Residents of Chester in Cheshire County, England, aren’t smiling as the number of sightings of a huge black cat are on the rise and many people liken it to a puma in size. You can blame it on darkness, distance or exaggeration … but one witness claims his Doberman cowered when the cat made its appearance. Is it time to call Alice -- when she’s ten feet tall, of course?
“I focused in where the chicken body was and I saw this animal come in from the right. I was intrigued by how big it was and also how it moved - it moves slowly and then all of a sudden goes really, really quickly. I think that, whatever it was, for the first part of the run it had the chicken in its mouth.”
Frodsham resident Chris Bebbington shared his CCTV video the Warrington Guardian in mid-April after finding a dead chicken in his yard. He speculated it was a big cat because it moved differently that the foxes and badgers that normally set off his CCTV camera. Bebbington reported the incident to Puma Watch North Wales, whose founder Tony Jones called the video was "one of the best we've had" and informed Bebbington he’s not alone – he’s heard of multiple sightings in Chester in recent months.
“In the light on the brow of the hill I could see a long, dark figure, my dog is a Doberman and that must have sensed something but it cowered. Wouldn’t move. As quick as I got my phone out it ran over the other side of the hill, I was close enough to see how long the tail was and can tell you now this was no dog!!”
One of those was Kali Hagensweep, owner of the terrified Doberman, who saw his long-tailed big cat on the abandoned Old Oaks golf course near Mollington. Another large black cat “so long and muscular” was reported a few days later by an Asda employee who saw one in “fields behind the store, near Gorse Hill” just 10 meters (33 feet) away.
“I was in an enclosed area by tennis courts with my dog, he was the opposite side of the area. A large cat-like animal, about 6 to 8 foot away from me on the opposite side of the fence, stood staring. I went to take my phone out of my pocket to take a photo and it ran off into the bushes as my dog had come running over to me. It was bigger than my spaniel but short hair with a bushy tail and slender.”
Puma Watch North Wales got that report in February from a woman in Ellesmere Port, Chester. After that report, Tony Jones told the Chester Standard that Cheshire Police were investigating a series of sheep killings in the area being blamed on a large black cat, they don’t appear to have found anything. Chris Bebbington, the dead chicken guy, said his neighbor knew of a number of other dead chickens in the area, but the police again found no fowl foul play. Jones sounds convinced these were done by one or more alien big cats.
"Big cats such as pumas are solitary with a hunting range of dozens of miles. They’re mostly spotted in Snowdonia and the Clwydian hills but reports of sightings in urban locations some distance from these areas are becoming more frequent.
As seen with Llandundo’s now-famous goats, who have taken to roaming the town’s deserted streets during the coronavirus lockdowns, it’s likely that the reduced levels of human activity over the last year is encouraging big cats to roam further from the hills into more populated areas.”
Of course … it’s the pandemic! Is there anything we can’t blame on the coronavirus these days? It doesn’t appear that the shutdown is ending anytime soon so it looks like residents of the county need to wipe those Cheshire grins off of their faces and be on the alert for more sheep-killing, chicken-eating, Doberman-scaring alien big cats.