There were two farmcats that lived at the Volunteer House. Mr. K didn’t have proper names for them, only “the cautious one” and “the noisy one”. Every morning he would call them for breakfast by saying “Kokokokokoko”. Koko means “here” in Japanese. I decided that “the noisy one” could be Koko, and “the cautious one” Ko. There was never really much to say about Ko, though. She skirted around humans and only came near enough to snatch food and run away with it. Koko, on the other hand, followed us everywhere and meowed as long as she had breath. She was curious about all we were doing, greeted us on returning, and tried desperately to get into the house every time we opened the door. In short, she was a pest.
One day Mr. K came by and called “Kokokokoko” for his cats, but only Ko showed up. “Where is the noisy one?” he asked. No one had seen her that morning. We called, looked around, left food out, and waited all day for her to show up. All was quiet. I was worried about her. All of us were wondering whether she might have gotten hit by a car as some of his other cats had. Yes, she was annoying, but also cute and affectionate. When I brushed my teeth that night in silence, I wasn’t quite ready to admit that she might be gone.
It’s good that I didn’t. The next morning, on stepping outside, there was Koko whining with extra vigor from all the food she’d missed out on the day before. I scooped her up and gave her a pat, surprised by how happy I was to see her.