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, just as Shannon Kendricks has. As to encounters with alien children, as in the trilogy, 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 lives in Costa Rica with her black cat. All similarities between her cat and the trilogy's Narcissus are purely and probably coincidental.
Here are two more female sloths that I saw in Monteverde at a sanctuary. In the wild we probably wouldn't see two sloths cuddling close like these two. If you zoom in on the photo, you can see the sleepy eye of the front sloth, and right above her head is the even sleepier eye of the second one. They have been raised together at the refuge and so they're close in a way they wouldn't be in the wild. In the Power Rising series, Roebor, the dragonpanther, has flaming blue eyes unlike these. Sloths have two stomachs, I think the guide said, and digest their food veeeerrrry slowly, so that they come down from the trees to poop only once a week. Shannon has the opposite problem; her food is metabolizing so fast she fights a losing battle keeping enough food in her. In the wild we also would rarely see sloths trying to catch some shut eye with their heads so exposed. Instead they tuck them in, probably for protection. But at the sanctuary, they feel quite comfy stretching right out. Humans are generally lucky like that, too. The couch sounds good right about now.