Molly, the cow, dies after 20 years

Published 2:38 pm Monday, December 16, 2013

Molly, a cow who befriended a goat and lives in a pasture on Shelby County 26, died Dec. 8. (File)

Molly, a cow on Shelby County 26 who befriended a goat, died Dec. 8. (File)


COLUMBIANA – Many drivers along Shelby County 26 have grown accustomed to peering out their windows to see an unlikely but inseparable pair – Maddie Lane, a goat, and Maddie Lane’s best friend Molly, a cow.

The unlikely friendship, which was brought about because both animals were lonely and needed a friend, ended Dec. 8 when Molly died because of old age. Molly was about 20 years old.

Michael Weathers, the owner of both Molly and Maddie Lane, said he and his family have already received phone calls from concerned community members who have noticed the cow’s absence.

“It’s been amazing the number of folks who know exactly where I live because they know about the cow and the goat,” Weathers said. “Folks will just stop by and tell us how much they enjoy those animals. I would dare say hundreds of people have stopped by over the years. She’s going to be missed.”

Weathers said his family first considered getting another animal as a friend for Molly when passersby would leave the family notes in their mailbox telling them Molly looked lonely and needed a friend.

One day, a couple stopped by the Weathers’ home and offered to give them Maddie Lane as a companion for Molly. Maddie Lane had been raised around cattle and became lonely after a steer was sent to the slaughterhouse.

“The first day they met, they were not friends at all,” Weathers said of the cow and goat. “Maddie Lane was so happy to see a cow, she chased Molly around the pasture. Molly was bug-eyed (and) was so scared of the goat she ran through the fence. It was a week or so before they buddied-up, but once they got to know each other, they became inseparable. Molly treated her like a calf.”

Since Molly’s death, Weathers said Maddie Lane has been moping around the pasture and bellowing.

“It’s strange to her (that Molly is gone),” Weathers said. “We’re still trying to figure out what we want to do. Do we want to try to get another cow, or do we want to find a good home for Maddie Lane? We’re going to start looking into it and try to decide, try to do what’s best for Maddie Lane.”

Weathers said he plans to put a cross in the pasture where Molly is buried.

“We miss her already,” he said. “She was just a great pet and a great animal. You could rub on her. You could hug on her. She never gave us any trouble. You never had to worry about her being dangerous around anybody. She was just pleasant. We’ve got a lot of memories of being around them.”