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They say dog is a man's best friend. But for one South Island father, it appears a cat that isn't even his own has taken the title of best mate.
Last week National MP Andrew Falloon took to Twitter to share the heartwarming moment a random cat snuck inside his father's home to help nurse him back to health after recovering from an operation.
Falloon's father was asleep on the couch, but when a family member went to check on his father, they discovered he was already being looked after by a moggy. The only problem - Falloon's father does not own a cat!
The 36-year-old MP for Rangitata posted a photo of the cat climbing up onto the couch and snuggling his father as he lay sleeping, with his paws resting in his hands.
"My Dad is recovering from an operation. Mum went out and left a door slightly ajar," he wrote on Twitter.
"My parents do not have a cat."
The tweet has since gone viral, being liked more than 479,000 times and has 76,000 retweets.
The post received thousands of comments, with many sharing their love for the cat and his father, while others poked fun at the heartwarming yet unexpected moment.
"You never own a cat, a cat owns or claims you - animals are very clever and this animal realised your dad needed some love," one person wrote.
"Travelling Therapy Cat reporting for duty," another said.
"You have the right to be comforted by a cat. If you do not have a cat, one will be provided for you, mysteriously and out of the blue, at no charge."
According to Falloon, the cat's name is Ziggy, and is understood to be from the neighbourhood.