We love the animal lovers of the world. Those caring humans who put the needs of living creatures as high as their own. And it’s the stories of these rescues and amazing individuals that we love to write about. But it’s an ongoing learning process–from neonatal kittens to senior cats to special needs animals and unique rescues. Both our successes and failures need to be teaching experiences. And each “tail” can bring inspire heroic efforts in others. So when a Tennessee woman saved a kitten from the middle of the streets, she did so knowing the fragile soul was counting on her to survive. But when she arrived home with the kitten, she learned one very important detail–this wasn’t any ordinary cat. She had rescued and was now caring for a bobcat kitten!
And having a bobcat kitten in the house isn’t a good idea for anyone involved!
It began when Jill Hicks was driving along a busy Chattanooga highway last week. She witnessed the feline running across the street and refused to brush it off. Recalling the rescue for news outlets and on her Facebook page, she AND the poor cat must have been terrified!
Whewwww, what an exciting last few days I’ve had! Friday night I was on my way to dinner and saw what I first thought was a tiny bunny rabbit. (Because I don’t see good and it’s coloring resembled a bunny). [It was] running through a yard and about to run across Graysville road. I got a little closer and thought, “that’s a tiny kitten!”
So I pulled over and surprisingly it didn’t run from me. I put it in the car with me and it climbed all over me like a kitten would do. And, because I have a pretty big dog and an old cat, I got it situated in my garage. With a litter box, cat food, water and a cozy box with a soft sweater in it. I went to dinner, and came home to find my neighbor pulling in and asking me if I still had the kitten. I said yes and she wanted to see it.
That is when she started taking pictures and we started examining it and decided it probably was a baby bobcat!
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! (Those of you who really know me will understand ?) So, instead, thinking, if this is a bobcat, he/she probably doesn’t want to do all of that, I left it in the garage, getting up every 30 mins to check on it and make sure it was doing ok.
Thankfully, Hicks didn’t harbor any delusions about raising a wild bobcat kitten herself!
With the new reality of the situation though, she had to find someone who could care for the babe. So she contacted a local group that would be purrfect for the solo kitten; For Fox Sake Wildlife Rescue. *Pause for laughter at the amazing name!
The volunteers here run a wildlife rehabilitation center for skunks, foxes, and raccoons. So when they received Jill’s plea for help, they were happy to jump in to care for the needy feline. She was able to bring the kitten to them the very next morning. The organization were thrilled to share their newest resident online on September 21st.
The bobcat kitten is an approximately 5-6 weeks old female, that Hicks named Arwen.
She’s doing great and has gained two ounces since her arrival here. Now that the initial shock and confusion have worn off, she’s acting a lot more like we’d expect of a bobcat, with lots of defensive behavior and a healthy mistrust of humans.
She’s taking comfort with her heartbeat pillow and real furs to snuggle. She has a great appetite and is fortunately able to feed herself formula in a dish, without needing a bottle.
Arwen had her first shots yesterday, which will help protect her when she’s released! Bobcats are susceptible to several diseases commonly carried by domestic cats. Vaccinating your own cats and keeping them indoors helps protect not only your cats and their possible prey, but also their wild cousins!
Just today, For Fox Sake Wildlife Rescue shared another update on sweet bobcat Arwen.
Here’s Arwen, our famous bob-kitten patient! She’s stolen hearts all over the world and a lot of people have been asking how she’s doing!
We’ve had some bumps in the road but our little girl’s hanging in there. She’s been showing symptoms of anemia, which is very common in kittens her age (including domestic kittens, which she was mistaken for). All animals who live outdoors naturally tend to carry fleas and internal parasites, and mother mammals tend to have very little iron in their milk.
There are also a lot of viral infections that can make baby animals temporarily anemic. Things get even worse when you add the natural loss of appetite that comes with trauma, a whole new strange diet, and separation from Mom! Arwen is being treated and should recover just fine with some continued TLC.
The center plans to keep Arwen until early 2020 she can learn how to “wild cat” properly. Other foster bobcat kittens will ideally help her discover and hone her catty skills. She will then be released into a protected area near where she was discovered.
Looking back, even realizing the kitten was really a wild cat, Jill wouldn’t have altered her initial rescue efforts.
(But perhaps a few tweaks wouldn’t have been a bad idea in my opinion…)
“Even though I thought she was a kitten, had I known she was a bobcat, and that small, and in that high traffic area, I still would have done the same thing,” she said.
My original post that went viral was intended for my family and friends who know and appreciate my love for animals and my goofiness! ???♀️ I had no idea it would end up with almost 7k shares all over the US. The best part about this is, well, Arwen is safe at a rehab facility.
She stole a piece of my heart that she will have forever! Thank you for all of the love and feel free to donate to Arwen’s care!
Want to send some support for Arwen and the other animals at For Fox Sake? Here’s their wish list on Amazon! www.amazon.com/hz/
And for the naysayers and trolls who decided Hicks’s actions weren’t acceptable, FFSWR was happy to address their concerns.
(Rightfully so, we may add!) Thank you to them all for helping to spread knowledge so others may have the tools to handle future rescues appropriately!
REMEMBER: SPAY/NEUTER, FOSTER, VOLUNTEER, TNR & AS ALWAYS, ADOPT, DON’T SHOP!
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