A cat that works at a Pennsylvania optical store is helping kids get comfortable with glasses. Truffles the cat models glasses for kids, and her efforts to normalize glasses for children have gone viral worldwide.
Cat shows kids how to wear glasses with confidence
Truffles’ unexpected path to advocacy (and internet stardom) started in July 2017. Born a stray cat, she eventually found her way to a local optical shop. The Crull family adopted her in October 2017. Truffles quickly proved to be a trainable cat. She learned how to sit and offer high-fives.
Then, when Truffles was around 6 months old, her cat mom, Danielle Crull, decided to try putting a pair of premie glasses (without lenses) on her feline friend. Crull, who is an American Board of Opticianry Master-Certified Optician, fitted the frames to the cat. She trained Truffles to wear them. Truffles became so accustomed to wearing glasses that she even fell asleep with them still perched on her nose.
When little kids arrived at the optical shop, Crull summoned Truffles to show off her glasses. Seeing a cat wearing spectacles put children at ease and made the fitting process easier. Witnessing the cat confidently wearing glasses also inspired kids to wear them with confidence, too.
“I feel like the moment a child gets glasses is such an important moment in their life,” Crull recently told the CBS Evening News. “And it’s always been my goal that I create a positive and fun memory.”
Truffles goes viral
Truffles is now the mascot for A Child’s Eyes optical shop – and the Employee of the Month, every month. She appeared in a series of videos, educating children about eye examinations, proper eyeglass storage, and the significance of choosing suitable eyewear for outdoor activities.
Then, Truffles took her duties one step further by allowing Crull to attach an eyepatch to her glasses. This act helped children dealing with Amblyopia (an eye condition that affects 2 to 3 out of every 100 children) feel seen and understood while doing occlusion therapy.
According to the CBS Evening News, as many as 25% of children have an undiagnosed vision issue. Kids may find the process of going to the eye doctor scary or isolating. (There’s nothing worse for a kid than feeling different.) The work Truffles does is crucial in destigmatizing and demystifying glasses.
According to the cat’s website, “Truffles is so happy that she can reach so many children with her message of love, acceptance and fashionable eyewear!”