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.
On the one side here you see me tickling the fin of Keiko, of Free Willy fame. He was, you may recall, kept in a tiny pool in Mexico for years and years. His handler there at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, who had once worked with us, had allowed us up above the viewing window--up where the public was not allowed in order to interact with him. I remember Keiko as very weak at that point. He was being rehabilitated in preparation for going back to the ocean. He did well for a period of time at sea and at long last got his taste of freedom. Later, sadly, he died of pneumonia. It was very special to be able to connect with him. He did love a good rub. On the other side you see a large crocodile I photographed up on the river near the ocean town of Tortuguero. There are some big and dangerous crocs in Costa Rica. One just recently killed a fisherman near where I used to live. The locals usually know to stay away from certain rivers where they hang out, It's strange to think of such danger lurking so near where tourists are engaging in carefree recreational activities.