Whenever Mrs BYF goes to Africa she brings me an artwork depicting an animal that is special to me. This year she brought me a carving of a meerkat. A small sentinel that now stands on the window sill beside my desk, keeping a keen lookout for danger. The little figure is on high alert and I almost expect him to squeak in warning any minute.
I had a meerkat as a pet when I was a boy, and I still cherish the memory of him sleeping in my lap like a cat, exempting me from any random chores lest it be woken and disturbed.
Mayhem happened one night when a fat, drunken guest slept over. Unbeknownst to him, the meerkat had snuggled up against his back under the blanket. The sleeping arrangement worked well until he rolled over on top of the meerkat, squeezing an amazing amount of poop from the frightened animal. There was a lot of loud, alarming noise from man and beast, and some members of the family spent a lot of time cleaning floors, walls, and bedding. The rest tried to calm the meerkat and the horrified and now stone cold sober guest. That was the hard part, and if my memory serves, guest and meerkat never shared a bed again.