By Tim Binnall
With the spring season underway, it would appear that a rather peculiar phenomenon is blooming in England: big cat sightings. The monstrous felines first made news late last week when a man in the village of Harrowbarrow reported to police a pair of unsettling incidents in which a large panther-like cat both chased after him and attacked his dog. James Stephenson told a local media outlet that it began when he noticed some inordinately large paw prints in his garden and realized that some sizeable creature had scratched his pet Labrador.
Stephenson got a glimpse of the perpetrator two days later when he was walking in his garden at night and noticed "two large green eyes" reflecting the glow from his flashlight. He quickly recalled advice from wildlife experts on what to do if they encounter such a creature and began waving his arms around to scare the beast away. Chillingly, the tactic had the opposite effect as the big cat began running towards him as if it were on the attack. Fortunately, Stephenson was able to escape the situation by swiftly scurrying into his house.
A subsequent investigation by local authorities and the RSPCA found a footprint left behind by the creature. Measuring a whopping five inches wide, the imprint would seem to confirm that there is, indeed, a big cat of some kind lurking in Harrowbarrow. Stephenson's account of the animal's aggressive behavior is particularly worrisome to residents of the community as numerous pet cats have also gone missing in the last week, suggesting that not only is the big cat on the prowl in the village, but that it's feasting on people's pets.
However, Harrowbarrow may not be the only community with concerns about big cats as, following the publication of Stephenson's story, a number of other sightings began to take place in other towns and villages in England. This past Monday, a pub landlord on the village of Broadwell filmed what looks to be a rather large black feline crossing a field. Meanwhile, on the same day, a woman living around 15 minutes away from that sighting also reportedly spotted a massive big cat which she described as muscular and walking in a confident manner, unlike anything she'd seen from a domestic housecat. "This was not a normal cat," she marveled.
Amazingly, yet another sighting of a big cat occurred this past weekend when a woman named Becky Abrey managed to film a huge feline that she estimated was "at least" as big as a German Shepherd. Initially a skeptic of the big cat phenomenon, she admitted that the encounter made her a believer as the beast which she witnessed was "huge, far bigger than any domestic cat." It's uncertain as to why, exactly, so many of the mysterious creatures have emerged in recent days, but one imagines that we may be seeing more reports in the near future as big cats keep making headlines and uneasy people start looking out for them.