The Case of Bossy the Cow Goes Cold

No New Leads on Mysterious Tipping of Plaster Statue Atop Santa Barbara’s Bossie’s Kitchen

Bossy | Credit: Courtesy

The case of Old Bossy the Cow has progressed no further since the statue was found broken on the roof of Bossie’s Kitchen on August 7. Vadim Kotlyar, the owner of the building — which originally housed a dairy in 1937 — said newly cracked tiles on the roof and a broken whiskey bottle made him wonder if the tipping was entirely due to natural causes. Some have speculated that the weight of 83 years in the open weather took its toll on the plaster statue.


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Mark Alvarado, a Santa Barbara High School alum who was one of the first to see the broken cow, said the market across the street had a customer who saw it fall around 7 a.m. that day. The customer said no one pushed it, according to Alvarado. Additionally, city water mains are being replaced, and the vibrations can be felt a block away. Although the tool cutting into the roadway looked to Alvarado like an atomic reactor of a drill bit, the workers said vibrations big enough to crack a cow would shatter windows, too. No windows are reported to have broken.

Kotlyar hasn’t yet decided what he’ll do about replacing Bossy. “Maybe one of metal would be more permanent than plaster,” he said. Any such endeavor would take planning and budgeting, he said, which he would rather do himself, as the inherent dangers of the rooftop are a consideration. But ad hoc fundraising has been taken up by Bossy’s fan club, which includes former high school students. Bossy’s hide held dozens of layers of painted school spirit, from Santa Barbara and its rivals, most recently the names of the Class of 2020. Santa Barbara High’s art department has taken custody of the head to use if a successor is cast. 


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