Cryptozoology is another one of those things I am, and always have been, morbidly interested in. I love animals and I love mystery and I love things
veering from normality, and this is all of that in one. I also love dinosaurs, and that’s another thing which drew me towards the subject.
But, I’ve never really been that fussed with the hype over alien big cats. For one, although I can appreciate the beauty of big cats, I’m a dog
person, and so have never really wanted to look it up or spend much time on it. If there were packs of wolves or hyenas being sighted in Cornwall
I’d be all over it like a rash, but cats? Nah.
The most famous in Britain, if I do a brief run through, would probably be the Beast of Bodmin and the Galloway Puma (although I’ve been to Galloway
for a holiday and never heard it mentioned… I did have a good few ghostly encounters though, but that’s off the point.) The Beast of Bodmin seems
to reside on Bodmin moor in Cornwall, and started killing livestock and being a general nuisance in 1992. In 1995, a big cat skull, like that of a
leopard, was found on the moor – although this isn’t conclusive evidence against anything, really. Especially since it was found to be from a rug.
The Galloway Puma was kicked off by a bunch of Canadian tourists, which led to a long chain of farmers and young ladies sighting the creature (bigger
than an Alsatian!), but once again, typical of cryptids – there isn’t a lot of evidence to support, or debunk these sightings. Peoples minds act
in funny ways, and people see things once they’ve been mentioned, so it’s another case of pictures or it didn’t happen – and even that has its
own problems. In 1998, the Royal Marines were sent to hunt the Beast of Exmoor after it caused havock on some farms, and although some Marines saw the
cat, only a fox was found and it was put down to mass hysteria.
Mind you, when a MoD police dog-handler videos something like this
becomes quite difficult to deny that they exist. In fact, I’d say it was more likely to be possible than not in most cases – although there will
be the odd publicity hoax as it is always the way.
So you may be wondering why I’m writing a thread on ABCs when there are plenty of phantom dogs out there in Britain. Well, I’ll tell ya. In recent
times I have actually myself sighted an ABC in the locality of where I walk my dog. The first time, I was out running and slowed down (massively
unfit) towards a field which I intended to walk up to get back to my house. When I looked up the field, there was a rather large black cat lurking
about in the bushes at the side of the track, which made its way a bit further down the field and then pounced into the bushes. I failed at life,
though, because for the first time in my life I didn’t have my phone (my shorts don’t have pockets!) so I tried to video it on my iPod and just
got a very shaky video of a bush. Sigh. Needless to say I was annoyed, and slightly terrified, and walked home a slightly different way, jumping each
time the bushes rustled. The dog was oblivious of course, and kept giving me funny looks.
The second sighting may have just been a big black dog without an owner that I chalked up to the cat because it was far away and I couldn’t see an
owner. I was with my father that time though, so he can back up that it was definitely there, and we stood and watched it for a bit coz it’d take a
while to get to us if it was a murderous beastie. Which I doubt it is. But it was in a field full of calving cattle, and as a pseudo country girl,
I’d have to kill its owners if it WAS a dog, because we all know how dangerous they are, and they were kicking off big style. Anyway, it wandered
off and we moved on and since then I’m torn between wanting to see it when my phone is on my person, and not seeing it again and avoiding a mauling.
On the other hand, I know a few other people who have had sightings of a similar thing in the area. A couple my mother knows were walking their dogs
in the same area when they encountered a big cat in the track in front of them. They called their dogs back, and walked in the opposite direction with
the cat watching them for a while before vanishing itself. Which sort of strengthened my belief that it’s probably more scared of us than we are of
it – or at least on equal par, as I was pretty damn scared. They don’t really pose us a threat unless we threaten them, or run away and make
ourselves prey, after all. They just go on with their lives.
My mam herself, and another couple of people at the farm where she used to keep the horse claim to have seen huge pawprints in the mud, and the horses
spooking at the hay bales line up near to the prints. And I mean cat and dog (or fox) prints are VERY different, lack of claws in cats and sheer size
making a pretty good case, although they could have been manipulated by weather – it is the north, after all. I now make a point of trying to track
animal prints if it’s been raining but I probably just look mental, scruitinising mud with my phone in hand in case I actually find something. On
the plus side, if I ever need to do any hunting I’ll probably be quite a good tracker (if I can learn some poise. I’d be the one in a survival
situation falling over my own feet and scaring creatures off).
The woods do seem to be a perfect habitat for a cat, if it wanted to live there – plenty of food and cover, and it’s almost deserted through the
week, and will be deserted at night – so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if there was one knocking about. And until it starts posing a threat to
livestock (cows, sheep, chickens and even horses have been attacked in the past in the UK) it’s just surviving like everything else does. And if I
was a big cat who could eat pheasants, I wouldn’t risk getting my head kicked in by a cow.
But anyway, I’m sure they are loose in Britain, and that there’s no need for panic or anything because if we leave them be, they’ll leave us be.
We put them there after all. People just left them to die, and they kept on living. That warms my heart slightly – even if they are ‘aliens’.
Good on ya, little’n. I wish it the best.
Links for anyone interested: www.bigcatsinbritain.org...
(although the front page picture makes me a bit sad. Poor thing.)
edit on 8/5/2011 by Ayana because: linky