Name: Truffle (aka Miss Truffle or Truff)
Breed: Grey and white domestic shorthair
Likes: Tuna from the can; being stroked on the side of her face; when her younger brother licks her head
Dislikes: Going anywhere in the car; playing in the backyard during the day (she prefers the cover of darkness); loud noises (like leaf blowers, vacuum cleaners, and construction); waiting for meal time
About Truffle: Truffle came into our lives at just 3.5 months old. My husband was eager to have a cat after we got married, but I came up with one excuse after another, repeatedly declaring “I’m not really a cat person.” But then one day, my husband casually asked, “aren’t we close to the rescue where your friend volunteers? Maybe we could go see about that little grey cat.” To humor his desire for a kitten, I had been following Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA) on my phone and had shown him a few photos along the way. One had caught his attention. I don’t know if it was the sparkle in his eye – or just the flush of us being newlyweds – but I agreed to go take a look. I never really imagined that we would leave that same day with a tiny kitten in a brown paper box.
Despite everything we had read about kittens needing time to acclimate, within a day, Truffle had made herself comfortable everywhere in the house…exploring under the dining room table, making biscuits on my husband as he watched tv, watching me in the bathroom, and sleeping anywhere she pleased – including our bed. As many a cat owner will recognize, it became increasingly clear to us that it would be Truffle’s house and we would just be allowed to live there. More importantly, she quickly burrowed herself into our hearts.
I don’t think we knew just how much she had come to mean to us until about 6 weeks later when we had a health scare with her. After a few terrifying hours and a trip to the cat cardiologist (we hadn’t even known such things existed), it turned out that she would be ok. We will never forget the relief we felt. She had become as much a part of our family as any of our human members and we couldn’t imagine her not being with us.
Now, two years later, Truffle has us well-trained. Every morning, she hops onto my pillow, and starts first by petting my head, then biting my nose or my neck, and then, if I dare to try to sleep a little longer, she will start scratching my face – not enough to be harmful but enough to be certain that I wake up and acknowledge her. It works every time!
During the day, she is “Miss Independent” (like the Kelly Clarkson song), watching the world go by from her cat trees, chasing her younger brother Sherlock (also an AWLA alum), or napping – unless it is close to her mealtime.
Then she is all up in your face! She will start by staring you down and then by butting you in the head or rubbing your face. She has even been known to close my laptop in protest if I don’t react to her fast enough. Alternatively, she will drop to the floor and spread herself out, looking back at you like a damsel in distress. Such a drama queen.
In the evenings, without fail, she always finds my lap while we are watching tv – squishing in to whatever available space there is if Sherlock has found his way there first – or she snuggles against my husband’s leg, placing a paw on top to remind everyone “this is mine.” She usually ends the night in our bed – curled around Sherlock or sleeping on my pillow – just wanting to be with the rest of her family.
Maybe we are just proud cat parents, but we think Truffle is really smart – she definitely knows the sound of her name and responds to it (when she feels like it) and she knows exactly what it means when my husband – who is Cuban and frequently talks to the cats in Spanish – says “vamos” (let’s go) to signal it is time for dinner. She races into the kitchen like a NASCAR driver and then just sits, all prim and proper, waiting for us to feed her.
When Truffle first came home, she seemed to like meeting new people. But, as she got older, she became more discerning. Now, she likes to observe you from afar – almost as if she is deciding if you are worthy of her affection. That’s why we were a little worried the first time we were going to leave her with someone she didn’t know. However, any fears we may have had disappeared during Truffle’s first meeting with Diane from Sit-A-Pet. Diane truly is a cat whisperer and it was as if the two of them immediately had a secret language. They have been great friends ever since.
We frequently get questions about Truffle’s name. Did we name her after the mushroom? Or after the chocolate? The answer is: we didn’t actually name her. Her name was Truffle when we met her at AWLA and it just seemed to suit her. Later, we read that in certain cultures, people name pets after food to ensure they have a long life. We don’t know if that’s true, but if it is, a big thank you to whomever gave Truffle her name!
So, as I sit here today, with Truffle rubbing her head against mine (because it’s meal time) and Sherlock snuggled in behind me on the chair, it seems I was wrong about something a few years ago. I am very much “a cat person.” And proud of it!
To hear Truffle’s side of the story (because you know she has one), feel free to follow her on Instagram at: @truffletherescuecat.