Written by Sandton SPCA PR Manager Wilna Lamb
Professional photography by My Memory Photography
Truffles was just a few weeks old when she was rescued from the bushes on the side of a road in Pretoria in September 2017. Luckily, a vet who was out walking her cat spotted Truffles and took her to the surgery. Here, the little four-week-old kitten stole the heart of Di Shand.
At the time, Di was undergoing chemo treatment, and Truffles spent her first year comforting Di in her bedroom, encouraging her to keep fighting. They developed a tremendous bond of love and trust.
But tragedy struck when Truffles went missing on the 18th of October 2019.
Di was frantic and didn’t give up looking for Truffles. She and her husband, Andy, searched the whole of Rivonia – on both sides of the river between 12th Ave and Witkoppen Road. They did this every day for weeks. They phoned all the vets and animal shelters in the neighbourhood, put up posters, advertised on many Lost and Found groups on Facebook, as well as on WhatsApp groups. Even the offer of a reward didn’t help, and despite all these efforts, they couldn’t find Truffles.
Di and Andy were scheduled to move to Vermont in the Western Cape and had to leave Johannesburg on the 27th of November. Still, they didn’t give up hope: they ensured that their gardener, who stayed on in the house (he’s still there now), knew what to do if Truffles came back.
Fast forward to February 2021 when a stray cat was brought to the Sandton SPCA. Cilia scanned the cat for a microchip, which confirmed that it was Truffles! After an emotional phone call to Di informing her that Truffles had been found, arrangements were made for her to travel to her new home in the Western Cape.
Truffles must have been living rough for some time on the Braamfontein Spruit and, as luck would have it, wandered into the home of animal angel Wendy. She posted about the cat on various social media groups in her area, hoping that someone would come forward and claim Truffles. When this didn’t happen, Wendy brought Truffles to us.
The rest, as they say, is history, and Truffles is happily reunited with Di and Andy, proving that love knows no time nor distance and is, indeed, forever.
Di Shand, Truffles’ relieved owner, shares…
We’re extremely grateful to so many people for bringing Truffles into our lives and making this reunion possible…
To our daughter Taryn, who found Truffles at the vet in Pretoria for me when I was so sick.
To Wendy for taking Truffles in and caring for her for three months and then taking her to the SPCA when she could no longer care for her.
The Sandton SPCA – thank you for contacting us and for organising the inoculations to enableTruffles to fly to Cape Town.
My sister Ann and niece, Justine, for caring for Truffles, despite having three cats of their own, for 14 days before she was allowed to fly.
And to our daughter Bianca for organising the travel arrangements and fetching Truffles from Cape Town Airport and keeping her overnight for us to fetch the following morning.
It took a concerted effort from a big team of wonderful animal lovers for this reunion to take place… we’d also prayed every day for Truffles’ safe return – our prayers were certainly answered.
Truffles has settled well into her new home with her “old mum and dad” and Coco Mo, the chocolate Labrador, whom she instantly remembered and cuddled. She’s a little unsure of the two “newcomers”, Savannah and Kiki, but they’re very welcoming of her and only want to play.
We’re taking no chances and aren’t allowing Truffles outside for at least a month. Although we no longer have a half-acre stand on the river in Rivonia for her to play in, our garden’s quite adequate and we hope that Truffles will never stray again.