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a special animal adoption

Elaine posted today about adopting a turkey for Thanksgiving. She posted a pic of her turkey, Pearl. Of course she isn't actually adopting Pearl, adding her to the dog and four cats. She is sponsoring her life, though. For some reason, when I saw the picture of Pearl I thought of the Meerkats, and of Mozart in particular. Last night we watched (Paul and I; Joey wasn't interested!) an episode of Meerkat Manor in which the small group of Meerkats, Starsky, lost two of its three members. Mozart is all that remains. I have bad feelings about this, about Mozart, and when I saw Elaine's post I thought about adopting Mozart.

Of course it isn't possible. But when I went looking for a picture of this brave little Meerkat and I came across a place - in California! - where there are Meerkats you can adopt. You can actually hold your meerkat. A part of this arrangement bothers me because it doesn't seem right to treat them like pets, but on the other hand these are animals that have essentially been rescued - they are old, sick, orphaned or otherwise without homes. And you don't really get to treat them like pets. The center is quite strict on what you should wear, what you have to be able to do (must be steady on your feet, must be able to sit on the ground or low branches), how you act near the meerkats. And you have to schedule visits well in advance.

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Judith Lautner
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