Koko the gorilla was given a box of kittens for her birthday

As a person who recently had a birthday, I can say with absolute certainty that there’s no greater gift than an adorable kitten . . . unless maybe it’s a WHOLE BOX full of kittens. Obviously. This is pretty much a universal truth. And by universal, we mean even across species, as a new, BEYOND adorable video posted to Facebook proves all too well.

The occasion was Koko’s 44th birthday. Koko happens to be a gorilla, a super genius gorilla, and she also happens to be a cat lover. Big time, you guys. Koko lives at the Gorilla Foundation in Redwood City, California, and we have to say . . . the staff there knows how to throw a birthday bash. Their party game is on point. So are their language skills. Throughout Koko’s life, she’s been taught to understand over 2,000 English words and can even communicate with her trainers using over 1,000 signs of what the Gorilla Foundation calls “Gorilla Sign Language” (GSL). One of these signs means “cat,” and way back in 1983, Koko put it to good use when she asked for a kitten for Christmas. (Total cat lover, remember?)

At first, her trainers gave her a stuffed animal. But like the generations of human kiddos who’ve been victims of the same stunt pulled by their parents, Koko wasn’t satisfied. She wanted the real deal. She wouldn’t even play with the stuffed cat. Then she signed the word “sad.” REPEATEDLY. (Our hearts!) So on her following birthday, she was allowed to choose a kitten from a litter of babies. Koko’s first cat was named All Ball, and she cared for the kitten as though it were a tiny baby gorilla. When All Ball sadly died, Koko was devastated. 

For her 44th birthday, the staff at the Gorilla Foundation once again surprised Koko with a box of kitties. This time, she was allowed to choose two. And you guys, wait until you see the moment she sees the kittens for the first time. It’s absolutely precious.

Just to be clear, Koko knows exactly what’s going on here. While she’s looking at her kittens, she signs the word “cat” followed by the word “baby.” And then we all cried buckets full of tears.

If you’re worried about the kittens Koko didn’t choose, don’t be. According to the Gorilla Foundation’s Facebook page, all the kitties have been adopted into good homes. Ms Grey and Ms Black, the two kittens she picked, will live out their lives as members of Koko’s family.

BRB crying.

[Images and video via Facebook.]