Cats Protection Inverurie
Big Cat Sighting

11 September 2004

A Kingswells woman spotted a big cat on the prowl for the second time while walking her dog yesterday.

Aleen Shinnie and her husband, Andrew, had taken their golden retriever, Bailey, to wasteland near Wellside Wynd when they spotted the oversize feline.

It is the second sighting the self-employed caterer has had in the area alongside the Bucks Burn - a popular spot for dog walkers - and she is convinced it is the same animal.

During March 2003, the Press and Journal reported Mrs Shinnie's sighting of a large, dark tabby cat with dark stripes and a great long tail.

On that occasion she caught only a glimpse of the creature and her husband did see it at all.

This time, the couple both stood and watched it from 5.30pm to 6pm.

Mrs Shinnie, 37, described it as being about the same size as her golden retriever.

She said: "It was incredible. We were just in total awe of it.

"We stood and watched it walking across the field in broad daylight. Thankfully the dog was tired from his walk and just sat at our feet oblivious."

Mrs Shinnie said she first spotted the cat beside a gorse bush and pointed it out to her husband. Moments later, the couple, who were downwind of it, saw it turn and appear to look straight at them.

Then it started moving very slowly through the grass, crouched down, as if hunting.

A few moments later, the couple saw a small deer take off up a nearby hill. They believe it could have been the cat's quarry.

Mark Fraser, of the Scottish Big Cat Society, previously said he believed Mrs Shinnie might have seen a type of African wildcat.

African Wild Cat