Two weeks ago, Jill Hicks of Chattanooga, Tennessee, was driving her car in the suburbs, rushing to meet friends.
Suddenly she saw some small animal jump out onto the road from somewhere on the side and immediately braked sharply for fear of hitting it.
“At first glance, I thought it was a rabbit. Because it was very fluffy. But as I got closer I saw that it was a kitten.”
The kitten almost ran farther to where cars continued to drive in the other lane, but Hicks managed to grab it with his hands.
“I thought the kitten had been thrown out of the car. I didn’t see his mother around and there were no other kittens.”
Because of the kitten, Hicks decided not to go to her friends, but to return to her home. When she put the kitten on the seat in the car, it immediately climbed up her like a tree and sat on her shoulder next to her neck.
The kitten proved to be very active, and Hicks took it off her several times, or else the kitten wouldn’t let her drive. Eventually, she wrapped him in her sweater and he settled down in the warmth.
Hicks stroked him and he took her petting like a normal kitten.
Hicks is very fond of animals and has a cat and a dog at home. However, that is why she did not dare to bring the kitten into her house and put him in her garage. She put there a litter box for him, a box with soft bedding, and bowls of food and water.
Soon after, Hicks posted pictures of the kitten on her Facebook page, asking her to find him an owner. Then she left to visit friends, and when she returned in the evening, she had planned to bathe the kitten in the bathtub and take it to her bed for the night.
But things turned out very differently, leaving the woman in great shock.
“A neighbor down the street came running to me right away and asked, ‘Jill, that kitten, do you still have it?’ I said, “Yes.” And he goes, ‘Can I see it? I’m sure it’s actually a bobcat. Did you read a bunch of comments under your Facebook ad?”
Then Hicks and her neighbor went to the garage, where the kitten was sitting in a box. Hicks took the kitten in her arms and began to examine it.
“His tail was the first clue. I knew he had a short tail when I caught him, but I didn’t look at him much. Sure there are cats with short tails, but this one had a tail that was a little pointed and had a white spot on the end. And then he started growling a little bit… So I finally said that yes, it does seem to be a bobcat after all.”
After this unexpected turn, Hicks wrote a new post on her Facebook page, “That kitten I found on the road. Turns out I rescued a bobcat.”
Jill Hicks’ post quickly gained likes and reposts and went viral. Meanwhile, the woman realized that now the kitten should not be bathed, much less taken to her bed. That said, she didn’t want to leave him alone overnight in the garage and then decided to sleep there with him.
“She drank very little and ate nothing, but she did eat bits of tuna the next morning.”
In the afternoon, Hicks contacted Juniper Russo, director of Fox Sake Wildlife Rescue, and he took the bobcat in. According to him, the kitten was 7 weeks old at most.
At the center, the bobcat was named Arwen and was diagnosed with anemia. Now the kitten is being given vitamins and a fortified diet.
“Her anemia probably developed because she lost her mother. She will need intensive care for a few days, but she is already doing well. I think she will stay with us until next spring, after which she will be released back into the wild, into some wildlife sanctuary.”
In the meantime, Jill Hicks says this baby girl will always be in her heart, even if she was with her only for a short time.