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"Bewilderness - Reality Fiction Bred While Working in Animal Shelters" by Kathleen Brown
Told with curiosity and a deep concern for reciprocity, Brown’s unique stories reveal mysteries that are colorful and complex. 

“It’s a delight to read! I recognize many of the characters/situations. Educational in a fun way.” 

— Deb Campbell, Volunteer Coordinator,
San Francisco Animal Care


Some things you didn’t want to know about working in an animal shelter.

Many things you ought to know.

More than a few things you need to know.

Human Animals Carry Deep Ambivalence Toward Other Animals 

One major thing: We eat them. We also hunt them, ride them, stuff them, wear their fur, walk on their skin, live with them, train them and display them; we dominate them for our benefit, humanize and demonize them. And many of us, through all of this, say we love them. 


When framed by love and awe, animals and humans can thrive in our unique entanglements. Our corporeal teachers, animal beings open our senses of sight, smell and touch, offering gifts of mutual recognition, regard and empathy. Making connections in jumps and starts, we humans are just beginning to consider the valuable perspectives, intelligence and agency of more-than-human beings.


From gangster to opera star, Vietnam veteran to Nob Hill lady, academic to meth addict, our lives intersect with animals’ lives in cities, towns and rural areas. The encounters in this collage of tales highlight the vulnerability of being present with and for animals at intersections where there are few traffic signals. 

Kearns, Howard & Walker Publisher


(Find your local independent book seller)

Support Your Local Animals and Animal Shelter

After expenses, all proceeds from sales of book will go to the following animal shelters:

Author Kat Brown | photo by Devi Pride

About the Author 

Writer and poet Kat Brown worked in Bay Area animal shelters for more than thirty years. It is her life’s work to bring these stories and essays forward for public (re)view. 


In these times of incursion into the wild, mass extinctions and habitat destruction, she finds this work more important than ever before. 

Photo by Devi Pride

Contact & Events


Thanks for submitting!


Book launch and celebration for Bewilderness will be on February 4th, 2023 at the Capitola Rec Center, 4400 Jade Street, Capitola, from 2-4 pm. Light snacks. And some surprise special guests!

Due to Covid and other respiratory illness sensitivity, masks will be required indoors but the space extends to an outdoor patio.

Sign up for updates and more future events.

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