Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service.

Firefighters working to contain a California wildfire found this baby bobcat walking alone in circles by the side of the road. There was no trace of a mother bobcat, plus she kept going to sleep on their shoes, so the crew took the baby back to their command post, where public information officers cooed over her until animal rescue workers arrived.

The firefighters named the kit “Chips,” because she was found near the Chips fire (which in turn is probably named that because it’s near Butt Lake, and “Butt Fire” doesn’t sound very good). The kitten was dehydrated and half-blinded by smoke when she was found, but with the help of staff from Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, firefighters and public information staff fed her ice chips and flushed out her eyes until she was back to normal. A vet at LTWC also treated burns on her paws.

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Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service.

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Chips is still recovering, so until she’s back on her feet, she’s hanging out at LTWC having the best life a bobcat kitty could ask for — she has an extra-soft bed and six pulverized mice a day, and after every meal LTWC staff rub her with a warm cloth until she drops off to sleep. Which really sounds like a pretty good deal for everyone involved, except the mice.

Once she’s feeling better, Chips will be socialized with other bobcats and returned to the wild, where she will be happy to be alive, but probably kind of sorry to not get massaged to sleep after dinner anymore.