, according to WKYC.
Upon closer inspection, Nelson realized what had happened.
“On the side of the snake’s neck and head there were claw marks and one big slash, so we knew right then that the cat had definitely killed the snake and then brought it out a few days later to show it to her little dad,” Seals said.
“It was predestined for him to have this cat just to save his life.”
“I’ve killed a million copperhead and rattlesnakes here on the place, but that was the one time it was close,” Nelson said.
In the 60 years he has spent living in the same house, this was the first time a snake has ever made it inside, he told WKYC.
If not for Shelly, Nelson might not have survived the incident.
According to his daughter, it is no coincidence that the heroic cat found her way into Nelson’s home and heart. She believes it was divine intervention that brought the sweet kitty to them.
“I think the Lord sent the cat to us to save my dad,” Seals said.
It certainly seems like a match made in heaven.
The 81-year-old has since fallen in love with his new feline friend, his daughter says. Though he never imagined becoming a “cat person,” Nelson is now forever a fan of Shelly the shelter cat.
“He loves her, he doesn’t wanna act like he pays attention but I’ve caught him actually petting and loving on her,” Seals said.
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