Jill Hicks was travelling to meet friends for dinner two weeks ago when she noticed something that made her heart skip a beat: a little animal scampering along the road, poised to swerve into traffic. Her brakes were pressed.
“At first, I mistook it for a newborn rabbit because the fur was so fluffy,” Hicks, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, told The Dodo. “As I went closer, I noticed it was a little cat.” I pulled over and opened and kept my car door open to allow traffic to slow down. And I walked over to the kitty.”
Before she raced into oncoming traffic, Hicks was able to capture the kitten.
“I covered her in a sweatshirt I had in my van and hugged her close to me,” Hicks explained. “I was assuming it was a stray kitten that had been thrown out, so I assumed there were others.” So I started crying out, ‘Kitty, kitty, kitty,’ in the hopes of attracting more kittens. But I never saw a mother or any more children.”
Hicks made the decision to drive the cat back to her house, even if it meant she might be late or miss her supper totally.
“I placed her in the car with me, and she crawled all over me, wrapped her arms over my neck, and hopped into the passenger seat,” Hicks explained. “I had to pull over a few times to get her settled, but I finally got her on my lap, wrapped in the sweater, and she was quiet.” And I was patting and loving on her.”
Bringing the kitten inside the house didn’t seem like a smart idea because Hicks already has a large dog and an older cat. So Hicks created a cozy haven for the kitten in the garage, replete with a litter box and cat food and water containers. Tucking her sweater inside a cardboard box, she also constructed a bed for the kitty.
Hicks shared a photo of the rescued kitten with a request for someone to adopt her on Facebook. She then proceeded to her dinner. Hicks intended to bring the kitten inside her house (after securing her dogs in another room), bathe her, and take her to bed with her when she returned a few hours later. Hicks, on the other hand, received a rude awakening.
Hicks and her neighbor went to see if the kitten, who was hiding in a cardboard box, was still alive. Hicks took the cat in his arms and attempted to figure out who it really was.
“It was her tail that gave it away,” Hicks explained. “When I initially saw her, I saw she had a short tail, but I didn’t properly study her until I returned from dinner. Short, stubby tails are common in cats, but this one was a touch pointed at the end and had a white spot on it. And she’d begun to hiss a little… and snarl a little. “Yeah, this might be a bobcat,” I responded.
77Hicks published another Facebook post after her unexpected finding. “Ok, forget about rehoming this ‘kitten’ I discovered on the side of the road,” the message concluded. “It appears that I saved a newborn bobcat.” The video quickly went viral.
Hicks knew a wild animal wouldn’t like being bathed or sleeping in a bed with a human, but she didn’t want to abandon the small bobcat kitten in the garage. As a result, she slept with her in the garage.