Got any love to spare?

Toula Foscolos
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A plea to save Kathy Biever's pets

Tennis star Arthur Ashe once said:"From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life". If one were to evaluate a person's existence by that adage, NDG resident, Kathy Biever has created quite a life for herself.

A former ballerina, Kathy toured the world, gracing the stages with her impeccable technique and grace, until she was wooed by the Grands Ballets Canadiens in 1972 and decided to make Montreal her home. Eventually she became a dance teacher and taught across North America for 18 years until a knee surgery forced her to slow down. In 1992 she went back to school to get a degree in special-care counselling and became a foster parent. She would go on to foster seven kids and adopt one.

But Kathy had love to spare and she started adopting stray animals, among them Tripod, a three-legged German Shepherd and a black one-eyed cat, who, despite their imperfections, were perfect in every way to their new owner. "It's just the way my heart works," she tells me softly. Kathy would go on to save countless abandoned cats – all in good health and comfortable with both kids and dogs. "They've always provided me with a warm and fuzzy kind of love," she gushes.

For the first time in her life, circumstances have reversed themselves and the person who so willingly and generously gave to so many, is now in the unfortunate position of needing the help of others. Kathy is in the hospital with terminal brain cancer and her prognosis is not good. She is making a desperate plea to all our readers to adopt her animals and give them a home. "They’ve been so happy with me and have been such a comfort to me; I just want them to have a good home," she explains.

Her friend and fellow volunteer at the SPCA Monteregie, a no-kill animal shelter, Angela Hunter, describes Kathy as an "unbreakable spirit, a woman with an unmatched zest for life and an open door policy on helping any living creature".

Some of Kathy's neighbours have stepped up and adopted some of her animals, but time is running out and it's clear that nothing would give Kathy more peace of mind than to know that all her animals will be taken care of, when she's no longer here.

As a journalist, I am obliged to cover the stories that make front page news, but as a community journalist, I know it's the humble happenings and the everyday choices that people make, which don't always grab the headlines, that make a community what it is. It's the ordinary acts of kindness that define who we are and what we're made of. Love of any kind –particularly the warm and fuzzy kind—is worth writing about. If you would like to adopt one of Kathy's animals, please call 514-489-5174 during the day. Please don't leave a message if you get a voicemail.

Organisations: Grands Ballets Canadiens

Lieux géographiques: Montreal, North America

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