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Hand of Providence leads Truffles home (Cat Stolen at Holyoke Mall Returns Home Safely) (2012)

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In 2003, a forlorn and frightened cat was found abandoned in an apartment building by a veterinary tech student attending Holyoke Community College. Rather than take the cat to the animal shelter, Barbara adopted and named her Truffles.

"She was the best cat and was very in tune with me," said Barbara. Although Barbara safeguarded her as an inside cat, Truffles occasionally found ways to sneak outside, thus earning her nickname, "Troubles." In April of 2012, Truffles escaped from her home and was hit by a car. Sadly, she died in Barbara's arms on the way to the veterinary hospital.

Truffles was cremated at White Rose Pet Crematory in Brattleboro, Vermont. Since she was remodeling her home at the time (with sheet rock dust throughout), when Truffles' cremains were returned to her, she decided to keep them "safe" in her car. "It was a real comfort, knowing that Truffles was always with me when I got into the car. I talked to her all the time," said Barbara.

In September, while parked at the Holyoke Mall, her car was vandalized and the specialty bag containing Truffles cremains was stolen, along with other items.

"I couldn't believe someone would steal Truffles," said Barbara. "Then I realized that someone looking into the car would see the tasteful bag, tissue paper, silk rose and beautiful wooden box, and assume it was an expensive gift item, not the cremains of a cat. The presentation received from White Rose was truly beautiful. I really believe that's why Truffles was stolen."

Apparently, upon discovering the pet loss literature and other White Rose materials, the thief abandoned the intact bag. Eventually it made its way to the mall's lost and found department, where a security guard took notice of the White Rose documents and e-mailed Marilyn George, co-owner of the pet crematory, to let her know they had the bag and a wooden box that said "Truffles." Marilyn immediately went to the mall to claim and retrieve them.

She then contacted Barbara with the exciting news that Truffles had been found at the Holyoke Mall and was now at her pet crematory, waiting to be reunited with her family. On October 18th, Barbara traveled to White Rose, where Marilyn and Truffles awaited her.

"Never in a million years did I think I would see Truffles again," said Barbara as she held the box in her hands.

Both Marilyn and Barbara are grateful to the Holyoke Mall security department. "They went the extra mile to contact us, knowing that the pet and family should be reunited," said Marilyn.