Report from George Markie
A NORTH Fife couple have become the latest in a long list of people who are now absolutely convinced that the many "big cat sightings in the area over recent years are based on fact.
Yesterday 51-year-old Ian Paterson, from Newport, described how an afternoon drive at the beginning of this week turned into an experience he and his wife Shelagh will never forget.
He said they were driving on the main road between Parbroath and Dundee near Kinslieth Cottages on Monday evening when his wife noticed something in a stubble field.
"What we then both saw was large black cat, well over a metre in length from head to tail and about the size of a full-grown puma.
"There was a tractor working only 50 yards away, and the site is close to the cottages, but this animal was obviously quite unafraid."
Mr Paterson said he and his wife had the animal in sight for more than half-a minute, but when he turned the car round to go back the cat had gone.
"This was far too long to be a dog and what we were looking at was a seriously big black cat," he said.
It was broad daylight, and was bright and sunny. I am absolutely positive about what happened.
"The whole experience was really exciting and we just could not believe what we were seeing. From the number of sightings there have been it seems to me that there must be more than one animal going around, and there could be a breeding population."
One local man with a very close interest in sightings is former policeman George Redpath, who had responsibility for collating details of incidents and has maintained a keen interest since leaving the force.
Yesterday Mr Redpath said only few weeks ago there was another incident in north Fife.
He had received a call about a cat in farmland and had been walking over a field when the animal got up from a patch of whins and walked away.
It appeared to be unconcerned about the presence of people and he had only just missed the chance of photographing it.
Dundee Courier, 10 th October 2002
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