For Dad: a road trip around New Zealand. In progress.
For Mom: New Year’s Eve in Sydney. Check.
For Delaney: a week in London. Done.
And for me…
A meerkat encounter in Wellington, New Zealand.
“It tickles, it tickles!” I quietly shrieked. Meerkats scurried underneath the sack that covered my legs. Cameras were clicking away, even from those who weren’t in the encounter. Next to me was a five-year-old girl with her grandmother, Dad to my left. We were in a cute, African-inspired enclosure filled with a mob of meerkats.
This is my version of heaven.
“Smile,” Mom said. I turned toward her and managed to get a meerkat on my lap to look at the camera. Meerkats crawled all over me, trying to eat the grass on my lap or burrow in my ears.
“Meerkats are from the mongoose family,” the zoo employee explained. I know, I thought. I also knew that they are found in Africa’s wild deserts and grow to be 9 to 12 inches…and that meerkats weigh up to 2.2 pounds, females typically larger than the males…and that a group or family of meerkats is called a mob. I knew all this from research I’d done after discovering the show Meerkat Manor. “They’ll try to burrow in your nostrils or ears if you let them,” continued the zoo keeper.
I let a meerkat play with my hair, and I rubbed one’s back. Why are meerkats just so cute? You tell me. My 30 minutes enjoying the precious meerkats ended too soon. I stood up, the meerkats jumping out of my lap. I said goodbye to all of them, not wanting it to end.
The only thing that could be better than a meerkat encounter in a zoo, is one in the African wild.