National Geographic : 1985 Jun
On Assignment tiCAT RED. Gorilla me Koko." That is what Koko-a 230 pound gorilla versed in American Sign Language-signed when Dr. Francine "Penny" Patterson (be low) showed her pictures of kittens drawn by California schoolchildren. They were pre views of Koko's new kitten, a red mackerel-tabby Manx donated by breeder John Markley to replace Koko's first pet, tailless All Ball, killed by a car at Christmastime. An unlikely couple, Koko and All Ball had stolen hearts by the mil lions when they were introduced in our January 1985 issue. When All Ball's death was widely reported in the news media, millions shared Koko's loss. But Koko twirled with happiness in late March when the new kitten arrived at the Gorilla Foundation in Woodside, California. Her stuffed cat toy still underfoot, Koko enter tained the kitten with a doll's bottle (right). Tickled by his tiny claws, she seemed greatly amused as he crawled on her stomach (bottom right). She often signs "baby" while cradling him.