Report from George Markie
The Kellas cat of northern Scotland, first publicly reported during the early 1980s, proved to be an introgressive hybrid (i.e. resulting from several generations of crossbreeding) of domestic cat and Scottish wildcat.
Intriguingly, however, some odd feral domestics have been reported from North Carolina, that sound very reminiscent of the Caledonian Kellas, even though there are presumably no Scottish wildcats living in the wild over there.
In November 2003, I learnt from Ben Willis via the MysteryCats@yahoogroups.com online discussion group that from the early 1990s onwards, he has encountered a number of black Kellas-like felids around coastal North Carolina. He estimated one such specimen to be twice the size of an ordinary domestic cat, and he was even able to capture and rear a second one from kittenhood, which he described as being "considerably larger than a domestic, with white guard hairs, a kinked tail, and extraordinarily large canine teeth." The white guard-hairs and unusually large canine teeth are familiar Kellas cat features, and the kinked tail suggests that this particular specimen may have had Siamese cat ancestry - which has also been mooted in the past for the Kellas cat.
Ben states that there is another of these odd cats presumably roaming the woods near his home, which he describes as having "the same coat as the others, and... a small white star on his chest" - as do the Kellas cats. The existence of such creatures in an area bereft of Scottish wildcats indicates that the Kellas cat's distinctive features may owe more to its domestic (as opposed to its Scottish wildcat) ancestors than previously supposed. Ben Willis, MysteryCats@yahoogroups.com 12 Nov 2003.
Fortean Times, January 2003
Ben Willis adds:
I don't think there was any doubt that the Kellas specimens were of some domestic origin, the question mostly concerned which breed. I surmised that the features more closely resembled the Siamese, particularly the flat skull, larger teeth, and kinked-tail. Sometime back, I noticed that in one of Mick Cole's photos, something of a kink was visible in the tail of one of his suspected Kellas's. Most interesting was the fact that it appeared in about the same vertebra as my own Panther. In another photo from Trevor Beer's book, I commented on how closely the tails seemed to match. Shuker seemed to be more interested in the kinked-tail since this would signify the Siamese.
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