Seeing a helpless baby animal on the street is heartbreaking. However, when you’re driving, and that helpless baby is in the middle of the street, that’s terrifying.
Luckily, one driver was able to slam on the brakes in time when they spotted a tiny kitten crouched in the road, alone and scared.
The driver managed to stop and scoop up the fluffy, dusty brown kitten, who only weighed about two pounds and had clearly been separated from her mother.
But on closer inspection, the driver realized something was different about this kitty. Her pupils were the wrong shape, and her tail was short and stumpy.
That’s because the kitten, who was growing increasingly agitated in the cardboard box she’d been placed in, was not a kitten after all. She was actually a very young bobcat cub.
Thanks to human intrusion on their natural habitats, bobcats are found increasingly in “our” spaces, even right on porches, like the bobcat that came to visit a domestic friend.
And while they’re awesome animals, this can put them in danger of being hit by cars, attacked by dogs (bobcats aren’t very big), or even mistreated by humans.
Luckily, the driver knew better than to try and keep this kitten. The bobcat was taken to Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, FL. Read on to see more of her adventure!
[H/T: The Dodo]
When a driver with some very good reflexes stopped just shy of hitting this kitten, they were understandably shaken.
But on further inspection, the driver realized this was no ordinary house cat.
The rounded pupils, short tail, and fluff of fur around the face meant that this was actually a baby bobcat that had been somehow separated from her mother.
The kitten was taken to Big Cat Rescue, an animal sanctuary in Tampa specializing in big cats, and home to about 70 big cats of many different kinds.
She was transferred via cardboard box, and she made it very clear that she was not happy with this arrangement.
Jamie Veronica Boorstein at Big Cat Rescue said she and her colleagues had to wear thick gloves when handling the bobcat, whom they named Spirit Feather, because she came out of her box ready to bite!
“She was very feisty right off from the start,” Boorstein says.
But that combative behavior is actually exactly what the people at Big Cat Rescue like to see.
“We don’t want [wild cats] to be nice or friendly towards people,” Boorstein explained. “So she was being exactly what she should be — a wild bobcat.”
A dislike of humans will encourage Spirit Feather to stay in wild spaces, and increase her chances of survival and a healthy life.
To make sure she stayed healthy, though, she was given shots and a checkup. She was found to be slightly underweight, but otherwise healthy.
And as you might expect, the exam was a handful!
But Spirit Feather didn’t say no to a snack.
Spirit Feather will be kept at Big Cat Rescue until she’s deemed ready to return to the wild in the organization’s rehab and release program.
She’ll be put into the facility’s 1,200-square-foot bobcat enclosure with their other bobcats once staff makes sure she doesn’t have any harmful parasites.
The staff will also make sure she grows up big and strong, and ready to hold her own back in the wild.
While it’s too bad Spirit Feather was separated from her family, she’s in good hands here!
Bobcats can be found all over the continental U.S., as well as in parts of Canada and Mexico. There are several subspecies, and they can reach up to about 40 pounds. They’re vital in controlling pest populations, and an important part of our ecosystem.
If you’d like to learn more about Spirit Feather, check out Big Cat Rescue’s website and Facebook page. You an also consider donating to help them expand their facility and give more big cats a good home.
SHARE Spirit Feather’s story with your friends who love cats both big and small!