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Tennessee woman rescues 'kitten' that turns out to be a bobcat

By Ben Hooper

Sept. 25 (UPI) -- A Tennessee woman who rescued a kitten she spotted running across a road brought the feline into her car and took it home before discovering the creature actually was a baby bobcat.

Jill Hicks of Chattanooga said she was driving recently when she spotted the kitten running across the busy road and decided to rescue it.

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"So I pulled over and surprisingly it didn't run from me," Hicks said in a Facebook post. "I put it in the car with me and it climbed all over me like a kitten would do, got in floorboard under my feet, and after stopping a couple of times to get it nestled into my lap, I finally got home with it."

Hicks named the animal Arwen. She said it wasn't until a neighbor came over to look at the kitten that its identity was revealed.

"I was going to go home from dinner, give her a bath, put her in the bed with me and when we decided she was a bobcat, I was like I probably better not do all of that," Hicks told WDEF-TV.

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Hicks took Arwen to the For Fox Sake Wildlife Rescue, where rehabilitators confirmed the young animal was a bobcat.

Rehabilitator Juniper Russo said people can look for signs to determine whether a kitten actually is a young bobcat.

"Bobcat kittens always have spots in some form or another, whereas actual spotted markings are really rare in domestic cats and a bobcat kitten will sometimes, but not always, have black tufts on the ears, which are also possible in domestic cats, but pretty rare," Russo said.

Russo said Arwen will be cared for until the animal is old enough to be released back into the wild, likely around March.

Hicks said she has no regrets about her actions.

"Even though I thought she was a kitten, had I known she was a bobcat, in that small and in that high-trafficked area, I still would have done the same thing," she said.

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