Report from Brenda Butt via Chris Smith
Perhaps there is a big cat at Kingston after all: following last week's story throwing doubt on its existence, five readers have reported seeing evidence that a large cat-like creature does exist in the area.
Local residents Hibre White, David Anderson, Jenny Malik, Brenda Butt and Jenny Dunbar have e-mailed information of various sightings.
In March last year a large black panther-like creature was seen in fields near Burnside Lane, Kingston. In April it was spotted by marshes, and later by bushes in the same area.
In October there was a further sighting near the lane, and in December it was seen lying in pasture land near the water tower.
They say: 'Big cats are regularly sighted throughout the British Isles, so it doesn't seem unusual that one of their number has taken up residence locally, although they cover a very large area, and it is impossible to know exactly where it may have a lair.
'We have not gone public before on our sighting in the Lein area because of the attitude that we must be 'big cat hunters'. We are merely people who keep our eyes open and have been lucky enough to see one of these beautiful animals.
Mr David Mackay of Garmouth, who last week raised doubts about the cat's existence, remains unconvinced however.
'In this day and age, I wouldn't say a big cat definitely doesn't exist around here, but it seems strange that it hasn't been a topic of conversation in the village,' he said. 'This is not a big community, and I would have thought that if there had been sightings it would have been talked about.'
'I have since spoken to one or two people who said they had seen pug marks, while one said she was fairly sure she had seen a large black animal cross the road near the cemetery a few months ago.
'On the other hand, in the area where the big cats is said to have been seen, there is a lady who keeps ducks and a farmer with young calves. I think if there was a big cat were around, it would have been after them, and it hasn't.
Northern Scot January 19 th 2001
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