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I wasn’t surprised that Koko asked for a cat. I have been reading to Koko for many years and two of her favorite stories have been “Puss in Boots” and “The Three Little Kittens.”
Koko gets very involved in stories I read her. When reading the story of the three little kittens who lose their mittens, Koko sees that their mother is angry and that the kittens are crying.
“Mad,” Koko signs.
Koko loves picture books. Gorilla books are her favorites. Cat books are next. She likes to go off on her own with a book to study the pictures 6 and sign to herself.
On her birthday, I gave Koko the usual assortment of presents— apple juice, some special fruits and nuts, and a baby doll. I didn’t want to give Koko a stuffed toy cat because I knew she’d eventually destroy it.
The only durable toy cat I could find was in a mail order catalogue and I ordered it right away. It was made of cement and covered with vinyl and black velvet. I chose it because it looked real and it was sturdy—gorilla-proof. The toy cat didn’t arrive in time for Koko’s birthday, so I decided to save it for Christmas.
In December, I made a list for Koko. I drew about twenty pictures—fruits, vegetables, nuts, dolls, combs, and blankets. Every year, Koko gets a stocking and lots of presents. She loves Christmas.
“What do you want for Christmas?” I asked as I showed Koko the pictures. Koko carefully studied the booklet. Then she pointed to a doll, nuts—and a cat.
I bought Koko some nuts and a new doll. I wrapped the toy cat and put it with the rest of her presents.
The Kids4Koko Pledge
As a “Kid for Koko”, you are the key to waking people up to the importance of treating other intelligent species and our planet with love and respect, and ensuring a brighter future for all.
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