A True Undercat Story

By Taylor Huestis

When the odds are stacked up against someone, we’ll often refer to them as an underdog. They are expected to lose.

But one thing that people and pets have shown us is you should never underestimate an underdog.

Or an undercat.

On September 6, 2023, two kitties were brought into the Kings SPCA. They had been abandoned on a working farm. At five weeks old, they should have been learning to play and explore. Instead, they were struggling to even see.

Sadly, these sick strays were suffering from Conjunctivitis. Their eyes were glued shut.

To help them heal, they were given veterinary treatment and went home with a loving foster family. The kittens were small in both size and weight – but they were full of courage and determination.

After months of supportive care, both kitties were medically cleared. To set them and their future families up for success, they were spayed/neutered thanks to our friends at PetSmart Charities of Canada. Because of the limited space at the shelter, they were brought to one of the SPCA’s offsite adoption partners: PetSmart New Minas.

Just like that, the kitties found families of their very own!

Dawson had been looking for a Siamese cat as he grew up loving the breed. Within minutes of meeting the two kitties, his heart had other plans.

“Turmeric ran up to the glass to sniff me and immediately he was meowing and purring,” Dawson remembered. “I had to hold him, and when I did, I knew he was the one I wanted, and I think he knew too.”

Only hours later, the same experience happened for Paprika.

“I missed having an animal in the house,” Gemma recalled. “Once she was in my arms she started purring and snuggled into me. So, I ended up bringing her home right there and then.”

Both spice kitties were able to put their past lives and shelter names behind them. Paprika was renamed Nala, and Turmeric now goes by Deku. In fact, he actually runs into any room when you say ‘Deki Deki Deku.’

They’ve experienced new things and learned fun tricks.

“We taught Deku to sit on our shoulder as we are walking around the house, like a parrot,” Dawson laughed. “He enjoys being around us and seeing what we are doing. He also loves toys like crinkle balls, springs, and anything with feathers and he has so much energy! Orange cat energy lol. Another fave memory is when he rode the roomba around the house!”

The same holds true for Nala. “Last week I had to drive from the valley down to a health clinic on Long Island and Nala loved the ferry ride across,” Gemma smiled. “She also has my partner wrapped around her paw, and we took her to the mall this week to pickup a cat tree (she picked out the biggest of course). Most places I go, Nala comes along too. She’s always by my side.”

These undercats came from humble beginnings. At first, they needed the SPCA to survive. Now, they’re helping their families thrive.

“Pets will always help my mental health and make my day better, especially in these winter months,” Dawson shared. “Also, one of our other pets, Neo, is quite a scaredy cat and having Deku around has got him out much more to play! Our puppy is a Pyrenees and is best friends with Deku and they sleep and play together. Deku is popular in our household.”

“Nala has been huge for my mental health,” Gemma explained. “Travelling between hospitals for work and clinicals, she’s become my road trip buddy and sleeps with me every night. She always gives me something to look forward to. And on my not so good days she’s there to snuggle too.”

With Deku and Nala, it’s easy to see why we root for the underdog and undercat. They deserve to be this happy.

Plus, after everything they’ve been through, it’s just so heartwarming to watch them win.

Taylor Huestis

Taylor is the Communications & Development Officer with the Nova Scotia SPCA and proud adoptive fur-parent to two cats named Bonnie and Boy (yep - that is his real name) and a palliative pup named Hazel. Connect with Taylor at thuestis@spcans.ca or 902-222-0378 today.