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.
This little kinkajou lives at a wildlife sanctuary awaaay back on a dirt road in the hills above Manuel Antonio National Park where animals are brought by locals. They have been injured or have been kept as pets and can't return to the wild jungles of Costa Rica. The dragonpanthers of FireWorld in the series Power Rising are huge things, house-sized, who live in mammoth caverns--but with modern technology. Could this tiny creature live on a world with such giants? I think so. This kinkajou lives in a world with people and jaguars and wild boars. He may be hunted [and doesn't that thought make you want to cry] but his species survives. On FireWorld he'd hardly make an hors d'oevre for Roebor, who will go for bigger game when he becomes a hunter by trade ... but that story unfolds in Power Stabilized. Meanwhile, this little one is mostly safe from predators and cared for by kind folks. It's sad, though, that he must live out his life as a captive because he wouldn't make it in his natural habitat. Always the sad case with captive animals, no matter how excellent the reason for their captivity. And infinitely worse, of course, for captive people.