Rei(g)ning Cats and Dogs | Pet Medicine

By Kate Sebeny

Draft 1 Posted Date: 2/2/2016

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Narrative Nonfiction

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About the Book:

For the past nearly two years, I’ve been writing amusing pet essays that have appeared serially in “The Dayton Leader” newspaper. I was just starting to think about the overarching theme for the eventual compilation of stories (something a little more literary than simply “here are a bunch of funny pet stories”), when I also began a proposal for a hard-research grant. With its emphasis on the impact of companion animals on human health, the request for proposals description issued by the Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation appeared to be a perfect fit. With health issues and six pets of my own, I had the ideal sample population with which to conduct my studies. I did a great deal of research and composed an application for what would likely have been a funded project—if only I could’ve found a way to satisfy the protocol requiring I be on the staff of a university research department. My grant efforts and research were not in vain, however, since I discovered the theme of “Rei(g)ning Cats and Dogs” in the process. It is, I hope, contained within “Pet Medicine,” a two-part essay composed of “Zoonoses” and “Rescue Animals.” I would very much appreciate your thoughts about this theme and effectiveness, and your expectations for the stories that follow.

About the Author:

Kate Sebeny is the author of the recently published novella The Last Best Thing. Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Kate earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Iowa and her master’s at Iowa State University. Amongst other things, she’s taught undergraduate writing at two universities, and has been editor of a regional newspaper and at a national magazine. She is the recipient of several grants and awards for her writing. Kate has also renovated every place she’s lived, including the historical Madison County jailhouse in Winterset, Iowa. At work on a new novel and a short-story collection, she resides at her current rehab project on the Des Moines River, along with her three dogs and three cats.

Author's Note:

See also "About the Book." My primary interest with this offering is to create an overarching theme for a book comprised of amusing pet stories that is a bit more literary than "Here are a bunch of funny pet stories." How would you summarize any thematic matter you might perceive? What would you expect from the title and the stories these essays might preface?

Requested feedback Criteria: Overall Feedback, Point of View, Voice, Pacing, Setting, Continuity

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