During the Amador County Chips fire in August of 2012, firefighters found a tiny female bobcat that was dazed and had trouble seeing. Not wanting to disrupt a wild animal, the crew did a quick assessment of the kitten and tried to walk away. She began to follow the sound of their footsteps, and curled up on their boots when stopped.
After flushing out the kitten’s eyes, a firefighter transported her to LTWC, where volunteer vet Dr. Kevin Willitts treated her for 2nd-degree burns on her paws and an eye infection.
Over the next month, the kitten, now called “Chips,” gained weight and healed from her burns. In late September, she was well enough to get a roommate, an orphaned male bobcat about the same age from Lassen County. The two cats took to each other and were soon tumbling and wrestling.
In November, the bobcats were transferred to Sierra Wildlife Rescue, a wildlife center with a more moderate climate and another bobcat for Chips and Sierra to interact with. They were released back into prime bobcat territory in the Lassen National Forest in Plumas County in April 2013.