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When Adrian was about six months old, beginning to move around on the floor, and putting everything in his mouth, I caught him sucking on carpet tassels. Since then, we’ve had a no-shoes-in-the-house rule, and now, the very idea of wearing shoes in indoors kind of disgusts me. Ironic, in light of the fact that we’ve been living with four goats in the house for the past six weeks.

We don’t have a livestock guardian dog yet, so we can’t leave our goats outside safely at night. (Coyotes would find them tasty.) To protect them and make bottle feeding easier on us, the only logical place to put them was on our screened porch.

I covered the floor with a huge tarp and spread two bales of white shavings on top of it. This formed the very large litterbox in which they live. During the day, they go outside, which means they need to walk from their temporary home through the living room, dining room, kitchen, and mud room, to the door that is closest to their pen.

Goats in the house!

Rhea, Calypso and Pan walking
through the living room

What happens in the process is that wood chips stick to their feet and get dragged into the house. And of course, the thing that makes the wood chips stick to their feet in the first place is, well, poop.

So, for the past month and a half, I’ve had poopy little goat feet treking across the floor of our house and have had to numb a large part of myself to make that possible. At least I could control when the goats were in the house and make sure they got to the back door as efficiently as possible, right?

Wrong. Pandora, who used to stick her head through the cat door and use it as a sort of intercom, figured out how to come into the house that way.

Goats are smart. Maybe too smart. Ours are a cross between standard Nubians, which are not known for their intelligence, and Nigerian Dwarfs, which are veritable goat Einsteins. Some say that “a fence that won’t hold water won’t hold goats,” and that is especially true of smart goats. We’re going to have to keep an eye on that Pandora.

Pandora stepping through the cat door.

Pandora climbs through the cat door
Pandora enters the living room through the cat door
Pandora checks out the living room, while her
admiring herd mates look on and take notes