Queen of the Castle

By Taylor Huestis

Cat moms are queens. Quite literally. The term actually began in England a long, long time ago and stuck around. How purrfectly fitting, right?

When Lola, a two-years-young calico kitty, was first brought to the Kings SPCA, she was working on her queen status. Lola struggled as a pregnant stray never knowing when or where her next meal would be. She was picked up and brought to safety at the SPCA.

Lola’s fur was extremely dirty so staff cleaned her up and prepared a cozy, quiet place just for her. She settled in right away and seemed so thankful. Finally, she was at peace.

Just like that, three days later, Lola gave birth to three cute kittens: Landry, Lincoln and Leif.

The next step was to find a foster family to help support this queen and her new babies. Keltie, a passionate animal-lover who began fostering back in 2019, was up for the challenge.

“I have had the pleasure of fostering four different litters of cats for a combined total of 14 kittens,” Keltie smiled. “From newborn babies to sassy feral teens. Each cat blossomed from a scrawny baby to a courageous, healthy kitty ready to enjoy their new life. That is 14 fewer animals in need, and a dramatic reduction in the exponential overpopulation of helpless, stray cats.”

But even with her experience, Keltie was a little worried.

“Before meeting them, I was nervous about how Lola’s transition from freedom in the wilderness, to a small apartment in the city, would go… On top of being a young new mother and having a big scary human interact with her 3 babies,” Keltie admitted. “Almost immediately, any worries I had were put to rest. I quickly realized how grateful Lola was for the peace and quiet, space, and comfort that a foster home provides.”

“As Lola experienced, fostering allows an animal to grow in a more comfortable environment,” explained Keltie. “The lucky animals brought into the SPCA and their foster program begin to thrive in no time! Their lifespan and quality of life are significantly greater. Ultimately, fostering allows the clinic to outsource work and free up space to save more animals in need.”

During their time together, many of Keltie’s family and friends got to meet Queen Lola and her babies to help socialize them. Her dear friends Sydney and Matt fell in love and decided to adopt one of the kittens! “It has been such a joy to watch Leif, now Margot, grow in her new family,” Keltie exclaimed. “I was even invited to her 1st birthday party!”

Lola and her three babies were all adopted and found loving families. In fact, Lola’s new forever family shared a wonderful update. “Lola is a chatterbox the minute you walk in the house meets and greets with purrs and chirps,” Stephanie giggled. “She likes to play a game where she will hide behind something and wait for you to walk by and jumps out at you. We are so happy to have her in our lives. She was a new addition for my son at Christmas and is great company to me when he is not here and with his dad.”

It was truly a lifesaving experience for Lola and her babies. But it was also a life-changing experience for foster mama Keltie.

“I would like to thank all community members who give animals a second chance by bringing in, surrendering, or adopting from the SPCA,” Keltie praised. “Thank you to the SPCA and all other animal clinics for the lifesaving work they do every day. And for allowing me to play a small but gratifying role in the wellbeing of just one group of animals, among thousand brought into animal rehabilitation centres each year.”

“I would encourage anyone interested in fostering to go for it,” continued Keltie. “The entire network of Nova Scotia SPCA’s go above and beyond to provide all of the necessary supplies and knowledge needed to care for their animals. They have a dedicated team of technicians and vets who are always ready to help if needed!”

It’s very special to have so much quality time with a queen, so we asked Keltie if Queen Lola taught her any important life lessons. She beautifully shared:

“When faced with adversity, a little bit of kindness goes a long way. In such difficult times for everyone around the world, these kittens – as with all animals at the SPCA – bring light and a story of hope to everyone they meet.

Human or animal, the most essential things for a fulfilling life are quite simple. Nutritious food, water, shelter, and a loving, safe home form the foundation of a healthy life.

We all have something to give – SPCA or elsewhere. Whether it’s your time, donations, or a spot in your family. Everything counts!”


Taylor Huestis

Taylor is the Communications & Development Officer with the Nova Scotia SPCA and proud adoptive fur-mama to Bonnie and Clyde. She is passionate about raising awareness and funds for local animals in need.