Vets race to save life of cat shot in the head with an arrow

Valentine’s Day was last week, but “Cupid’s arrow” meant something very different for one shelter who raced to save a cat’s life.

Rescues work hard to help sick and injured animals every day, but on February 14 one West Virginia rescue discovered a cat in a particularly dire condition: he was shot in the head with an arrow.

Caution: graphic photos.

This is the photo of Cupid we were sent on Valentine's Day. How could we say no to helping this sweet boy?

Gepostet von Animal Welfare League of Arlington am Sonntag, 16. Februar 2020

The poor cat still had the arrow sticking out of his head. They were shocked to discover it had likely been lodged in there for about a week.

Unfortunately we’ll never know what happened or who did this—whether it was an accident or some sick person intentionally shot the cat with an arrow.

But the horrified rescue was overwhelmed—they didn’t have the resources to perform the surgery, and reached out to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington for help.

Another photo from the rescue that shows the extent of the wound.

Gepostet von Animal Welfare League of Arlington am Sonntag, 16. Februar 2020

He was transported to AWLA and rushed into emergency medical care, funded in part by public donations.

The cat proved to be remarkably resilient, despite everything.

“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,” AWLA wrote on Facebook.

“It was then that we decided to name him Cupid.”

This is Cupid before being administered anesthesia.

Gepostet von Animal Welfare League of Arlington am Sonntag, 16. Februar 2020

Vets gave Cupid x-rays, and found a ray of hope: while the arrow spread all the way to his shoulder blade, it did not puncture any major organs or arteries.

An x-ray of the arrow-head. We were able to see that, thankfully, the arrow had not penetrated any major organs as far as we could see.

Gepostet von Animal Welfare League of Arlington am Sonntag, 16. Februar 2020

It was finally time to remove the arrow from Cupid’s head. In a two-hour surgery the vets used bolt cutters to remove the arrowhead and treat his wounds.

During surgery. Once Dr Galati had located the arrowhead, he and LVT Kristen had to use boltcutters to cut the arrowhead off the shaft. Then they were able to safely remove the arrow shaft.

Gepostet von Animal Welfare League of Arlington am Sonntag, 16. Februar 2020

They successfully removed the arrow and Cupid woke up. While the arrow did not do any severe damage, it did leave him with a severe infection, which had to be treated with a regimen of antibiotics.

While they weren’t initially sure if he would be okay, they reported that he was recovering nicely.

“He has a good appetite, is getting lots of rest and just wants to spend as much time as possible snuggling with our staff,” AWLA wrote on Facebook.

Right after surgery! Cupid was a little scared and confused when he woke up, but once we swaddled him up in some blankets he calmed right down.

Gepostet von Animal Welfare League of Arlington am Sonntag, 16. Februar 2020

The rescue says they’ve received adoption requests for Cupid, but they stress that he’s not out of the woods yet and will need to recover from his injury and infection.

Still, he’s making a remarkable recovery considering the horrific condition he was found in.

Thank you to these rescuers and vets who did an amazing job saving this cat’s life! We hope he continues to get better and finds a forever home soon!

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