There’s Goats in Them Hills

Every year around this time, The Goats come to my area of Laguna Beach. Of course they might actually live in Laguna Beach and never leave. But this is The Season when they bring their delightful little vegetation munching selves to the hills around my house. They’re here to help prevent another fire like the one in ’93 that decimated Canyon Acres, not to mention a great portion of Laguna Beach, a conflagration that barely missed my house.Misc 020It was our house back then, when the ex was captured on Channel 7 trying to save our street, which is right off Canyon Acres. I was at work in Newport Beach watching him on TV, freaking out about my cat, Para. Had he found her? He had. She was safe in his van along with our dogs, Suki and Salem, and a few hastily grabbed items. After parking the van in the lot off Third Avenue, he and a neighbor sneaked back through the police barrier to see what they could do. I never want to go through that again.

So back to the goats. Right now they’re up above the Lesser Hill, so named by me; it’s the one that parallels Laguna Canyon Road, a wonky paved lane that takes me around 30 minutes to hike, (not The Big Hill, which takes over an hour). There’s the three-foot high plastic orange fencing you could blow over with a breath strung between flimsy metal posts and behind it the goats masticating like mad. And making human sounds. There are a couple of YouTube videos devoted to this phenomena.

All in all the goats are a trip. I watched this one goat–not the one whose picture I’ve posted–lift himself onto his hind legs to get to some tasty leaves on the lower limbs of a tree and stand there chewing until he was done. No wobbling around, no struggling to balance like I do in Warrior Three. He just stood there perfectly poised. Munching until he was done.

Fergie and Jake were absolutely fascinated by the goats. I took them all the way up to the barrier and they just stood there staring.  Dogs Who Stare At Goats.

C is For Cat

I got “Cat” from an animal shelter, a real pit of a place that broke my heart. He was a big, black and magnificent “teenager” at the time. From day one, he and I bonded. And he didn’t dig my ex, not at all, enough to take a piss on his rugby togs just before we left him. Cat and I moved to a friend’s place for a couple of weeks, then to a shitty little apartment where they didn’t allow animals. He must’ve known this because he never made a sound and only ventured out in the dead of night. Four months later, we rented a tiny subterranean jury-rigged room from a young couple in Laguna Beach who sold pot. Our last move was to the house my second husband and I bought in the same town, where I still live.

Cat and I used to play a game somewhat like the one in Peter Sellers’s movie Shot in the Dark, where his character, Inspector Clouseau instructs his manservant, Kato, to attack him unexpectedly to keep Clouseau vigilant and his combat skills sharp. Cat would hide on the staircase then pounce on me as I passed by. I’d shriek with laughter and we’d fall into a nearby chair and roll around. He never scratched or bit me.  It’s been twenty-five years since he died of leukemia.  I still miss him.