You'd be hard-pressed to find anything Bob Michel loves more in this world than his cat.
"If someone were to come in the door and say, 'I'll give you a million dollars for Puddy.' I would say no," Michel said as he brushes the black and white cat.
The two go on daily walks in a special "cat-mobile" stroller, and at night, Puddy eats a candlelit dinner next to a tiny grand piano.
"He's everything. I was really lonely without him," Michel said.
The two met through a nonprofit called Knox PAWS which matches seniors on a fixed income with an older pet who needs a home.
PAWS stands for Pairing Animals With Seniors and is part of the Office on Aging in Knoxville.
"Knox PAWS really helps seniors become more social and more active by walking their dog every day. It also just gives them that companionship," volunteer coordinator Kendra Luketic said. "Their cat or dog may be the only thing they come in contact with that day. So, to have something they can cuddle with on the couch with or go walks with is just so important to these seniors."
Since it began in 2004, Knox PAWS has matched nearly 100 eligible seniors with furry companions.
Since participants are on a tight fixed-income, Knox PAWS pays for the initial medical exam, vaccinations, microchips, medicine, and the list goes on. If the senior can't afford pet food, "Feed a Pet Project" pays for that, too.
Oscar Berry and his dog Brandi are two of the newest Knox PAWS matches.
"I call her Baby, though. I don't call her Brandi," Berry tells us.
When his wife died a few years ago, Berry was so lonely. Now, Brandi goes everywhere Oscar does.
"I've got someone to take care of again. It's nuts, but I talk to her like a human, but she hasn't answered me yet. And so far, I have to do all the housework. She won't even help with the dishes. I'm working on her though," Berry laughs.
Thanks to Knox PAWS, the golden years are a little brighter for people and animals like them.