Saturday, August 27, 2011

Memories of Mae

In memory of Mae Baby, May 6, 2011 to August 26, 2011

May 6, 2011, about 11:30am, my Mae baby was born. Extra little, she was the daughter of Bates and Buster, the poor inbred little lamb. Bates didn't want her, she barely even started to clean her. We had to hold her down to allow Mae to feed. When it was decided for sure that Bates didn't want her, I adopted her.

Naturally, not being a sheep, she couldn't feed from me, but boy did she try! She tried my neck, my chin, my armpits, my knee caps, you name it! It took her a while to latch onto feeding from her bottle. Or maybe she's just not a drinker....

Her first few days, she was a funny little thing. She would wake up in the middle of the night and not go back to sleep, even after eating a little, so I brought her into bed with me and she was fine.

And sometimes during the day, she wouldn't quite know what to do with herself, so she put herself in time out....
She could be found chilling out quite often:

She began to grow fatter, fill out her shape so that she wasn't so wrinkly. We would take her for walks to campus or down the road. She was very popular. Everyone wanted a visit. We heard comments like, "Isn't she the cutest thing!" or "Why did her mom reject her?" or "I've never SEEN a baby LLAMA before!" Well, I haven't either. I do have some experience with baby sheep however...

Taking her for a walk down the road one day, this couple turned their green truck around and came back to us and stopped to visit. They fell entirely in love with her. They want our next bottle baby.

On the way back to the farm, a group of motorcycles passed us and Mae, unleashed, was curious and began to act just like a dog: she chased them!

I took off after her and grabbed her and ran the rest of the way across the street just in time to NOT get hit by a car.

Summer went on and Mae cried a lot, especially after she was 10 weeks old and we stopped bottle feeding her. She also got lots of threats from this summer's interns that they would eat her. But Dan in the cafeteria pardoned her and insisted that no one was allowed to eat her. And I added to that by reminding them that she was too little and there was hardly any meat on her.

And every time Amanda threatened to eat her, I retorted by threatening to eat Pat, the baby goat. THAT shut her up.

We tried several times to put her out in the pasture with her people. She refused to be integrated and climbed through the electric fence every time and went either back to the barn to find me or to the door of marketing, where she knew she got fed her bottle.

We put her on a leash and staked her outside the barn to keep her in one spot, since she wouldn't stay in the field and we needed her eating grass. She sometimes liked to play "dead fish" on my coworkers as they tried to walk her out to wherever we decided to put her for the day. She never played dead fish for me. She may have walked slow, but she came for me. We would keep her and Pat together, they were friends. Amanda even made them sleep in the same stall together. She called it their "Honeymoon Suite."

One day, Melinda decided to give her a haircut. She sheared a giant heart on her back. It was sort of cute while she was laying down, but once she stood up, we realized it was slightly off-center. That afternoon, Caitlin fixed it up a little bit and also trimmed her bushy eyebrows. We sheared her the rest of the way a couple days later.

Well, as I said, we stopped bottle feeding her. And again, as I said, there was hardly any meat on her. She stopped growing about the time we stopped bottle feeding her.

Last week, we came in in the morning and was standing funky in her stall. She was sort of squatting as if peeing, but she wasn't peeing and she wasn't moving. Bringing her outside that day, she played dead fish on me for the first time. She flat out refused to go. I carried her out and put her in the grass. She sprawled out, laying in an unnatural position for a sheep. After a while, I went to visit her and she tried to get up and could not get up. She just struggled. So I picked her up and put her on her feet and she seemed alright, though still a little not-quite-normal.

She stayed like this for a couple of days. I went on vacation to visit my brother, who is moving to Louisiana, and my sister and grandparents in PA. I was gone for two days and was trying to figure out where the spot is on my camera and was looking at photos where the spot appeared to try to figure it out.

I happened to be looking through photos of Mae and was telling my mother about how Mae hadn't been feeling well and how I should call Myke and find out how she was doing.

Just a few minutes later, Myke called me and gave me the news.

Being distraught on the phone, I did not quite understand what the problem was, or what caused the problem, or what, but it had something to do with the fact that she hasn't grown in a month and a half, regardless of how much grass she's eaten.

Because of these complications, Mae passed away.

Mae was a typical child, she cried and played and whined and ate and pooped. She was very sweet lovable (at least in my opinion. If you ask Kate, you'll problem get a different response.). She will be missed very much.

Mae Baby, May 6, 2011 to August 26, 2011

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