All Ball

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All Ball (c. May 1984 – December 1984) was a manx cat that was chosen as a pet by the socialized gorilla, Koko.[1] All Ball was prominently featured in the telling of Koko's relationship with the cat, Koko's Kitten.[2]


Koko's trainer, Dr. Francine Patterson, reported that in the summer of 1984 Koko asked her for a cat. For her birthday, Koko selected a gray male Manx from a litter of abandoned kittens and named him "All Ball". This breed is unusual in that it has no tail. Patterson wondered whether that influenced Koko's choice. Patterson wrote that Koko cared for the kitten as if it were a baby gorilla.


In December 1984, All Ball escaped from Koko's habitat and was hit and killed by a car. Later, Patterson said that when she signed to Koko that All Ball had gone, Koko signed "Bad, sad, bad" and "Frown, cry, frown, sad". Patterson also reported later hearing Koko making a sound similar to human weeping. Drawing upon this incident, Patterson argues that non-human species can have human-like emotions.[3]

In 1985, Koko was allowed to pick out two new kittens from a litter to be her companions. The animals she chose, later named "Lipstick" and "Smoky", were both Manx breed, as was All Ball.


  1. ^ McGraw, Carol (January 10, 1985). Gorilla's Pet : Koko Mourns Kitten's Death. Los Angeles Times
  2. ^ Patterson, Francine (1987). Koko's Kitten. Scholastic, ISBN 978-0590444255
  3. ^ Associated Press (January 10, 1985). 'Talking' Gorilla Cries After Pet Cat Is Killed. New York Times

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