Some people keep exotic pets; snakes, chinchillas, hamsters or the like. But Eunice native Charlie Sylvester has a somewhat more unusual pet - a pet goat.
Billy the Goat, to be precise, has been with Sylvester for almost two years.
Sylvester first saw Billy in the yard of a house along his route delivering food for the Council on Aging, and it was love at first sight.
Soon, he was stopping by the house every day to visit, offering the goat bread or other morsels.
“I looked at that goat, and I really got attached to him,” Sylvester said.
Then one day, he saw the residents of the house wrestling with the goat, trying to load him up.
Sylvester stopped and asked where they were taking the goat, and they told him they were taking him to be butchered.
Sylvester offered them $100 if they would spare Billy’s life and give him to Sylvester, and they agreed.
Since then, the two have been nearly inseparable.
“He cries like a baby every time I leave,” Sylvester said.
Sylvester drives a paper route and works lawn care jobs around the city, but always makes sure he has time to care for Billy.
Billy is brushed every day, and Sylvester plays with him frequently.
Although Billy doesn’t have horns, he will playfully butt his head against Sylvester’s hand, and sometimes rear up.
He lives in Sylvester’s backyard, with a large toolshed for a shelter. He’s often visited by the neighborhood cats, who play with Billy, Sylvester said.
Billy is fed a diet of goat pellets, along with treats such as bread and cabbage leaves.
One thing Billy does not get is corn.
Sylvester said that apparently someone in the past had fed corn to Billy, which led to a blockage in his kidneys which was only cleared through surgery.
Apparently, Sylvester said, goats can’t digest corn, and it can be fatal.
Sylvester said that Billy is five years old now, close to middle age for a pet goat.
Pet goats generally live 10 to 12 years, but have been known to live into their late 20’s.
“I hope he lives to be very old,” Sylvester said.