Report from Nick Wirsten
Mystery surrounds the disappearance of five cats from the Barr Road and Parsonage Road areas of Galashiels.
At first, it was thought that foxes were to blame for the cats not returning home, but one local animal expert believes this might not be the case.
Bill Anderson who stays in Craigpark gardens and works with the Brothers of Charity in Barr Road, said that four cats had disappeared in the past four to six weeks - and two in the space of 48 hours.
A further cat has been reported missing from parsonage Road.
The cats are thought to roam in the evening over the side of Gala Hill where it is believed that they might have been the victims of foxes.
But Andrew Brainhall, the "Border telegraph" Bird-man, said that he would have been surprised if that had been the case.
"I believe that is merely speculation. I think that cats would put up a good fight," he said.
"Cats tend to wander anywhere and anything could have happened to them.
"I have checked a few websites and I have seen no information of foxes taking cats. They mainly avoid contact with cats."
Mr Anderson, who himself has seen what he described as a "black beast bigger than a cat" in a field of stock, said that a friend had told him about the missing cats.
Mr Anderson said that he had seen the big animal and also unusual footprints. "It could have been a black fox, and they are now more common," he said.
The mystery deepened further when a friend described the print to a person in Edinburgh Zoo and who had not recognised it. He reckoned that it could have been that of a fox.
Mr Anderson said that his concern that other cats could be in danger and he wanted to warn other people to keep an eye on their pets.
"I will go over the hill today (Tuesday) and see if I can spot this animal again," he added.
Border Telegraph, 16 th July 2002
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