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Koko’s Kitten   <  Page >

Things don’t always happen quickly where we live. Every day is full of its own activities. So it was almost six months later when Karen, one of my assistants, arrived with three kittens. The kittens had been abandoned by their mother and raised by a dog, a Cairn terrier.

Karen showed the kittens to Koko.

“Love that,” Koko signed.

As we showed Koko the kittens, she gave each one her blow test. When Koko meets a new friend, she blows in their face. I think she is trying to get a better scent. When she blows at a person, she expects them to blow back. Maybe she expected the kittens to blow back, too.

The first kitten was smoky gray and white. Koko’s blow test took him by surprise. The second kitten was a tailless gray tabby. He was also startled by the blow test. The third kitten, a brown tabby, did not react at all.

After the blow test, Koko seemed to have made some judgments about the kittens.

“Which one do you want?” we asked.

“That,” signed Koko, pointing to the tailless tabby.

Koko chooses the tabby.

Koko’s Kitten   <  Page 6  >

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