Report from Nick Wirsten
The Hawick News never fails to intrigue, especially the Big Cat story three weeks ago and further sightings since, these things do exist as I've seen one in Nov 1997 at the Murdermoss on the Selkirk to St.Boswells Road less than 4 weeks after a sighting around a mile away near Selkirk Hill.
That same year there were 2 sightings in July in Galashiels and I recall another reported at Bowden Moor.
Readers may be interested to know that if they log onto the internet and enter www.bigcats.org/abc/index.html they will access a site where you can report sightings and there's a table of them in Scotland since 1921 to the present.
The nearest sightings this year so far have been at Ormiston in East Lothian and in 2000 which was a particularly busy year with 91 sightings in Scotland, big cats were seen at Grantshouse and Reston in Berwickshire!
The night I experienced a big cat was around 10.40 pm travelling to work near St.Boswells, I started to climb out of the dip at the Murdermoss and caught two large eyes glaring back at me in my headlamps over at left hand side of the road, next thing the creature, dark in colour, leaped into the field and disappeared.
As a cat person I'm still adamant that it was a big cat, dark like a puma perhaps, and not a feral or farm moggy.
I'd recommend that anybody who's recently experienced sightings to get their story onto that website, who knows Hawick might be the hub of a new boom tourist industry with big cat spotters coming from all over the world!
I may be regarded as a complete sceptic regarding the railway reinstatement, but I'm certain there's more chance of seeing big cats in Hawick than railway trains in the next 30 yrs!
Hawick News, 23 rd November 2001
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