It may be a visual pun on her surname, since the Greek for ermine or stoat is galay.
Then she came to a heap of stones, and there stood a stoat and peeped out.
A stoat had passed him with its mouth too full to snap—and all within two fields.
Like so many other animals, the stoat appears at times to migrate, which it does in large parties.
The stoat came from a tree which was even more decrepit than the chestnut.
In poultry-yards the stoat is sometimes terribly mischievous.
The stump was an ideal nursery; as such the stoat had employed it.
And Lady Highford, as she read the news, clenched her pointed teeth, and gave a little squeal like a stoat.
But Adams had no more pity or compunction in his mind than if Meeus had been a stoat.
He came pressing up alongside his enemy—insistent, clinging, ruthless as a stoat.
mid-15c., stote, "ermine in its summer coat of brown," of uncertain origin. The word bears resemblance to Old Norse stutr "bull," Swedish stut "bull," Danish stud "ox," but the sense is difficult unless a common notion is "male animal."