The April 2002 news headlines said things like "Escaped Cow on the Loose!", "Mad cow? Ha! She's furious.", "The World's Fastest Cow!", "Cow Becomes Local Hero!", and "Cow to Get Key to the City!"
The heifer Houdini on the lam was a snow white Charolais later called Cinci Freedom.
Cinci did what any cow would hope to do to escape slaughter: She jumped a big fence and ran for freedom. For 11 days, she eluded capture, all the while garnering sympathy from the public.
The citizens of Cincinnati pled for her life. Farm Sanctuary wrote:
As she resisted capture time and again, staying hidden in a park where she foraged and rested when she could, the courageous cow demonstrated an unbendable will, and her tremendous fight for survival resonated with the public. By the time of her capture, she had won the hearts of so many that calls for mercy poured into the city from all over the country. In the end, it was a plea from renowned artist Peter Max that brought the brave bovine safely to our New York Shelter, where she was named Cincinnati Freedom and given the liberty she always deserved.Another famous escapee and good friend of Cinci's is Maxine from Queens (pictured below).
. . . Freedom received a warm reception. When they saw her arrive, the other Farm Sanctuary cows ran to the barn to greet Freedom. The cows mooed hellos to their famous new herd-mate, and gave her cow kisses. Freedom was quickly adopted by the shelter cattle herd. . . .
Since her arrival in April 2002, Cincinnati Freedom has enjoyed all the comforts and joys that every cow deserves. She has made friends with many of the cows in the herd, and is especially close to two other daring escape artists named Annie Dodge and Queenie.
If Maxine were talking to you, I'm afraid she'd have to tell you a sad story. You see, Cinci got sick recently. It was a cancer that spread fast. Everybuddy said their last goodbyes to Cinci this week.
Dear Cinncinati Freedom, we've never had a cow or a steer furriend, but now we sure wish we did. When we read about your final escape, it touched our corgi hearts. We hope the grass is greenest in your new pasture.
Paw-note: You can see Cinci's eulogy & slide show "In Loving Memory: Cinncinati Freedom" at FarmSanctuary.org.