Since Kachina Choate finished her video production classes at Salt Lake Community College, her creative endeavors continue.
Her new children’s book, “What I Learned from My Deaf Cat,” stars her childhood cat, Catalina — or Cat for short — who was born deaf.
“She lived with us for 22 years and taught us a lot,” Kachina Choate recalls. “One thing we learned was not to take a deaf cat by surprise … if you do, you get scratched.”
While Kachina Choate drew her own illustrations in her debut children’s book, she also collaborated with her mother, Bernadine Choate, on the rest of the story.
“It was fun to collaborate on this book because it gave us another chance to revisit some of the cute and humorous things she did,” Bernadine Choate says. “It took us a while to narrow down what lessons to put in there.”
In the book, they write, “Every once in a while, take a look at things from a different point of view.” According to Kachina Choate, Cat looked at the world from several points of view.
“She liked spying on the world through holes in boxes, and she loved looking at the world upside down,” Kachina Choate says.
The mother-daughter duo goes on to detail the unique way in which Cat adapted to her surroundings while being deaf. One of the Choates’ favorite examples is the way her purring sounded almost musical.
“Since she was deaf, she had to purr extra loud to feel the vibrations, so we did get to enjoy her beautiful songs,” says Kachina Choate.
“What I Learned from My Deaf Cat” is self-published on Amazon, a common go-to for debut authors or authors who want creative control of their product.
The rise in self-publishing over the last ten years has been credited with spurring authorship and independent creativity, as reported in the University of Iowa Press. Digital technologies have made it incredibly easy and relatively inexpensive to publish a book online. Some have found massive success in the self-publishing market.
“For anyone who wants to publish a book, just do it,” Kachina Choate says. She encourages students to take classes focusing on Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop to avoid hiring a layout designer, illustrator or editor.
Cat passed away in 2009, at the dignified age of 22, five years over the life span of the average indoor cat, according to the ASPCA.
While Cat was clearly well-loved and cared for, the relationship with pets and owners is mutually beneficial, as noted by the South Boston Animal Hospital. With animals often cited as having the power to reduce stress levels and boost confidence.
“She loved people and people were drawn to her. We miss her a lot,” Bernadine Choate concludes.