Elderly Woman Warns Of 'Leopard-Like' Creature After Spotting Lost Cat
British newspapers dubbed him "The Beast of Broomfield," but to pet owner Hannah Butcher, he's always just been Dougal.
Butcher first heard the fearsome new nickname on Tuesday, when a senior citizen told The Essex Chronicle about a terrifying close encounter she had with an animal she was "100 percent certain" was "a big wild cat, possibly a lynx or a jungle cat."
Describing the beast as "a huge cat" with leopard-like markings, green eyes and no tail, the unnamed retiree said she wanted to warn parents of small children about the creature that made her "shiver with fear."
"With one huge leap the cat had jumped onto the top of my 7-foot-fence and disappeared over the other side," the woman toldthe newspaper. "I have never seen anything like this in my life and remain shaken by the experience."
Hannah Butcher, however, claims to have not only seen the beast before, but to have even let him into her home.
"It's not a leopard," she told the BBC. "It's bound to be Dougal, my cat."
According to Butcher, Dougal disappeared late last month and she has been desperately searching for him ever since.
"How many cats can there be with such distinctive markings and no tail?" she said. "It's just my domestic Bengal."
Calling the confusion "a bit bonkers," Butcher said she hopes the added publicity will help her find the not-so-ferocious feline.
"The last sighting we're aware of is that he was round the back of KFC," she told the Chronicle. "He loves chicken."