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.
I took this picture at Monteverde last fall of a contemplative howler monkey. These guys really do howl, often in the early morning hours--at least around my house here on the coast of Costa Rica. I don't mind them, though, because they serve as such a nice reminder as I awake that Toto and I aren't in Kansas anymore. Actually I don't have a Toto; I have a JMack, my black cat, so named for the first letters in the names of my daughter's family of five. The 'y' is gratuitous. I relate to these monkeys because I too would like to howl sometimes, but decorum and the close proximity of the neightbors prevent me. I wanted to howl, for example, when `I couldn't get this blog up before the Friday deadline. My error or an online glitch, whatever the reason, I spent too much time trying to make it work and ended up much too frustrated to be healthy, There are, of course, much more serious things to howl about in the world. The Ukraine comes to mind. But if you need a good howl and just can't figure out how to do it [maybe in the bathroom with the door locked?], think of the howler monkeys here with me and know that they are howling for us all.