Like her protagonist Shannon Kendricks, Cathy Parker is an attorney. She volunteered as a zoo keeper's aide for eight years and did have a very special beluga buddy, Mauyak. As to encounters with alien children, she is not saying. She was also a radio and print journalist and once was the 'Jill of all trades' for a small satellite paper in Wyoming. She did everything from taking to the photos to writing the articles and op-ed pieces to helping with layout and hauling the newspapers through blizzards once a week. As a result, she saw lambs being born and went on a cattle drive and ate her first (and last) Rocky Mountain Oyster. She has seen mountain gorillas in the wild in Rwanda and orangutans in Borneo and even rocked an orphaned baby orangutan to sleep on her chest. She has volunteered with a chimpanzee sanctuary for former research subjects. So you can see where her heart lies. Currently she is happy at home with her black brindle mastiff and her black cat. All similarities between her cat and Narcissus are purely and probably coincidental.
Shannon, the protagonist in the Power Rising series encounters many exotic creatures--not to mention a confused shark--in her quests, some with pretty disastrous consequences for her. On our own lovely planet, we have plenty of exotic creatures of our own. Here is a white-faced capuchin monkey I photographed, of which there are plenty in Costa Rica where I live. This one appears to be giving her little baby--a very young one--a bath. She lives in Manuel Antonio National Park, which I visited last week, but they also scamper about on my roof with some frequency. I understand they are very bright little guys as well as little thieves and scamps. We have all seen them as petite captives on television and in the movies. That, of course, is not where they belong, no matter how cute, or pet-like, or human-like they might seem. Seeing them in their natural habitat--that's the ticket. Unlike some of their fellow monkey species, the white-faced capuchins of Manuel Antonio, don't shy away from interacting with humans--usually to steal something or take food. But we pass human bacteria to them with our food, so if you have the tempting opportunity sometime to feed a monkey--don't: you might be killing it. Let's celebrate that beautiful baby instead.