Written by Mae in February, 2016
So, you’re probably wondering – what’s with the name “Cupid’s Landing”? The answer to that question is the story of my cat, Cupid – how many troubled lives he’s touched, his seemingly unlimited outpouring of love, and how he has inspired me and changed my life.
Cupid came to the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County shortly after I started working there. He was about six weeks old, and awfully sick with an upper respiratory infection. He also had a heart murmur that was so strong, you could feel it through his chest. The prognosis wasn’t good – even though they didn’t know what was causing the murmur, he wasn’t expected to live past a few months. And so he sat in a small stainless steel kennel in one of the veterinary rooms at the shelter for about two months. Despite his terrible cold and being bound to a small cage with all of the energy of a kitten, the amount of affection that he had to share was incredible. Everyone loved him. In fact, a coworker of mine named him Cupid because of his ability to make everyone fall in love.
Eventually, I could no longer stand the thought of him spending his whole short life in a little metal box, and dying there. I offered to provide him a hospice home. I knew it would be hard to experience his death after taking him home and loving him, but not as hard as watching him die in the shelter would be. When he was about 3 months old, he came to stay with me.
I could go on and on about how awesome he is (that’s what cat owners do, right?) but I’ll spare you that mush for now. I will just say that I remember holding him in my arms, playing with him, and snuggling with him, all while thinking, “I have never felt so loved by anyone in my entire life.” And it’s not because I was deprived of love! That kitten just had thee most genuine desire for affection and socialization.
After about a month with me, a Special Needs Fund raised by this AMAZING blog called the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee paid for an echocardiogram for Cupid. The results showed that he has a hole in his heart. The good news is, the cardiologist determined that he would most likely be Ok! And so they put him up for adoption…
But wait…I wasn’t ever expecting to have to give this cat away… It was in that moment that I realized I just couldn’t imagine sending Cupid off to live with someone else. And so, I “foster failed” for the first time. In May of 2014, I adopted Cupid, and I can not imagine my life without him now.
Even though Cupid, my first foster cat ever, just so happened to also be the most awesome cat ever (we did establish that I’m a typical cat owner, right? No seriously though, my cat really is the best cat ever), I quickly changed gears and began fostering feral kittens. In short, these kittens are wild animals – born outside to feral moms – and were somehow trapped and brought to the shetler. Socializing them can be quite the challenge (not to mention dangerous at times), but with Cupid as my copilot, it’s a challenge that I am more than up for! Honestly, to say that Cupid was the copilot is really unfair. He did about 80% of the socialization work for me. The kittens connected with him very quickly, and he showed them the ropes. They followed him around, watching him interact with me. They even came and snuggled up beside me if he was there. He groomed them, played with them, and cuddled with them. It is truly an amazing thing to watch.
Since moving and some other major life changes, we have had to take a hiatus from fostering. In January 2017, Cupid celebrated his 3rd birthday. The sick little unassuming kitten with a heart defect that was expected to cut his life so short, is now 3 years old and healthy and happy as can be. He is a mentor for his scared and confused foster siblings. It’s like he’s paying it forward. I can’t explain it, but I know that there is something bigger to Cupid’s existence, and the crossing of our paths. Whether it’s fate, destiny, or just an incredible source of inspiration for me, I know that this project must pay homage to him. The mythical figure from which my cat gets his name is a demigod with wings, often portrayed in an angelic manner. The name “Cupid’s Landing” is in reference to an aerial landing, like the transcendence of a powerful force of compassion finding it’s place on this earth. Compassion is a word that is often used in correlation with veganism, as the decision to no longer take the life of a sentient being or cause suffering to them is one that is derived from a sentiment none other than compassion. And so Cupid’s Landing, the farm animal rescue, will be the place where individuals who have known more pain and suffering than most of us can fathom can finally land in a place of peace, only to know love, comfort, and compassion for the rest of their lives.