For Kate, a Love Story in Four Parts by Rachael Ikins

When my cat Katie died I was so distraught I gathered all the poems I had written about her over our 14 years and read them at a poetry open mic. Afterwards, people came up to me the same as if we had been at a memorial service for a human and offered condolences. One friend, a non cat person, said: “You should make these poems into a book.”

I assembled a manuscript, including an intro and epilogue aimed at spay and neuter education and submitted to Clare Songbirds Publishing House. And it was accepted! The book can be seen at and purchased there and from me. I designed a silk bookmark for folks who buy from me directly. Katie is the cat seen from the back on top and on the front cover.

The book is about love. The risk, about how animals more than any teaching is to love with our hearts wide open. It is the only way. It is about loss and the breaking of my heart those last desperate hours. But then how I learned, with her help, to go on because the love between two doesn’t stop simply because one body passes. The love lives on.I have signed so many copies to cat lovers and their feline family members. I’ve given quite a lot of readings from this book and they are always special. My veterinarian who is a part of the dedication of the book sells the book in his office as does another in another state.

So in this way, she lives still and she is out in the world helping others. I participated in an annual auction called Pawcasso by donating copies as well as artwork. Money earned there was given to an organization called Spay and Neuter Syracuse. 1800 cats who are members of low-income families received health care because of it. I also have donated some of the proceeds to the Central New York Cat Coalition. When Katie died, my vet directed me to a rescue where I met and adopted Leonard whose photo is on the book’s back cover. Not to replace Kate but because I needed his small life to help me through the first awful days. It is a small book with a great heart.

About the Author:

Rachael Ikins is a prize-winning author/visual artist who has published 8 collections of poetry and an illustrated fantasy novel. She is associate editor at Clare Songbirds Publishing House where they took a chance on her book of love poetry about her cat, Katie “For Kate, a love story in four parts”. Katie appears in Cato’s story.
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6 thoughts on “For Kate, a Love Story in Four Parts by Rachael Ikins

  1. Pingback: Review of For Kate | Writerraebeth's Weblog

  2. brendablagdon says:

    When my two cats died within days of each other, at 12 and 14 years of age, I was devastated. I wrote an essay about their life and what they meant to me. It was good therapy.

  3. RasmaSandra says:

    Katie is right there beside in spirit and thrilled to know how much you really loved her. I lost my first girl cat Cha-Cha back in 2009 and I was just devastated. She left us in January by March we were adopting a boy cat who was 4 years old and had been abused and named him Sid. This was all a long time ago in Riga, Latvia but the thing is I never could talk about Cha-Cha and then I began a blog for my cat Sid and finally in his blog as if through him he introduced the world to what could have been his half-sister and it felt good to let everyone know she had lived and had been loved. I am now in Florida and Sid is still with me and the love goes on.

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