“Mom! Look! There’s a cow!”
That was the reaction of Pam Ferraina’s daughter Gabrielle when a cow showed up near their driveway in January.
Livestock sightings aren’t uncommon in a rural farming community like Easton, but there was something clearly different about this cow.
“It was skinny and terrified,” said Pam Ferraina.
The cow had been lost for the previous eight months, roaming around the Greenfield section of Fairfield, Bridgeport and Easton.
“People would call animal control saying ‘There’s a loose cow in my yard,’ but nobody could ever catch her,” said Ferraina. “She’d be there one minute, you’d blink, and she’d vanish.”
Ferraina also ran into the problem of the cow’s disappearing act, but she started leaving it food. This was the key to getting the cow to trust her and her daughter.
As Ferraina and her daughter became connected with the cow, they said they eventually named her Waffles because she’s cute, and the name suited her.
“Gabrielle would start calling her name and feeding her hay. She took care of her every day,” said Ferraina.
Then, one day Waffles’ original owner showed up at the Ferraina’s home. He agreed to surrender the cow if they were able to take care of her. Deborah Ice, Easton’s animal control officer, facilitated Waffles’ surrender.
Over time, Waffles grew comfortable with the Ferrainas, especially Gabrielle.
“She loves playing a lot,” said Gabrielle. “She would run around and pick up a wheel barrel or any other object, throw it, then run after it.”
Jacob Conover, the manager of Silverman’s Farm, also helped take care of Waffles. He brought the Ferrainas fence panels so Waffles could get used to that type of enclosure, as well as hay bales to help feed her.
“I was spending, give or take, 900 bucks on her each month just because she was so skinny and starved. She just needed help,” said Ferraina.
Waffles weighed about 800 pounds when she showed up near the Ferraina’ driveway. With Conover’s help and that of about half a dozen other Easton residents who donated hay and grain, she now weighs 1,200 pounds.
Waffles has a playful nature and longs for companionship.
“She also got really friendly with one of our bunnies, and would literally sleep right next to her,” said Gabrielle.
After months of love and feedings, it was finally time to take Waffles to a long-term enclosure. With Conover’s help Waffles was loaded onto a trailer and taken to Silverman’s Farm, where she’s been for about a month.
“This is what Easton is. We rally together when someone or something needs help,” said Ferraina. “This is just a small part of her big story.”
If you would like to visit Waffles, you’ll find her at Silverman’s Farm located at 451 Sport Hill Road. She’s the cow who’s sharing a pen with goats and a llama.