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.
This beautiful girl, Foxie, is one of the chimpanzees at the Pacific Northwest Chimpanzee Sanctuary outside of Cle Elum, Washington, where I volunteered for a time. The chimpanzees there--originally seven but now increasing in number--have previously been research subjects but are no longer wanted for that purpose. The original seven looked pretty bad when they arrived but it has been amazing to see how they've improved and become a well-adjusted group. Foxie was notable for carrying around at almost all times a little plastic doll of one kind or another. Could it have been because her baby was taken from her at the research lab? Possibly. One of the very interesting chimps there is Jamie, who was for a time, when she was young, in the company of humans. She is an incredibly smart girl, with a talent for finger-painting and a footwear fetish. Each of the chimps has its own distinct personality and it was a joy to watch them and learn. I wish I could have volunteered longer. They have a website if you'd like to look them up. On a personal note, whatever ailment I had last week, I still have. What a drag!