The white kitten squirmed against Neema's chest and mewed softly. The gorilla bent and brushed it with her lips, and then set it carefully on the floor. Next, she gently plucked a calico kitten from the basket and lifted it for a kiss.
What color that cat? Grace signed.
Grace frowned and spoke while signing simultaneously. "It's not time for your nest now. Not time for sleeping. It's morning," she said, gesturing a sunrise. "What color is that cat? Blue? Red?"
"You want to take the cat to your nest?" Grace asked. "You want to sleep with that cat?"
Grace sighed. "Talk now," she insisted. "You must answer when I ask you a question. What color is that cat?"
Grace gritted her teeth. Neema could be incredibly stubborn, especially when she was bored with answering routine questions.
"Yellow? Green? Brown?" Grace persisted, flashing signs one after another.
"Dr. McKenna," Josh interrupted from the doorway. "Take a look at Neema's nest."
Grace glanced at him over her shoulder, then turned and studied Neema's nap area in the corner. She'd created a gorilla sleeping nest, but instead of using leaves and grasses as she would in the wild, she'd used an old black rug, a white blanket, and a few orange and yellow towels.
Black. White. Orange. A calico nest. Turning back, Grace regarded the calico kitten in Neema's hands.
"And some people think apes are slow," Josh said dryly.
Neema echoed, signing slow.
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