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.
To the one side you see a neat iceberg I saw up in Glacier Bay in Alaska. It looks to me just like an idealized form of a tree you might find in an art project. To the other side you see me scratching the pectoral fin of Keiko, of Free Willy fame, who had willingly lifted it up where I could get a good scratch going. At the time, Keiko was in transit from the rotten zoo in Mexico that had housed him to a life of freedom in the far north. One of his trainers had smuggled several of us onto the upper deck where the public was not allowed. I will never forget the moment the night before when I went with the trainer to his office, which had its own window facing into the pool. It was dark so he turned on his light. I was looking at the window, which was pitch black, when out of the darkness rose the huge head of Keiko, who was curious to see what was going on where the light had appeared. It was an awesome sight. Keiko was still pretty weak when we visited, a left over from the tiny tank he lived in in Mexico that afforded him no exercise. I'm so glad they got him out of there and that he would later taste the freedom of swimming wherever he wanted, however far he wanted, whenever he wanted. Freedom is a precious thing.
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