Several soaked and windblown animals were brought to the Atlantic Wildlife Institute in southeastern New Brunswick when Tropical Storm Lee hit the region.
Among those rescued were some squirrels, a chipmunk and a hummingbird, according to Pam Novak, wildlife director at the rehabilitation center near Sackvlle.
But there was one that clearly stood out: a tiny lynx kitten, which Novak estimates is only about a month old.
Weighing only 759 grams or 1.6 pounds, the kitten won’t be ready to be released until spring.
Novak said it’s unusual for bobcats to be born so late in the year, and equally surprising is how the bobcat was found.
A ranger from the Dieppe Department of Natural Resources office contacted her to say that a nearby resident was outside in the Jolicure area during the storm feeding stray cats when they noticed an unusual kitten trying to climb up their leg.
“They realized right away that this wasn’t a normal house cat,” Novak said, laughing.
“They’re definitely a little more aggressive, they have the full look of a lynx with a little bobtail, but very small and they still can’t be alone anywhere.”
While the kitten is “a handful,” Novak says he is in good shape and free of parasites. There was no sign of his mother, but he suspects the kitten couldn’t have been alone for long.
‘A feisty little thing’
Novak decided that, as the most unique arrival at the center during the post-tropical storm, the lynx kitten needed a special name.
“He’s just no ordinary kitty, this is a Tropical Storm Lee kitten, which is why his name is now Lee.”
Novak is still working with Lee on a feeding schedule and trying to teach him how to eat from a bowl while the kitten bites down on syringes and bottle nipples with his “pointy little piranha teeth.”
He said most years the wildlife center receives a few young bobcats from around the province, but this one is special.
“Even at 750 grams, it’s a feisty little thing,” Novak said. “I already have some battle wounds.”