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Mike Lockley: The Truth Behind Big Black Cat Sightings Is Revealed


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#1 NiftyWolfie

NiftyWolfie

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 02:28 pm

SO now we know. The big black cat spotted lurking in woodland only a stone’s throw from Chateau Lockley is, in all probability, a big cat called Whiskers.
To be fair, the moggie is a bloody big cat. I can see how it was mistaken for a panther.
I’m more baffled by claims by one un-named rambler in our weekly newspaper that the ‘beast’ pinned him by his chest to a tree. The animal purred throughout the three-minute ordeal, apparently.
Either he’s a dwarf, he’s lying, or the paper made him up. They’ve played fast and loose with the truth before.
I still cringe at the front page quote from fish and chip shop owner Kostas: “And when I looked up, I couldn’t believe the person I was handing a kebab to was Princes Diana, or her double.”
Mind you, that one may be true. Buckingham Palace refused to comment. Actually, they weren’t available to comment.
Actually, I know the reporter responsible. He couldn’t be bothered to ring them, but threw in the line ‘at the time of going to press, there was no one available to comment at…’
I remember thinking that was strange. Buckingham Palace is a big place. Someone must’ve been in.
When a local farmer confessed that his over-sized puss was probably the source of the big cat scare, I rang the newspaper editor and urged him to show diplomacy and not portray parishioners as idiots.
On Thursday almost the entire front page was swamped by the banner-headline: IDIOTS! Underneath, in smaller print, were the words ‘Dim villagers mistake moggie Whiskers for big cat’.
Dictionary
I complained that we are not idiots, but got very short shrift. The editor barked: “You’re right. The dictionary definition of someone who mistakes a two-foot pet cat for a seven foot panther is ‘d***head’, but it wouldn’t fit. Goodbye.”
That savage piece was the culmination of a media frenzy. A courting couple told of their brush with the beast in a lover’s lane.
“In the bushes we saw two eyes, like binoculars...”
That would be Colin, actually.
A safari park expert presented the rag with tips on how to react when faced with a ravenous, growling panther.
“Under no circumstances try to stroke it,” he warned. “Stay completely still, don’t move a muscle – and slowly remove your shoe…”
Even Harry Houdini couldn’t remove his own shoe without moving a muscle.
“Then fling the footwear in the animal’s direction.”
Sounds dodgy. If you miss, you’ve got to run for it wearing only one shoe.
“Remember,” assured the big cat boffin, “a panther is more scared of you than you are of it. If it strikes, it strikes out of fear.”
I’m not convinced. At the point of sinking its teeth into my jugular, I’m pretty sure I’d be just a little more frightened.
Anyway, Mrs Frobisher was so petrified when she ‘spotted’ The Beast in woodlands that she had an accident. Panthers have accidents in woodland on a regular basis, so they’re at best evenly matched in the ‘scared to death’ stakes.
The big cat sightings caused a stir while they lasted, and had a crippling effect on the local economy. The Victorian tearooms rely on passing trade from walkers. That dried up after the county council put up ‘Danger: Big Cat’ signs. They’re the same as ‘pensioners crossing’ signs, but behind the silhouettes of two stooped, elderly people is a big panther about to pounce.
Feelings ran so high that a meeting was called at the Assembly Rooms where our village bobby implored top brass to close the woods.
“Hold on a second,” urged the mayor. “We’ve got to think long and hard about the impact preventing ramblers from using the woods would have on tourism. Hell, the local pub and tearooms are struggling as it is.”
“Are you telling me,” hissed the PC, a look of disgust on his face, “that you’d risk human life for the sake of selling one pot of tea and a cream scone.”
“Some people buy a whole Victorian sponge,” shouted the tearoom proprietor.
At that moment, the heavy Assembly Room doors flung open and a gnarled, khaki-clad stranger strode to the podium.
“I’ll catch and kill your big cat,” he drawled, “but it will cost you £500.”
After much bartering, the hunter agreed to search for the animal that night. I was roped in to be by his side during the mission.
Above the hooting of owls in the pitch-black woodland could be heard the rustle of something very big approaching through the undergrowth. Close by there was a terrifying roar.
The hunter calmly removed a new pair of trainers from his rucksack.
“You’ll never be able to outrun a panther,” I whispered. “Very true,” he nodded. “But then, I only need to outrun you.”


Article Link from 15-01-2012


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