Aside from the dentist’s office, the eye clinic is another place where most children are scared to go.
It can be a struggle for both parents and doctors to calm down kids, but that’s exactly what this cat in Pennsylvania does best.
Nearly four years ago, Danielle Crull, an optician, rescued a stray kitten from a forest in Pennsylvania. Little did she know that that spirited kitty will help many young children with eye problems gain more confidence.
Nobody likes wearing glasses and eye patches, but Truffles the cat is there to encourage kids to wear them. And the secret to her convincing power? She walks the talk.
Truffles struts around the clinic wearing glasses, and Danielle says she doesn’t make her wear them—she actually likes it!
Danielle, who runs her own practice, A Child’s Eyes, in Mechanicsburg, focuses on infants, toddlers, children in elementary school.
Many of her patients suffer from severe eye problems that require multiple medications, treatments, and surgeries. Naturally, many of them are scared of anything coming near their eyes.
And when that happens, Truffles comes to her mom’s rescue.
“She is literally magical with little kids,” Danielle told CNN. “It takes me at least half an hour to try and get to know them so they realize I’m not something to be afraid of, and Truffles will come strutting out from the back as if she knows exactly when I need her help.”
Truffles hops up next to the patient and tilts her head up so Danielle can put on a pair of glasses. The sight of a cat wearing glasses instantly lightens the mood, and it turns the children’s tears into smiles. Suddenly, they want to be like Truffles and wear glasses of their own.
“The story that happens over and over is a little one is crying and she comes out and I put glasses on her, and they immediately stop crying and laugh and put their own glasses on,” Danielle said. “It happens countless times, and it’s just as sweet every single time.”
Truffles really loves wearing glasses. In fact, she often falls asleep wearing them and refuses to let her mom take them off. The cat chooses from a collection of around 20 glasses of various designs, but her favorite one is a gorgeous green pair.
Danielle said that if Truffles had thumbs, she’s pretty sure she would put the glasses on herself.
“She can take them off whenever she wants, but a lot of times she chooses not to,” Danielle said.
For many people, Truffles might seem like nothing more than a cute cat who loves wearing glasses. But for the children and parents she has helped over the years, she is everything.
One of those kids is 5-year-old Joella Migliori, who was born with three genetic abnormalities, including iris atrophy. She was born missing layers of her iris, and her vision was affected. The girl had undergone 15 surgeries before turning six months old.
When she was 1, she visited Danielle’s office and met Truffles. When Joella was able to see for the first time, the cat was the first thing she saw.
“It just changed everything for her,” Janette Migliori, Joella’s mom, said.
For four years, Joella visited Danielle’s office regularly whenever she needs new glasses or adjustments. And she was never afraid to go because she knew Truffles would be there to play with her.
Truffles is also helping other kids like Joella by “launching” a fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network, which helps millions of children worldwide get treatment.
Thank you, Truffles, for giving these kids the confidence they need!
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