Senior cat is love at first sight

Mr. Truffles the cat lying on a cushion
A longtime dog lover finds joy and comfort from adopting a senior feline who needed the same from him.
By John Polis

Growing up, Ed Peleschka always had dogs around but never a cat. How that all changed one stormy night in November of last year. It was right before Thanksgiving when Ed opened his security door and an elderly cat, wet and cold from the elements, popped into his arms.

He’d seen this cat before and occasionally had fed him when he appeared hungry. But this time, it was more than just food because the cat was clearly in distress. Ed would later learn that the cat’s family moved away, leaving him behind. And that was when the light went on for Ed about cats.

At first, he called his new houseguest “The Thanksgiving Cat” before eventually settling on Sylvester. During a trip to the vet, he learned that his newly acquired multicolored pal was approximately 18 years old. A beautiful friendship had begun.

[8 reasons to adopt a senior pet]

Six months later, however, Sylvester passed from a seizure. “When he was gone it left a hole,” says Ed. “So I went over to Best Friends in Salt Lake City and told them I wanted to adopt the cat who’d been there the longest.”

That’s when he got his first look at Mr. Truffles, a 9-pound, 10-year-old cat who came to Best Friends from a shelter and spent some time in a foster home. He was friendly, lively, and ready for a home of his own.

“He was definitely on the shy side,” says Ash Harmon, Best Friends lifesaving and care specialist. “We called him a sweet old soul because he just liked to relax in the sun. He was perfect for someone who wanted a companion because he wants to be around people … which is nice for cats, even older ones, to be around people, get affection, and be a part of the family.”

Mr. Truffles is easy to love

Ed was smitten the first minute he laid eyes on Mr. Truffles. “I saw him in a cubicle and told them I wanted him,” he says. “They cautioned me to not be in too much of a hurry. But when they brought him in and I was doing some work on my tablet, he came right up and wanted to help me out.”

Ash confirms it was love at first sight. “It took just seconds for (Mr. Truffles) to go sit on Ed’s lap,” she says. “And Ed was like, ‘Oh, he’s the one I’m taking home.’”

[Sweet senior cat wins the heart of loving adopter]

Since his adoption in May, Mr. Truffles has delivered a long-awaited ray of sunshine into Ed’s life. Ed had been recovering from two difficult life events — losing his wife and saying goodbye to his dog. And it had been years since the self-described “real animal lover” had a pet around the house.

Upon arriving in his new home, Mr. Truffles hid under the couch for about an hour, but that was it. He’s been out and about ever since. “You can tell he’s so happy to have somewhere to be,” Ed says. “He sleeps on the couch or in his little bed. And he wakes me up every morning about quarter to 5.”

Ed and Mr. Truffles are a perfect match. “I live alone,” he says, “and (Mr. Truffles) is a good guy. People can’t believe he’s 10 years old. He’s on a special diet (for mild kidney issues) but just loves his food. Other than that, he’s completely healthy.”

Part of the family

When Ed arrives home from work, Mr. Truffles is at the door waiting for him. “He always wants to be petted when I get home,” Ed says. “And if he decides he wants some petting in the middle of the night, he wakes me up to let me know.”

At home, the two are inseparable. As Ed describes it: “He follows me around more like a dog. He likes to watch what you are doing. If I’m on the laptop, he’ll come right up and sit on the keyboard. And if he wants some attention, he sticks his face right up against mine.”

Having a cat around has opened Ed’s eyes to felines in general. “Cats are very practical,” he says. “I often have to go out for appointments on the spur of the moment. I loved my dogs, but a dog is a lot more work than I’m willing to do right now. And cats are great.”

The joy of senior cat adoption

Ed highly recommends adopting an older cat. “I speak with many retired people through my work, and I’m 65 myself,” he says. “So it’s become personal for me. Senior cats seem to be grateful, and they deserve to live a great life. They’ve earned it.”

Mr. Truffles is also a calming presence, says Ed, who often deals with stress on the job. Each morning, he’s reminded of that serenity. Just as the sun is coming over the mountains off in the distance, Mr. Truffles takes up his favorite spot out on Ed’s balcony where he can soak up the sun.

Happy in his new home, it’s safe to say that Mr. Truffles is living up to his “sweet old soul” reputation — and living his best life in the process.

Senior longhair tabby at lying on a cushion with a person behind him

Be a light for senior pets

Mature pets have a deep appreciation for the simple things and come ready-made for your companionship.
Silhouette of two dogs, cat and kitten

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