Report from George Markie
Pity you were out when I called on Saturday, I would have taken you along to a "live" big cat sighting at Carnoustie. I was working and got a call from a mate who's a cop telling me he was watching a large jet black feline from his back garden which overlooks a freshly cut cereal crop and a sheep field.
As a cop he's obviously a trained observer and reliable witness. He also has a country background and is well into climbing, mountain rescue, grouse beating &c. so is very familiar with all types of wild and domestic beasties.
The field is used as a hunting ground by domestic moggies and the local fox is a regular visitor but this was something completely different.
His sighting, which lasted for at least 20 minutes, was of a jet black cat bigger than a fox, which ambled down the far side of the stubble field, occsionally pausing to lie down in the longer tussocky grass at the field margin.
Through the fence in the ajoining field - no more than ten yards away and in full view of the cat - was a flock of sheep which carried on doing what sheep do apparently unconcerned. The cat also walked past a heron which was standing in the stubble field, with no apparent concern on either part.
The sighting ended, just minutes before I arrived, when the cat exited the corner of the field. We went for a look and found where the cat had squashed the longer grass as it passed through a wooden fence and jumped across a small, overgrown burn. The amount of cover available was quite surprising, given the location on the edge of a private housing estate and next to a commercial riding stables.
My pal took a pic but said that, even using the zoom, he doesn't think it'll be too conclusive, but we'll wait and see what develops (pardon the pun!). As I said on the 'phone the other end of the field - from which direction the cat appeared to have come - is the main East Coast railway line.
Hope this is of interest, I'm doing a story for Monday's Courier so read all about it.
21 st September 2002
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