A large cat was spotted wandering around Whitlingham Lake on Monday. Our reporter Donald Neilson headed there last night to see if he could catch a glimpse.
I arranged to meet Paul Cockburn at Whitlingham Lake at 22:30. He is the man who originally photographed the large cat. I drove down to the car park and surprisingly saw a large group of mostly men, many holding cameras, gathered around a few cars. The hunt for the big cat must be on!
Luckily I arranged with Paul that he would flash his car lights three times to signal his whereabouts. I greeted Paul and he explained that he regularly attends Whitlingham in the late evening as it a meeting place for a dogging club. I did not see any dogs about but I’m guessing this was due to the cat spotting hysteria at the moment.
I asked Paul how he reacted when he first saw the big cat, “I was really scared but excited at the same time! I’ve seen some big pussies around here before but nothing as big as that!”
Paul’s lady friend Diane, a fellow dogging club member, explained that she heard an unusual noise, “I heard a really loud growl, I’ve never heard a growl so loud!” Presumably Diane then spoke about her dog, “My growler makes quite loud noises but only when it gets wet.”
I stayed in my car on the look out with night vision goggles. Paul was braver and advised me that he had been in and out of a few bushes. After a few hours we unfortunately did not find anymore evidence of the big cat. There were some screams and groans coming from other cars but they turned out to be false alarms.
Just before I left, at just gone 1am, there was news of a substantial cash offer from a national paper for a new photo of the big cat. Judging by the amount of men with their large lenses out, there will be stiff competition to get that money shot!