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Kalki Gone to Greener Pastures

09/15/2013

Hare Krishna!

Kalki passed away Sunday, September 1, 2013. She had been suffering from eye cancer for two years. In the last few months the eye cancer had gotten worse, yet even in her last days she was able to keep up with the herd.This is a special issue just about her and the unique life she led as a protected cow at the ISCOWP farm.May we all pray to Lord Krsna for her safe and auspicious passage to greener pastures. Thank you.

Your servant,
Chayadevi
ISCOWP Co-Managing Director

Kalki Gone to Greener Pastures

Kalki pasturing in 2007.
Kalki pasturing in 2007.

For the past two years Kalki had been suffering from eye cancer. The vet told us that white faced cows are susceptible to this disease. We have had other cows with this ailment and it is eventually terminal with the cancer spreading elsewhere through the body. Although we tried homeopathy, reiki, operations, etc. on the cows who had this disease, the result was always the same. In Kalki’s case, her eye cancer did not progress very much during the first year and half and it was only the last few months that her condition was affecting her to the point it was becoming difficult for her to keep up with the herd. She would often stay back in the barn and listen to a tape of Srila Prabhupada chanting the Hare Krsna Mantra and bhajans.

Balabhadra checks the cows twice a day. When he checked in the evening she was with the herd, but the following morning she was not. He started on a search for her which took him a few hours. He finally found her. She had fallen on an incline with her head facing downward. This is never a good position for a cow as all her large organs will put pressure on her lungs. We figure it did not take long after she fell for her to pass away.

She might have had a stroke from the cancer which made her fall. We had one cow diagnosed with cancer. The vet diagnosed that she would most likely die of a heart attack before dying of cancer as the cancer had spread throughout her body. Or, Kalki just could have fell and was too weak to get up. However, she was still strong enough to go out in the pastures with the herd.

Kalki was 19 years old, in human years 95 years old. We protected her since she was 6 months old when she came from the New Vrindaban herd. They had many cows at that time and needed help caring for them. Kalki came with Gourangi and Vishaka and all were about the same age. Kalki was a quite cow and not one you would notice quickly. She will be most remembered for her latest years as she showed such extreme patience, tolerance and courageousness during her disease. Other cows in our herd, who have had this ailment, became nasty due to the pain and irritation. But not Kalki, she remained pleasant and patient and she wouldn’t let her health problem get in the way of associating with the rest of the herd. Before and while having her disease she was like a counsel or big sister to the younger females in the herd.

In the beginning of this video which was taken this spring, Kalki was mooing very loudly because she was happy to be let out of the barn to munch on fresh spring pastures. She is also shown eagerly eating treats offered to her. Even just a few days before she passed, she eagerly ate her treats.

It should also be mentioned that the other members of the herd did not ostracize her due to the unattractive appearance of her face and the sometimes bad odor that emanated from her cancerous eye. They continued to interact with her just as before and you could see Kalki and different members of the herd licking each other.

Kalki licking Priya 2011.
Kalki licking Priya 2011.

We are thankful that she got to spend a lot of time listening to Srila Prabhupada chanting the sacred Maha Mantra and other bhajans. She was lucky in the fact that she did not have to spend her last days lying somewhere waiting for death. Instead she fell while pasturing with the herd and her demise was therefore swift.

She was one of the cows that we were building the Old Cow Shelter for. The shelter was finished the day before she passed away and she never got to use it. We are thinking of putting up a sign on the barn to read “Kalki’s Barn” as a tribute to her.

May we all pray to Lord Krsna for her safe and auspicious passage to greener pastures. Thank you.

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