Growing up in New York City, Katherine attended Foxcroft School in Virginia. She appeared in Sports Illustrated "Faces in the Crowd" for her achievements as a member of the field hockey team.
Entering Lake Forest in 1972, she went on to win twelve letters in four years on the field hockey, basketball, and tennis teams. On the hockey field, she was the leading scorer for two years, Most Valuable Player her junior and senior years, and an All-Star for the North Central Field Hockey Association Tournament. She was top scorer and rebounder for the basketball team and the number one seed on an undefeated tennis team. Her highest achievement, however, was her tennis victory over her cousin, Barclay Taliaferro, who was the top woman tennis player in the upper midwest collegiate region.
After graduating with a degree in psychology, Kitty became a successful varsity softball coach for Madison High School and married classmate James Palmer '76. She was also coach of the varsity field hockey team at Guilford High School and led her team to the Connecticut State Championship title in 1991. Kitty teaches paddle tennis at Madison Racquetball Club and, with her partner, was ranked as the number two doubles team in New England. She has been ranked as high as 6th nationally in singles competition.