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Kate was a former U.S. Secret Service agent assigned to the presidential protective detail. She broke the rules by dating a co-worker and chose to resign before she was fired. NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs made a fast move and hired Kate right after she resigned.
Kate had a great relationship with Gibbs. He was her mentor and believed she could become a great agent. Kate had a lot of respect for Gibbs, and worked well with him.
Kate and Tony DiNozzo often had arguments usually in various levels of immaturity, but they genuinely cared for each other. They themselves referred to it as a brother-sister relationship, but flirtatious and romantic interest was suggested and expressed. For example, in the episode "SWAK", Kate felt deeply upset when Tony was infected with Y. Pestis from a letter and they were forced to be in quarantine together until it was found out which of the two was infected. After Kate was found uninfected, she continued to stay with Tony, lying about her condition to him even though the risk of infection was still imminent.
Kate was also Roman Catholic and in many ways a bit prudish due to her strict upbringing. That said, she was the winner of a wet T-shirt contest in 1994 which Tony found hilarious and tormented her with. She also has a tatoo of a rose on here backside.
Not much is known about Kate's family, but she has said that she has three brothers whom she mentions are "practically psychotic" and a cousin named Maureen Ingalls. She also has a sister living in Miami to whom she does not have a close relationship with; despite listing her sister as an emergency contact, she barely returns her sister's phone calls.
She was a talented sketch artist. An early episode showed she had drawn caricatures of the team showing Tony lusting after a pretty girl and Abby as a bat. She also drew one of Gibbs as well, but managed to change the subject before it was revealed since she had also sketched an accurate likeness of a suspect. In the episode "Twilight", McGee saw her as she was drawing a new picture of Tony (this one showing him reclining in his chair and on the phone). In season three when Ziva David joins the team full time and moves into Kate's cubicle, she presents Gibbs with Kate's sketch pad. There are pictures of everyone in it, including Gibbs.
She was also skilled as a profiler and would create psychological profiles on the person being investigated. She enjoyed working on the NCIS team. Although at first she was a bit surprised by their apparent disregard for the rules and even protested it, she came to find herself bending rules like Gibbs and Tony to get the information they needed to trap some suspect or other. For example, in the episode "A Weak Link", she suggested they hack into a system to get the information they needed for a particular case.
Kate had an opportunity to kill Ari when he broke into the NCIS autopsy lab and shot Gerald, but found she was unable to do so because of the look in his eyes. Gibbs read her the riot act for this.
Kate and Tony used to gang up on McGee and tease him, although he eventually realized it was just part of being a probie. However, in season two, Kate began to have much more respect for McGee and started to treat him more kindly than in earlier episodes. Kate and Abby were best friends as they were the only two women on the regular team. They often made plans together and then would flaunt them in front of Tony to provoke him because of his nosiness and his desire to know everything about everyone.
Tony had a tendency to nose through Kate's personal effects including her mobile, PDA, and even trash which annoyed her.
Todd died in the episode "Twilight" when she was shot in the head by Ari Haswari. The remaining members of the team originally thought Ari had intended to kill Gibbs, but Ari shot and killed Todd because he wanted to cause Gibbs pain.
In the two episodes following her death ("Kill Ari": Parts 1 and 2), her teammates all started having fantasies about her and talked to her. Gibbs originally saw visions of Todd blaming him for her death, but at her funeral in "Kill Ari (Part 2)", when Gibbs looks down at her casket and sees a vision of her smiling and saying, "You're late for my funeral, Gibbs", he smiles back and realizes that Todd would not blame him for her death. She was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.