“Show me the cats who have been here the longest.”
When Kimberly Palmucci asked that question in a Philadelphia animal shelter in 2011, she had no idea that it would lead to her best friend—a cat named Meesta. She also never could have anticipated that these words would begin her journey as an author and ignite a lifelong mission to advocate for homeless pets.
Since adopting Meesta, Kimberly has been inspired to share a positive narrative about shelter pets and special pets. Meesta is missing his back left leg; he is a three-legged cat, active, playful, and able in every way. His resilience, strength, and indomitable spirit inspired her mission to help animals and celebrate our differences.
Kimberly is a multimedia journalist and editor. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, Dominick, their son, Cayden, and their cats, Meesta, Princess, Mayra, and Rosie.
Author Q & A
Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
I’m a mom, a wife, and a cat mom to four adopted felines! My family is my foundation; their love means the world to me, and I could not imagine succeeding in my career without their support. I am an advocate for adoptable pets and believe one person can make a world of difference. I play piano, and I feel the most grounded when I am in nature and feel especially peaceful in the forest or near mountains.
What is the most enjoyable thing you’ve found through writing?
Writing is cathartic for me. I write to express myself and connect readers to narratives of positivity. The best part has been when readers share their own stories or tell me that my books inspired them in some way. I chose reporting and authorship as my career for the same reason—I believe we each have beautiful and unique stories to share, and it’s my job to share those stories. I tell all of my readers—you matter, your voice matters, and you can inspire others with your words.
Why did you decide to write stories for children?
I chose to write stories for children because the uplifting messages enable parents and kids to start a conversation about being unique, being kind, and being unapologetically ourselves. I believe it’s important to begin this conversation at a young age when kids are most impressionable. I also love poetry and the opportunities it affords for youth engagement through rhyme scheme and other structural elements.
Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?
Not at all. For me, it’s all about using sensory language and putting a lot of thought into the themes of my books. Young minds are constantly absorbing information, and anything I introduce to them I want to convey with a narrative that is vividly relatable.
What is your favorite part of writing for young people?
Young readers are so creative and imaginative. They are open-minded, they are learning everything so quickly, and they observe the world in a way that is vastly different than we do as we get older. In my many conversations with youngsters, I’ve realized that they are also very perceptive to different themes. They are smart and they pick up on the smallest details. And they get really excited about these small details, which never fails to give me a smile that matches those on the youthful faces.
What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?
When I’m not writing, you’ll find me going on fun adventures with my son and husband, spending quality time with my cats, doing DIY projects around the house, or playing piano!
Do you have anything else to add?
I donate a portion of every book sale and will continue to do this always. As readers, every time you purchase one of my books, you are also making a donation to a nonprofit group, including local animal rescues and organizations that benefit kids! For a full list of organizations I support, click here.