Photo description: Kathleen, Devi, and Mimi of Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary (screen capture from The Love Stories of Luvin Arms, JB Productions)
Phoenix Rising from the Ashes
I sat across from Kathleen the other day at one of our favorite Boulder spots.
It was the first time seeing each other since the Marshall Fire destroyed her home on December 30, 2021. I, too, had evacuated my home the day of the historic fire, fleeing with the masses, bracing for the worst and praying for the best.
Kathleen is not only the Volunteer and Administrative Director for Luvin Arms, our Erie, Colorado-based sanctuary for abused and neglected farmed animals, but she is my dear friend. I listened to her with much love in my heart. With tears in her eyes along with that familiar sparkle, Kathleen shared stories of gratitude about community outreach, explaining how it’s now the small things that make her day. Kathleen is a true example of strength, grace, and resilience under trial. Even during this dark time, she is incredibly gracious. She recognizes the blessings that each and every day brings.
Kathleen inspires hope; hope that our traumatized communities can and will heal from this tragedy, returning us to a stable sense of safety. She understands this need for safety in order to thrive.
Kathleen fields approximately 300 calls a month on behalf of our organization, desperate calls from people seeking refuge for animals. She listens to their stories, she cries with them, and she coaches and encourages them.
One such call came in not too long ago about Devi and Laxmi. Devi, named after a powerful symbol of feminine strength, came from the dairy industry. Like other dairy cows, Devi was forcibly impregnated in order to produce milk. Devi was abandoned on a free-range farm in rural Colorado, left to die when the rancher, for unknown reasons, abandoned his cows without food or water. She bravely withstood exposure to the elements and starvation, facing an uncertain future. Fortunately, a compassionate Good Samaritan gave Devi a temporary safe haven until she could find her a more permanent home.
As it turned out, Devi, who is a young cow herself, was pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl, Laxmi, just four days before arriving at their forever home, Luvin Arms.
Devi and Laxmi give us hope here at Luvin Arms. Seeing them, safe together, is a rarity, not only in the animal agricultural industry from which they came but even in the sanctuary world. Mother and baby cows rarely get to bond and grow old together. So often, both mothers and babies experience extreme separation anxiety.
Baby cows rarely receive their mother’s milk at birth; sadly, malnourishment and early death are common occurrences. With the arrival of Devi and Laxmi, the Luvin Arms community experienced our first rescue where mother and baby can live out the familial experience that they, as sentient beings, instinctively crave: mama protecting her young, teaching her how to be a cow, and baby receiving the nourishment and protection from her mother, growing up healthy and thriving.
Our hearts are full whenever we see Devi and Laxmi, now lovingly nicknamed Mimi, meditatively chewing in the sun, content, together. When Baby Mimi gets the zoomies, zipping all around their home, Devi quietly observes like the wise, patient Mama she is.
Like all mothers when given the opportunity, Devi can admire her precious creation for the rest of her days. Here they can live their lives in peace. Here they are free to love, connect, and relate to each other all the days of their lives—just like all sentient beings when they feel safe.
Thanks to caring and compassionate communities, perseverance, and strength of character, Kathleen, Devi, and Mimi are all on their way to creating new lives steeped in hope.