In the middle of a highway, a vehicle slammed on the brakes. A kitty was crouching by the side of the road, about to be hit if she didn’t move.
To get the cat, the motorist stopped on the shoulder and dashed into traffic. The animal appeared to be a regular house cat at first impression. The driver then noticed the cat’s large hazel eyes and short stumpy tail and understood he wasn’t dealing with an average kitten.
Later that evening, Jamie Veronica at Big Cat Rescue got a phone call to pick up a bobcat kitten at a veterinary hospital. When Veronica and her colleague arrived, the kitten was still taped up in a cardboard box the driver had placed the animal in … and she was not happy about it.
“We had to un-tape that box and put on some really thick work gloves so that we could transfer her to our crate,” Veronica tells The Dodo. “She was very feisty right off from the start. She didn’t want to be picked up, so she was hissing and growling and nipping at the gloves.”
The kitten’s tenacity, according to Veronica, was a positive sign: “We don’t want them to be sociable or polite to others. So she was acting precisely as a wild bobcat should.”
The kitten’s sole ailment appeared to be that she was underweight, which might be caused to tapeworms or another parasite. There was also the problem that the kitten had become separated from her mother.
“The whole way to the location where we picked up the kitten, the road is under construction,” Veronica explains. “A lot of times, when they’re doing a lot of development in the area, it displaces the animals that live in that forest.
They start to move to try to find new territories to live in, and start crossing roads that they normally wouldn’t, and during that time they can get easily separated from their parents if there are cars going by. But we don’t know for sure. It could have been possible – maybe the mom and the other kittens were sitting in the woods.”
Spirit Feather, the bobcat kitten, will stay at Big Cat Rescue for around three months before being released. “We think she’s around 2 and a half months old right now,” Veronica explains. “She’ll have to wait around 6 months before she can return. But it all relies on her pace of growth; she has to reach a particular size in order to hunt adequate prey and live.”
Spirit Feather has lots to do as she waits to mature. She sleeps a lot, and she likes to cuddle up with her stuffed animal squirrel. Spirit Feather, on the other hand, enjoys tearing apart cardboard boxes while she is awake.
“Last night, we put a tiny cardboard box in her cage so she could climb inside it and feel like she had a little den,” Veronica explains. “The whole box was torn, nibbled, and dragged apart to pieces when I got in this morning to take care of her, so she must have had a pretty wonderful time last night!”
Spirit Feather enjoys adopting the Big Cat Rescue team’s demeanor. Veronica laughs as she explains, “She’s adorable until you have to attempt to shift her to a different cage.” “We had the veterinarian come out last night, so we had to bring her out of the cage so we could conduct an exam and a blood test for her, which she didn’t like. She is, nonetheless, really attractive.”
Big Cat Rescue aims to educate the public about the animals they care for in addition to rescuing and rehabilitating them.
“Bobcats are frequently misinterpreted,” Veronica explains. “We receive a lot of calls from folks who are terrified about a wild bobcat in the woods behind their property. They are, nevertheless, fantastic neighbors. Bobcats don’t want to be around humans, and they especially don’t like to bother people’s dogs. They do, however, eat snakes and rats, both of which you don’t want near your home.”
Credit: BIG CAT RESCUE