28 October 2018

Got His Goat

A few years back, Alien Boy briefly owned a goat named Oliver Twist. I say "owned" with some looseness, though. First of all, you don't really own an animal if you're Alien Boy. It owns you. Secondly, I recently learned the full story of this hircine acquisition, and....well. How can I say this delicately?

It turns out my boyfriend once stole a goat.

No, it wasn't a fraternity prank, either. He just flat-out yoinked a goat.

Now. Before I make him out to be some sort of professional goat-rustler, poacher, or outright felon, let me explain. This goat was one of a small herd at a local business establishment. Said establishment apparently kept the goats for novelty. They weren't even really a petting-zoo type of establishment. The goats were just....lawn ornaments, corralled in a small pen. To this day neither of us understands it, really, particularly given the specifics of the business. Anyway. Behold, this small array of goats. Behold, Alien Boy partaking of the offerings of this business. Behold, Alien Boy being the most sentimental animal-lover ever to exist in this dimension or any other, sidetracking towards the goats to say hello. And say hello he did, for long enough to notice that one of the goats seemed unwell.

Being a good Alien Boy and aforementioned adorer of Animals, All Sorts, he notified the owners of said business. "One of your goats is ill. He needs attention and possibly a visit to the vet."

The business owners seemed unimpressed with this observation.

Several weeks later, Alien Boy once again visited this establishment, partly for its advertised purpose, but mostly (to be perfectly honest) to visit the goats. His friend was now quite ill. So he approached the business owners again. "Your goat is still very, very sick. I'm really worried about him."

No particular response, and no action. A few nights later, on passing the business, the goat was still there, and still quite obviously not thriving.

So Alien Boy hatched a plan. He borrowed a friend, and her truck, and under cover of darkness, they....shall we say liberated the goat, and brought it back with them. A visit to the vet confirmed that, yes, the goat was in dire straits and not likely to live. Being who he is, my beloved partner brought the goat into his home.

And I mean into his home.

Oliver Twist
Oh, yes. Yes he did. It quickly became clear that he would not be nursing his new-found friend back to health, but rather making his last days comfortable and filled with love.

And friends, filled with love it was. Oliver Twist slept wrapped in towels by the fire, handfed the finest grass and maple leaves the abundant yard could provide. Towards the end, when he was unable to muster much of an appetite, Alien Boy played him classical music on the CD player, which believe it or not actually worked. Only when listening quietly to his favourite composers could Oliver Twist summon the energy to eat.

Sadly, Oliver Twist was not long for this world. He never got to live outside the way most goats do, for it was a chilly spring when he came home to live with Alien Boy. He is buried out in the backyard now, with the bell from his collar to mark his grave under the maple tree that nourished him. And a week after he died, the friend who helped save him brought over a hand-felted replica of Oliver Twist, who now resides atop the mantelpiece clock.

How he would like to be remembered
This story, though, does not have a sad ending. Oliver Twist may no longer be with us (which, frankly, the cats are pretty relieved about, as uncertain as they were about sharing their domicile with something hooved. And let's face it, those diamond pupils are pretty creepy to see staring at you when you get up to pee in the middle of the night.) but the memory of his suffering is much redeemed by the vision of my beloved partner tying on his metaphorical superhero cape in the dark of night and going off into the wilds of suburban New Jersey to abscond with some livestock. And then bringing it home, and not only letting it inside, but letting it on the couch with him while he watched The Rachel Maddow Show.

Truth be told, I'm kind of sad I wasn't able to go along on the rescue mission. Because that would have been an awesome thing to add to my resume.

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