** GRAPHIC IMAGES**
WHAT STARTED as a story of unspeakable cruelty towards a defenceless animal has had a somewhat happy ending, as emergency vets managed to save the life of a cat shot through the face with an arrow and are working to give him a happy home-- and a pretty brilliant name.
On Valentine's Day, while many people were spending time with their loved ones, going on dates or watching cheesy rom-coms, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington in the US were working to save a life.
They had received a call of a young, underweight stray tomcat who was found with an arrow through his head, which their vets believed had been present for at least a week, but who was miraculously still alive.
Upon hearing that the person who had found the cat was unable to pay for hs medical bills, the AWLA "knew we had to step up and see if we could save his life".
After a night of TLC and serious pain medication, the as-yet unnamed kitty was prepped for surgery, with the animal charity saying "despite the immense amount of discomfort and pain he must have been in, he started to purr every time someone talked to him, making biscuits and asking for chin scratches.
"It was then that we decided to name him Cupid."
Photographs of Cupid's injuries show the arrow wedged into his face just inches from his eye, passing through his head to his shoulder blade, and the team at AWLA were worried about what would happen during surgery-- but by a sheer miracle it was found that the arrow had avoided every major organ and artery.
The friendly cat wasn't out of the woods yet, though-- the arrow had caused a serious infection which spread from the tip of the arrowhead to the underside of his arm.
The AWLA veterinary surgeons worked for hours to remove Cupid's arrow, resorting to using bolt cutters to cut the arrowhead free. They cleaned the infection as best as they could, sewed up his wounds, and, for good measure, neutered him.
For such a young, underweight and formerly-neglected cat, the intense surgery and serious infection means that Cupid's story is not yet over, and the AWLA team are keeping a close eye on him.
Heartbreakingly, they say they cannot say for sure that Cupid will make it through his ordeal-- but as they say, "we are doing everything to save his life, and this little guy is a fighter".
Animal charities around the world work with all they've got to care for animals which have been abused, neglected, dumped or who have never known human kindness, but sadly, all these charities face the same problem-- funding.
The AWLA have admitted that they need the public's help in ensuring Cupid gets everything he needs to recover, and with hospital visits, surgery and continuing care bills totalling at least $6,500, they have asked those who have been moved by Cupid's story to consider making a donation.
To help Cupid and others like him, you can visit the donation page, entitled 'For Cupid, with Love', here.
An update from the charity have thanked everyone who donated to Cupid's care so far, and said that the kitty is donig well-- "switching between naps, snacks and snuggles".
Plus, he even has his own Instagram account now-- because he's just that popular! (You can check that out here).