In Chattanooga, Tennessee, a good Samaritan named Jill Hicks rescued a kitten she saw darting across a road. But when she showed the kitten to her neighbor, she discovered it was no ordinary domestic kitten—it was a bobkitten. So she brought the adorable kitty to the nearby (and punnily named) For Fox Sake Wildlife Rescue, where the young feline was dubbed "Arwen."
“Even though I thought she was a kitten, had I known she was a bobcat, [being] that small and in that high trafficked area, I still would have done the same thing,” Hicks told local news station WATE.
For Fox Sake will care for Arwen until she’s healthy enough to be returned to the wild. On September 25, they posted an adorable photo of the blue-eyed bobkitten. “She’s doing great and has gained two ounces since her arrival here,” they wrote. However, they’re treating her for anemia (you can donate to Arwen's cause and other animals here).
On September 26, For Fox Sake mentioned that they had received a lot of requests about people wanting to adopt Arwen. "There is a 0 percent chance that Arwen, or any other bobkitten, will grow up to be a suitable house pet,” they wrote. “Even when raised by humans, bobcats are unpredictable, territorial wild animals with a powerful prey drive and no desire to please human beings.”
In other words: Sorry, but you won’t be able to adopt a bobkitten. And if for some reason Arwen won’t be able to be re-released into the wild, the rescue said she would go to a zoo or a nature center.
Apparently, this isn’t the first—or the last—time a kitten has been mistaken for a bobcat. Last year in San Antonio, three people mistook two bobcats for a pair of Bengal kittens. When the “kittens” bit them, they contacted animal services, and the kittens eventually ended up at a wildlife rescue.
So how do you tell the difference between a domestic kitten and a bobkitten? Bobcats always have spots and sometimes have black tuffs of fur on their ears. When in doubt, contact a wildlife professional.