Just call me “K.K.” –
From the time I was a child, I lived a very isolated, sheltered life, away from interactions with other children, on a small farm. I learned how to listen, understand, and communicate with animals from all my time spent watching and interacting with them. Animal behavior became so much easier and made much more sense to me than that of my human counterparts. Imagine spending seven months of your life locked in a room with a cat, not seeing people. You would learn a lot about communicating with animals when they are your only friends. I joke that I was raised by wolves, but in fact, that’s not too far off!
As a child, I would load up on books at the library to read about animals, often in anticipation of adding a new species to my family of friends. I wanted to be as knowledgeable as possible before taking on the care of something I was not familiarized with. As I saw the drastic differences in animal behavior from that of humans, I became intrigued with psychology, and began studying that as well. I also was fascinated with neuroscience, and studied the connection between the two, trying to unlock the mysteries of nature vs nurture. This led me to eventually becoming certified with the California Mind Institute, and certified in applied animal behavior with the University of Washington.
Having a healthy, balanced and symbiotic relationship with your flock is something that I found not only important, but instrumental in being able to save all their lives with little time to think, when my city became engulfed in flames during the Camp Fire in Paradise. I was able to cage, kennel and trailer load every animal on my farm, by myself, and flee with them to safety. I cannot emphasize the importance of having cages and trailers, and animals that trust you and that are manageable when a disaster strikes. It’s important to me that I am run to, not away from. Now, after the Camp Fire disaster, I’ve relocated to Washington, bringing all my animals with me.
I have had my animals born into my hands, and I have held them in my arms as they took their last breath, comforting them as old age and sickness took their toll. I currently have a farm in the Seattle area, home to my horse, goats, dogs, chickens, geese, finches, and my parrot.
My hobbies include breeding mini dairy goats, medieval combat on horses (I was trained by the best!), riding and carting horses, skateboarding, writing music, and finding ways to solve all the problems of the universe in my spare time. – KK