Kāmadeva's (Cupid's) bow is made of sugarcane - that is why brahmacārīs are not allowed to eat too many sweets. This is the cause of sugar according to the Purāṇas.
Kāmadeva's bow-string is made of honeybees. Kāmadeva's consort Rati carries a disc and a lotus in her hands, and her arms are compared with the stalks of that lotus.
Goddess Vasanta [spring] also accompanies Kāmadeva, but unlike Rati, whose very essence is desire, Vasanta emerges from a sigh of frustration.
In Hindu traditions for the marriage ceremony itself, the bride's feet are often painted with pictures of Śuka, the parrot vahana [vehicle] of Kāmadeva.
Kāmadeva's companions are a cuckoo, a parrot, humming bees, the season of spring, and the gentle breeze. All of these are symbols of the spring season, when his festival is celebrated as Holi, Holikā or Vasanta.
Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda comments on Śrīmad Bhāgavat 10.55.2 that Kāmadeva is actually Pradyumna but when he was conceived in the womb of Rukmiṇī, the mundane Cupid entered into him as Droṇa entered into Nanda Mahārāja and Dharā into mother Yaśodā.
Blog originally composed in summer 2010