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.
I have known these monkeys as capuchins but here in Costa Rica they are called white-faced monkeys. A reputation for being very smart and very sticky-fingered, which seems delightful unless it's YOUR car keys or passport or driver's license they have made off with. Sometimes you find them down the path, sometimes you don't. I took this photo on the Sierpe River and our guide, who was very good at animal and bird sounds, made male monkey calls to draw the monkeys down where we could see them. This fellow, in particular, was not having any of the unseen rival monkey in my kayak, thank you very much. This one leaped from a higher branch right to the lowest branch above me, with much noise and dipping of the branch. I was so startled, I leaned backward about a foot. Take a look at those teeth. If he had landed in my lap he could have done some serious damage. But he was content to sit there and let the unknown rival for his territory know he'd better move on. Which we soon did. As did he. A reminder. Cuteness does not dictate temperament. In animals or in people.