The team involved in these books changed over time. On this page we are taking up one of the most important latter members of the team. See below.
Before anyone dismisses this page as sentiment, understand it is not. There is way more here than sentiment.
This page has to do with a small black street cat that adopted the author in Sydney. He named her Kuro because she was black. Kuro means black in Japanese. And because she also looks Asian, Nick refers to her as Kuro Chan. Chan is Japanese that means Miss. The author lived in Japan for ten years prior to meeting Miss Kuro, or Kuro Chan.
They got on well, and the author had no real pets since childhood. Nick enjoyed caring for his new freind. This became a fascinating relationship, as it opened up a study of life and experience that the author had no idea truly existed.
It did not take long for the author to wonder what really was life, and how did animals persevere so well? The author wrote Kuro into several of the later books in the Sequetus Series. He could see many human emotions in his cat.
There was gratitude, jealousy, companionship, thankfulness, forgiveness and a lot more. And towards other animals, such as birds and dogs there might be animosity, hate and fear. There were so many recognizable emotions that the author realized these emotions were not human at all. They were life emotions. So he wondered if all life possessed them, even possibly plants. And if so, then what was life? It seemed to imbue not only our bodies, but the bodies of other organisms. All these concepts and discoveries are expounded in the later Sequetus Series books in the Earth Syndrome Miniseries.
It became an interesting time. The author found others over time has wondered the same. For example, the author had also read about animals learning tasks and as soon as a sizable number of a population had learned them, so did others that were never taught. This is written as the 100th Monkey by Ken Keyes Jr. and was noticed between 1952 to 1958.
Nick and Kuro got on well, and traveled tens of thousands of kilometers together by car and plane.
The author was especially intrigued that he could carry a conversation on with his Kuro. She had all the attributes of intelligent communication and would acknowledge his spoken words with a meow back. Often this talk-meow too and fro would continue a dozen times.
Kuro also had set behavior patterns, such as manners. She had certain manners that other cats did not process.
And when the author met other black cats he found he could speak with them as though they were Kuro, and they would stop and then answer as though they were Kuro. They certainly seemed to know he was a freind. This happened in Sydney. And even in the Himalayan jungle a black cat came out and begged to be let into Nick’s hotel room. It acted as though it believed it lived there too, along with the real Kuro.
This was fascinating. Here was the concept that animals were run by a common life force that threaded its way through an entire species, and not a separate force for each living animals. Ants as a nest were one life, a flock of birds might be overseen by a large independent life, and so on. Nick started to experiment with this, with crows in Nepal, and magpies in Australia. He found that both bird sub species had set funeral rites, for example. Crows also protect other birds and have a high awareness. Nick also noticed that if you made a freind of one member of that bird subspecies, others of the subspecies were soon also your freind.
Kuro taught the author a lot, and the author put what he learned to use in his science fiction stories.