Prone to roam

seabolt goat
Kymberly Seabolt's goat, Buttercream, is a known escape artist. (Submitted photo)

His official name is Kai Lumierre Seabolt. So of course we call him “Kahlua.” We agonized over what to name this fluffy ball of cute kitten when he adopted us a few years ago.

It took ages for GirlWonder to decide on his name, only to have us eventually call him everything but his name. Additional alter egos include but are not limited to: “Lewis,” “Louie Lou” and “Zooms.” He is a cat with more identities than lives. It works out fine since he answers to precisely NONE of them.

Nova Grace Seabolt is our darling terrier/torpedo mix dog. She is generally known as “Nov,” “Novie” or “Nova Scotia” for reasons that make zero sense. When she’s really being a diva, she goes by “Nova Grace Seabolt Mcgullicutty Smith” — again no reason other than it sounds like the kind of fussy maven she is. She knows if I use her full name, I mean business. She isn’t going to change her behavior one bit, but she KNOWS.

Our Shih Tzu is “Jackson Jagger Jones Seabolt.” He is precious and basically goes by names such as “my baby” and “mama’s boy” when not being “Jack Jack” or “Big Jack Attack.” The latter is purely so he can keep his street cred.

Buttercream, our goat, is alternately known as “Butternut” or “Sour Cream” depending on what kind of mischief she’s getting up to. Her nickname may also be “Prison Break” or “Houdini” since she makes escaping the pasture the core of her identity.

Honestly, with our penchant for nicknames, our children are lucky to have emerged with only BoyWonder and GirlWonder to contend with. Still, no matter what we are calling them, I get more hits on my writing when one of my animals runs amok than I do when I win “major awards.”

Last week, I was minding my business, sipping my coffee at dark o’clock in the morning, enjoying the peace and quiet when a “there is someone at your door” notice popped up on my mobile phone doorbell camera monitor.

What? Why was there someone at my door at such an early hour? I checked the footage, and lo and behold, there was indeed “someone” at our door — one very inquisitive goat. She seemed to be saying “Yo, you up?”

This goat! I put her back in the pasture and really enjoyed my own trek across the backyard in my PJs, thank you very much. She was back on the porch mere minutes after I sat back down with my coffee and two very incredulous dogs.

Acres. Her pasture, it should be noted, is a LOVELY space. This goat has acres of wooded and shaded fenced area.  A creek runs through it. Her deer friends often show up to amble around with her. On any given day, a half dozen or more deer are just hanging out in our pasture. She even has a heated barn.

With all this catering and comfort, she makes it her mission in life to LEAVE that nirvana every chance she gets. The thing is, how?

We have to set up a sting operation to figure out how she keeps escaping her pasture. We put her back in the fence and hide around the corners or in the house trying to see her in the act of escape. She stares calmly and seemingly DIRECTLY INTO OUR EYES from across the yard as if she knows we are there, watching.

We finally give up the goat, so to speak, and go back to our lives. Within moments, she is once again wandering the yard like a feral cat.

I like to consider myself a competent and fairly intelligent person. How am I being outwitted by livestock so regularly?

When I refused to let her wander through the front door like a distinguished visitor, she casually strolled around the front porch like she owned our place. I suppose since we work to feed, house, clothe (yes, really) and provide medical care for her, in some sense she does. I often mutter “I live to serve” as I cater to the needs and whims of animals around here.

As I sip my early morning coffee and await the pitter-patter of little hooves on the porch, I proudly use a coffee mug that says “I work hard so my dog can have a better life.” It seems as if the inclusion of goats and cats is obviously implied.


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