Fri, Apr. 3rd, 2009, 01:26 pm
TRUFFLE THE CAT IS STARTLED BY FELINE PROSTITUTE'S ADVANCES, ARGUABLY REVEALS SEX

SCANDAL. Gosh. This may require some context, and I'm a little overexcited, so bear with me for a moment. Do any of you remember Truffle the Cat? For those of you who don't and are too lazy to follow the link, a quick summary. Somerfield, a chain of small supermarkets, puts out a monthly magazine. This magazine features a regular interview with the pet of a reader (typically a dog or a cat, but on occasion a hamster, rabbit or other more unusual animal). This monthly interview is conducted by Truffle. This is Truffle:

truffle


For several months last year, the interviews stopped, but I wrote in and complained and Truffle returned "by popular demand", which obviously was my personal triumph for 2008 and meant our household could go back to its monthly live readthroughs of Truffle's latest adventure.

Truffle—whose sex has never been revealed—is a lascivious creature who tries to seduce both dogs and cats, though (s)he is typically less taken with other animals. This has been even more distinct since Truffle's return from exile. Recent issues typify these tendencies, well past the point of deniability...

Extract from Truffle's interview with Tara, a tiny and pert-eared dog, showing Truffle's predatory side:

Tara: My mum says I am the perfect companion — friendly to a fault!
Truffle: Well, I myself am on the lookout for a new companion...
Tara: Oh dear. Well, I'm very busy being vigilant at home, so I'd better be going.

Extract from Truffle's interview with Foxie, a ferrett, showing Truffle's bias against animals that are not cats or dogs:

Foxie: But I like to play too — I love chewing on rubber.
Truffle: Can't say I see the attraction in that myself.
Foxie: Oh you really should try it some time.
Truffle: I might give it a miss, if that's all right with you.

(You'll have to trust me when I tell you that Truffle would pretty clearly have jumped on this, or any, offer if it had been extended by a cat or a dog - Truffle's tastes are wide-ranging and his/her advances are if anything only inflamed by the revelation that a young labrador is not very well house-trained, for example.)

So, right, that's got you more or less up-to-speed. The main points are:
1. Truffle is a cat who interviews pets in a national magazine handed out at supermarkets.
2. Truffle's biological sex and gender identity have never been revealed.
3. It has been increasingly impossible to argue that Truffle's lascivious ways are not present in the text.
4. These things please me, and also please various housemates, ex-housemates and tolerant visitors but particularly kerrypolka and the_alchemist

And then this month:

I promise this is verbatim - I'll add a photo later. Truffle is interviewing a wide solemn cat named Humphrey, a member of the Ward-Corderoy family in Kent.

Truffle: Well hello. You're a handsome devil. What's your name?
Humphrey: I'm Humphrey. Good to meet you, sir.
Truffle: Likewise. You look like a stand-up sort of chap...
Humphrey: I am my family's number one security cat.
Truffle: Oh, a mature beast?
Humphrey: Well I'm only two, but I'm very sensible.
Truffle: Excellent, I like a cat who keeps his nose clean.
Humphrey: I am very well behaved. I do like cuddles though.
Truffle: Well I suppose there's always room for a cuddle.
Humphrey: And I like presents.
Truffle: Oh my. You're not the cat you seemed, Humphrey...

EDIT: This is Humphrey:

humphrey</a>


Fri, Apr. 3rd, 2009 01:07 pm (UTC)
mirabehn

*giggles a great deal*

I wonder if I can persuade chloechronicle to apply for being pet of the month? Not that kateqp shops at Somerfield, mind...

Fri, Apr. 3rd, 2009 01:21 pm (UTC)
several_bees

I'm still waiting for a bee to settle in our bee-box so that I can take a photo and apply.

Fri, Apr. 3rd, 2009 01:09 pm (UTC)
huskyteer

I'm delighted that Truffle is back in action! 'wide solemn cat' is also the best description of anything I have read all day.

Fri, Apr. 3rd, 2009 01:23 pm (UTC)
several_bees

Thanks! Though really the credit is Humphrey's, for having a demeanour that couldn't possibly be described any other way.

Fri, Apr. 3rd, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
mirabehn: Also...

... now I want to read Somerfield Magazine. Which is a sentence I never thought I would ever type.

I want to read more Truffle the cat! He sounds completely iconic. I'm not sure how I managed to miss your post about him last year.

Sat, Apr. 4th, 2009 10:05 am (UTC)
several_bees: Re: Also...

It's not quite as good as it used to be - there used to be "food horoscopes", full of advice like "Gemini: this month, look out for some bargains in the freezer section - and you might benefit from trying our new organic range!", which has sadly been replaced with normal, non-Somerfield-products-related, horoscopes.

Fri, Apr. 3rd, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC)
wildeabandon

Oh, oh, yay for Truffle. I want to do more Truffle live readthroughs.

Sat, Apr. 4th, 2009 11:14 am (UTC)
several_bees

Mm, I'm thinking about how to do an all-of-Truffle readthrough - consistent casting versus taking turns at Truffle, etc. I don't have all the back-issues, though, and none since before I discovered Truffle of course.

Fri, Apr. 3rd, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC)
bateleur

OMG! Truffle and Humphrey OTP!

Sat, Apr. 4th, 2009 11:23 am (UTC)
several_bees: (Deleted and reposted to fix html

I KNOW! I've added a picture of Humphrey now, and look at that gravitas - he's the first interviewee to rival Truffle in his austere gaze. We're thinking maybe Truffle will even come to see Humphrey as a protégé, and groom him to eventually take over PET OF THE MONTH.

Sat, Apr. 4th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC)
bateleur

I'm not sure PET OF THE MONTH would be the same, even with such a wide solemn cat at the helm. But he could maybe have his own spinoff series?

(Aside: have made a "What Would Truffle Do?" icon.)

Mon, Apr. 6th, 2009 08:59 am (UTC)
several_bees

(Gosh, that's... pretty spectacular.)

Fri, Apr. 3rd, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC)
kerrypolka

I miss these. :(

Sat, Apr. 4th, 2009 11:25 am (UTC)
several_bees

Currently thinking about an all-of-Truffle readthrough, and wondering how to get backissues. Hey, you could write from your work address and ask for back-copies for a feature on supermarket magazines...

Fri, Apr. 3rd, 2009 04:01 pm (UTC)
triskellian

:-)

I demand more Truffle updates!

Sat, Apr. 4th, 2009 11:26 am (UTC)
several_bees

Oh dear, I don't really need encouragement over this - last night I was quite convinced that I should start a Truffle livejournal community for Truffle discussion and fanfic, though this morning that conviction has faded slightly.

Fri, Apr. 3rd, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
gaspaheangea

see cat town

Fri, Apr. 3rd, 2009 11:50 pm (UTC)
australian_joe

Truffle: Oh my. You're not the cat you seemed, Humphrey...

[much helpless laughter]

Sun, Apr. 12th, 2009 11:58 pm (UTC)
casadetodd

I'm adding you as a friend, partly to ensure that I don't miss any Truffle updates.

Sun, May. 10th, 2009 07:16 pm (UTC)
the_elyan

Have you considered the possibilities offered by "Truffle: The Musical"?

One lone cat against the forces of corporate magazine downsizing, armed only with his exceptional understanding of the pet psyche, and fourteen swingin' tunes that'll surely keep your toes tappin' long after the curtain falls...

Sun, May. 10th, 2009 10:15 pm (UTC)
several_bees

The trouble is I don't write music, and when I pitched my idea for a musical in which wizards cast spells through the power of swing dance, no composers stepped forward to take the challenge...

Mon, May. 11th, 2009 11:25 am (UTC)
the_elyan

Understandable, but no doubt there is a space for you as librettist.

I'd like to point out that Googling for Truffle the cat" brings you up as second and third hit (first hit is for a soft toy unrelated to the Truffle of our quest)