Since we published our piece on big cats I am amazed at the number of people I know – all sane, sensible citizens – who say that they have had an encounter with one.
Chatting to my next door neighbour and friend, he said that once, on a trip up to Ballater to visit friends, he screeched the car to a halt when he spotted a tawny brown creature trotting across a field next to the road. Waking his family up, all four of them watched as it loped across the field before jumping a wall and disappearing into some trees. He said that they sat in stunned silence before they all agreed that what they had seen had been a huge cat.
As my friend has just about mastered the art of reading his mobile phone text messages he didn’t even think about catching it on his phone’s camera. Indeed, he said; ‘by the time I’d thought of that I was staring at an empty field!’
This made me think, as my neighbour is not prone to excessive exaggeration (unless describing how masterfully he played a golf stroke!) why are so many people like him claiming to see these cats but so little evidence is ever found to support such sightings. Why, I ask myself, has no dead animal never been found and why haven’t more paw prints been found?
Perhaps, if they exist, these creatures are so shy that they stay off the beaten track thus avoiding leaving any trace of themselves where man habitually treads. I don’t know the answers but it is an intriguing subject.
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