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 always loved volunteering with animals, which is why I have volunteered for the Humane Society, the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and the zoo, for example, over the course of decades. It is usually because I must move to a new city that I have switched volunteer opportunities. And I have never minded getting my hands dirty in the process. At the zoo, where I was a zoo keepers' assistant rather than a docent, I shoveled musk ox doo doo [shaped like milk duds], cleaned out the rotten fish and oysters from the otters' enclosure [stank to high heaven], and washed down the belugas' pool with chlorine. My zoo clothes sported perpetual white chorine stains. But my daughter, who is a chip off the old block, goes above and beyond, I think. This cute girl, Tink, is the newest addition of her four dogs from an organization that takes in old dogs for their last forever home. Several of her dogs are diabetic, several are blind, one is deaf. Several have eye problems. It's tough duty. But she gives the shots and the eye drops and the pills every day, is often up in the middle of the night. This is what I call hardcore volunteering. [Tink's mouth is closed; her tongue just always hands out the side like that.]
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