Blind bobcat kittens find helping hands at Big Cat Rescue

Published March 14, 2012

Tampa's Big Cat Rescue has its hands full this spring with a couple of rescued baby bobcats. And making things even more complicated, both came to the attraction blind.

The first one, now named Rufus, was rescued in South Carolina in December. He weighed just 4 pounds and had a broken jaw, a split canine tooth and was comatose, according to a blog post about the kitten on the Big Cat site. Rescuers there speculated that he had been hit by a car.

His jaw was wired shut, and he got tube feeding, but now weighs more than 5 pounds and is eating solids. The blog described the bobcat as doing better but said he sometimes walks into walls and gets stuck in corners.

"He just sits down and waits, and waits, and waits, as if he cannot figure out that he is not trapped," according to the blog.

The Florida Wildlife Commission helped with the transfer of the kitten to Big Cat Rescue, and now he's living in the on-site cat hospital at the facility until he is bigger and stronger.

The second kitten, a female who hasn't been given a name, was discovered by the manager of the Cemex Mine in Sumter County. Tommie Deaner had seen the kitten needed help, so he called the Wildlife Commission and they contacted Big Cat Rescue.

Deaner managed to capture the malnourished, blind kitten in a box, and she was taken to Big Cat for rehab.

She is suffering from starvation, blindness and parasites and is being treated with the hope that she will regain her sight as she improves, according to the blog. An eye specialist is going to see her soon. And the hope is that she can one day return to the wild.

Meanwhile, Big Cat Rescue is accepting name suggestions, as well as donations, for the little female bobcat at its website,