By Tim Binnall
A driver in New Zealand claims that she narrowly missed hitting a massive cat that crossed the road in front of her car as she sped down the road. The remarkable encounter reportedly occurred this past Friday night as Juliearna Kavanagh and her partner were making their way home. To the couple's profound surprise, when they turned a corner on the highway, a huge black cat darted out in front of their car about ten to fifteen feet ahead of them.
"It had a big cat head and it had a very sleek, strong-looking body," recalled Kavanagh to a local media outlet, "and it had a huge, long tail." The pair was particularly stunned because it is believed that there are no big cats akin to what they witnessed living in New Zealand, although the existence of such puma-like creatures lurking somewhere on the island nation has long been subject to rumor and occasional sightings have been reported in the past.
Citing the always-worrisome ridicule factor, Kavanagh was initially reticent to tell anyone about the odd encounter, but concerns that the creature could pose a threat to children or livestock in the area led her to phone the police and report the sighting. Although they conceded that they've received a handful of calls about such creatures over the last few years, the government agency tasked with handling the case concluded, as they did with the previous reports, that the animal Kavanagh witness was merely a very large feral cat.
For her part, Kavanagh wasn't convinced that the creature she saw was a mere housecat gone rogue. "This was no feral cat and that's a fact," she declared "this is a puma. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is what it was." Kavanagh's big cat encounter comes on the heels of another sighting in New Zealand earlier this month and, amazingly, at least five reports emanating out of England in just the last few weeks.