On a particularly cold winter night, Renfrew County resident Lisa Mathieu welcomed a stray cat into her home. Little did she know the cat was about to have kittens, and the feline family would spend their first night on Lisa’s wedding gown. 

Lisa says that she and her husband realized the stray was pregnant after sneaking her past their other furry family members to a private bedroom to get some rest. 

“She looked like she was going to burst, but there were no tell-tale signs that she was going to have these kittens anytime soon,” says Lisa. 

Before animal control services could pick up the cat and take her to the Ontario SPCA Renfrew County Animal Centre, Lisa discovered a big surprise in her guest room closet. 

“She gave birth on my wedding dress train,” Lisa says. “My husband and I are laughing. We just didn’t care; I was so happy for her.” 

Lisa stayed up through the night to support however she could and called animal control services first thing in the morning. Soon, mom and her kittens were brought to the Ontario SPCA Renfrew County Animal Centre for assessment.  

The birth had gone well, and the cat had successfully delivered seven kittens. However, she had a moderately high fever and was very dehydrated. April Sereda-Ashcroft, a Registered Veterinary Technician with the Ontario SPCA, stepped in immediately and brought the cat, now given the name “Bride,” to a local veterinary partner. Bride was assessed and given subcutaneous fluids and antibiotics. 

“We knew they’d have to go out to a foster home. I kind of put my hand up because I love kittens,” says Lea Thompson, a long-time volunteer at the Renfrew County animal Centre.  

Over the next few days, April visited Lea’s home to check on Bride and provide fluids. Within 36 hours, the antibiotics began kicking in. Three days later, Bride was gaining energy and being an attentive mom.  

“She was sweet and loving and trusting right from the beginning,” says Lea. “She was a very good patient.”  

At eight weeks old, the kittens returned to the animal centre and were adopted within a few days. At the end of February, Bride also found her forever family.  

“I can only imagine what would have happened to this cat if the centre wasn’t there,” says Lea. 

Lisa is thrilled that Bride and her kittens are thriving in their forever homes. She adds that salt and peroxide have nearly restored her wedding dress. 

Thanks to the compassion of Lisa, the Town of Petawawa Animal Control Services, dedicated volunteer fosters Lea & Doug, local veterinary hospital professionals and our Ontario SPCA Renfrew County Animal Centre, Bride and her kittens have been given the second chance that they deserve. 

Saying “I do” but want to help the animals, too? You can help provide shelter and care to animals in need by giving back on your big day. Learn more here! 


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