In a photo taken June 4, 2014 (Opening Day), John Winters, the Rock Ledge Ranch foreman, lets ranch cow Patches lick salt off his arm as a reward for letting him bring her back from the pasture. At the time, Patches was 22 years old - very old for a cow - and already having occasional seizures. She passed on in May.
The previous spring, considering Patches' condition, ranch manager Andy Morris had considered “retiring” her to another ranch, but decided against it. “I felt she could potentially have difficulties adjusting to a new environment (no barn to get out of the weather, etc.) and could have issues if she had more of her seizures,” he explained.
There was a little tension at first with a second cow (called Punkin, also “Pumpkin”) whom the ranch had purchased from a ranch in Boone, Colorado, before the 2014 Opening Day. But the two eventually became friends, according to Morris.
Patches had been the sole ranch cow for about 10 years. Notable public moments included walking in the 2009 parade commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Garden of the Gods becoming a city park and “playing” in Rock Ledge's Labor Day baseball games (or at least grazing for an inning or two in short right field).