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.
This sweet face belongs to a little sloth at the sanctuary in the jungle near Manuel Antonio National Park. Poor baby would rather be free, I'm sure, but wouldn't survive. The protagonist, Shannon, of the Power Rising series, gets thrown in the slammer by a pair of dragonpanthers. She too, of course, preferred to be free and goes to great lengths to try to escape. Although a few animals do well in captivity, unfortunately many do not. I had the great good fortune to visit for a time with Keiko, the orca of 'Free Willy' fame, while he was temporarily housed in Oregon on his way to freedom far up north. Having also had the great fortune to help with the care of a trio of beluga whales, which were healthy and robust, I could easily tell Keiko was weak and unhealthy, a result of poor conditions at a tiny pool in Mexico. I can only imagine how freedom must have felt to him! Likewise, Juneau, the beluga whale featured in the Power Rising series, longs for freedom from captivity and Shannon fights hard to win her freedom. Shannon had no difficulty imagining how freedom would feel to Juneau . . . but that's another story.