I have a rule: I don’t do memes

Well, it’s more of a guideline, really. Nick obliged his taggers by revealing eight things (actually I think he wrote about nine) that most people don’t know about him – and it was a really interesting read. Thanks Nick!

I’m nowhere near as interesting as he is, but he did tag me with a request to hear the “Why Goatlady” story, so here it is… minus the seven other things.

It’s simple really. I like goats. When I was younger, my family lived on 5 acres in a semi-rural area and we inherited a lovely milking goat named Megan-Morgan from some neighbours. Although originally named Morgan, these previous owners hadn’t thought that was an appropriate name for a nanny. The problem was she responded to both names, so they both stuck.

Here’s a photo of Megan with her twin kids, Butch and Cassidy (that’s one of my horses, Smelly Melly, in the background):

Megan-Morgan the goat

To get our poor nanny goat “serviced”, we took her in the back of a Mitsubishi starwagon to an Angora stud. On the way we got dinner at a McDonalds drive-through. Much predictable hilarity ensued.

I had to deliver one of the kids (nope, no idea which was which, but it was the one born second) because Megan was so exhausted after the first one she gave up halfway through pushing it out, and it’s little head was buried in the sand where it lay. I had to pull the little bugger out and break open the birth sac and pull some muck out of it’s mouth so it could breathe. I was all by myself at the time and pretty impressed with myself for managing with almost no animal husbandry experience. I still remember feeling its little heart beating frantically through its ribcage, all covered in slimy warm amniotic fluid.

The kids were cross-bred Angoras, and as they were both males they were unfortunately completely useless for anything except eating. To make things worse, because we didn’t bud their horns in time, they grew huge honking antlers which they mostly used to terrorize each other with. But because they were such pets and we were most definitely not farmers, we could never bring ourselves to give them over to the slaughterhouse. Eventually a somewhat crazy friend took them down to her farm as pets.

Being the lactose-intolerant member of the family, it was my responsibility to milk Megan-Morgan each night and while I’m sure my mum took on the duty many more times than she would have liked, I think I was pretty good at making sure I was home for that job each day (I also had to feed my horses) – not bad for a 14, 15 and 16 year old who had friends with cars!

We constantly had more milk than we could use, which meant the dog drank big bowls of it, all our friends and neighbours drank it, the freezer was full of it, and every now and then we’d try to make stuff out of it. Mum bought some culture once to make cheese, but accidentally used one that was designed for creating desserts… needless to say no one really wanted to try the pink feta! My brother and a family friend who lived with us at the time actually thought they were drinking cows milk… not knowing mum used to fill up the plastic bottles in the fridge each morning.

Eventually we moved back to the suburbs and Megan-Morgan went to live with some other lovely people on a farm.

Years later, knowing my nostalgia for our capricious friends, an ex-boyfriend brought me another dairy goat for a Christmas present. He came down from Pinjarra in the car with Kai, as this goat was called – sitting on her haunches in the back seat of our old LTD, with her front legs on either side of the centre console, looking with some concern out of the front window (especially when going down hills).

Kai the inner-city goat

The problem was, we lived in Mt Lawley at the time (a quite nice inner-city suburb for those not familiar with Perth). Although the garden was large and Kai spent most of her days on a long tether rope under a large shady tree with the garage for shelter – quite appropriate lodgings for a goat and a much nicer home the dairy farm she’d come from – the council disagreed. According to various archaic bylaws, in order to house a goat you needed a structure of particular dimensions (smaller than the area she had), with a concrete floor sloping at a particular angle toward a drain to catch waste. Which sounded stinky and unpleasant, and the last thing I would wish on any living creature.

After 12 months I gave up arguing with them and we gave her to a friend’s dad, who put her on his farm in Baldivis. He wanted to keep the property but his wife wanted to sell it, so he was thrilled when Kai – being a somewhat stroppy goat to start with, and having much less interaction with humans since living on this on this largely unoccupied farm – started chasing and headbutting potential purchasers who came to inspect the property.

So essentially, my nickname is Goatlady because, given enough space and without suitable sensible influences, I would quite happily become the Crazy Goat Lady of <insert location here>.

~ by goatlady on January 24, 2008.

10 Responses to “I have a rule: I don’t do memes”

  1. Oh wow, you saved a kid! That is so much cuter and cooler than my saving a chick story πŸ˜€ (I had to help by pulling the egg shell off.. Well I thought I did, it was taking wayyy to long!)

    We had male angora goats in Bridgetown, but I think all goats are cool!

    p.s. is this a new 2008 rule? Seeing as you did an eight things meme in July :p

  2. well, I did say it was more of a guideline…

  3. Oh, right, yeah. Anyway, rules are there to be broken…occasionally πŸ˜€

  4. And I thought that was a heavy metal reference.

  5. You have space, well a little bit, so are you getting some goats…:)

  6. @Doug – well there’s that too. Mostly it just sounds cool πŸ™‚

    @Gary – I have discussed this with Dave, the “sensible influence” that I referred to, especially as you can now get miniature goats. However my requests have been denied 😦

  7. I can’t actually believe that you had a female goat with my name πŸ™‚

  8. Don’t worry Kai, she was a cutie!

    Actually I used to know a Japanese chick with the same name too πŸ™‚

  9. Just reading this again… the Japanese chick with the same name, was she also a cutie? πŸ™‚

  10. Also? As in, as cute as Kai the goat, or as cute as you? πŸ˜€

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