Report from Nick Wirsten
A mystery beast is being blamed for the disappearance of family cats in Galashiels.
It's feared they have been hunted and devoured by an unidentified large black animal.
The beast was spotted by former Borders Health Board boss Bill Anderson as it prowled on Gala Hill.
And strange paw prints have also been spotted in the vicinity.
At least five cats have gone missing over the past 6 weeks- two disappeared within 48 hrs.
Despite searches no traces of the missing felines have been found.
Mr. Anderson told The Southern "The animal looked like a black Alsatian with a white blaze - but it did not have the same build. And it had pricked-up ears.
"It ran off for about 80 yards then stopped and looked back at me before taking off again to the edge of a wood".
He added: "We have looked for the missing cats but found no trace - and that is a bit unusual.
"People in the area are becoming worried about their pets".
There is speculation that the beast could be an unusual black fox- but experts say it would be highly unusual for a fox to attack a cat.
Another theory is the mystery beast could be a large feral cat.
Mr.Anderson intends to mount a search this week and gain photographic evidence.
Southern Reporter, 18 th July 2002
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