Tennessee animal lover, Jill Hicks, believed she was rescuing an abandoned kitten on the side of the road when she surprisingly found out the fur baby was actually a baby bobcat.
Last week while Hicks was driving to dinner one evening, she spotted what she initially thought was a small bunny running toward a busy road. But as she got closer, she realized it was a “kitten” and pulled over to save it from oncoming traffic.
When she arrived home, Hicks shared a picture of the animal on Facebook in an attempt to find it a loving home. “Surprisingly it didn’t run from me,” she wrote on Facebook. “I put it in the car with me, and it climbed all over me like a kitten would do, got in the floorboard under my feet, and after stopping a couple of times to get it nestled into my lap, I finally got home with it.”
Hicks, who owns a dog and a cat, set up a comfortable space for her new rescue pet in her garage, however after consulting with a neighbor who asked to see the “kitten,” Hicks soon realized that the cat was actually a juvenile bobcat.
She joked in a Facebook update, “Thank the lord for her because I sure was about to put that baby in the sink and give it a bath and put it in bed with me!” Hicks then took the bobcat to For Fox Sake Wildlife Rescue, a nonprofit in Chattanooga, where volunteers named the feline Arwen and discovered she was about 5 weeks old.
“The lady said it’s odd for them to be this young this time of year, she thinks maybe the mom had a liter and lost it and then had this baby,” Hicks noted on Facebook. “It made me sad to think that she lost a litter and now I took this one from her and she spent all night searching for her baby, but I had no idea it was a bobcat. I thought it was a kitten and just wanted to keep it from getting hit by a car or eaten by coyotes.”
According to Hicks, Arwen is in good hands at For Fox Sake and has been eating formula and gaining weight. The bobcat will remain under the care of the shelter until she has matured enough to be released back into the wild to join a large colony of bobcats in a nearby area where hunting is not permitted. “I feel in my heart she will live happily ever after!” Hicks said.