A Circle of Love: The Tale of Toque & Mittens

By Judy Layne

You may have heard the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.”  I think it takes a community – a circle of love – to ultimately save an animal’s life and give them a chance for the happiness they deserve.   The tale of two adorable kittens, Toque and Mittens, is a great example of a circle of love at work.

Toque and Mittens had a heartbreaking start in life – they were found in a dump.  A worker at the dump saw them barely escaping a car right before it was about to be crushed!  This kind man immediately brought the kittens to safety at the Pictou SPCA.  We want to thank him for saving these two precious souls.

At only five weeks old, the kittens were too young to be put up for adoption.  Being semi-feral, they also needed to be socialized, to build their confidence and adaptability and ease their transition to a new forever home.  So, after receiving much needed medical care at the shelter, the next step was to find the kittens a loving foster home.

In stepped Angel Lefave, a new foster fur-mama.  Angel said, “In November 2019, I was blessed with my first two foster kitties.  They were very scared when I brought them home.  We let them hide for a few days but would gather them up for snuggles.  In a short time, the kittens were not only comfortable with us and our home but were demanding snuggles themselves!”

The fostering experience was a win-win for Angel.  “For a few years, I had wanted a pet but was afraid to take the plunge.  Through the SPCA’s foster program, I gave a nurturing home to two precious animals who loved me back and got them ready to bring tons of love to a forever family.” Angel sums up the foster program purr-fectly…..”You supply the love; the SPCA supplies everything else.”

And the last part of the circle?  While I was on the Pictou Shelter Facebook page, I saw a heartwarming post from Jenny Hasselman under Angel’s post about her foster kittens.  It read “Hi Angel.  We are the family that adopted these wonderful kittens!  It’s clear that your TLC was magic.  Toque and Mittens are very happy in their new home.  Our two kids are thrilled and the cuddles are endless.”

Jenny told me “We were specifically looking for two sibling kittens; we wanted our kids – Simon and Melanie – and the cats to grow up together.  They had been around our older cat so they understood that pets require work, love, and care.  Now they have the chance to watch Toque and Mittens grow and learn.”

“It took the kittens a few months to seek out cuddles on their own, curling up on the kids’ laps,” related Jenny. “Seeing the quiet calm and sweet joy that brought to the kids was incredibly rewarding.  At that moment, they learned about patience paying off, trust, the pure love that comes from raising a pet and what family truly means.”

“The time, care and love that Angel poured into the kittens was EVERYTHING”, said Jenny.  “Toque and Mittens were found in the wild and could very easily have been challenging to socialize and even more difficult to adopt.  Angel was incredibly thoughtful, making a card to describe each kitten’s personality and confirming they had been carefully introduced to small children and dogs.  This information helped to ensure that the SPCA could place them in a home that was right for everyone.  It’s a wonderful keepsake too, giving their history and making the kittens feel instantly like part of our family. “We will always be grateful to Angel for her kindness and generosity.”

Learning about the circle of love that surrounded Toque and Mittens reminded me of something Mother Teresa said.  “Not all of us can do great things.  But we can do small things with great love.”

There are so many ways to support the SPCA in their tireless work on behalf of homeless animals.  Learn more about how to share your love.  


Judy Layne

Judy is a dedicated volunteer with the Nova Scotia SPCA and proud adoptive fur-mama to Gracie. She is committed to speaking for animals who cannot speak for themselves.