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Sighting of 'beautiful black cat' near Carlisle

Two anglers have spoken about the moment they saw a “beautiful black cat” bound over a fence near Carlisle.

River Eden photo
The river Eden

Related: Couple 'saw big cat' near Carlisle's Asda superstore

Patricia White and Peter Callaghan, both members of Carlisle Angling Club, were fishing near Rickerby Rocks at the River Eden when they spotted the creature.

“I was sat by the river when I saw it,” Patricia, of Morton, recalled. “I thought it was a labrador and then I saw it more clearly and rang Peter, who was in the middle of the river.

“He nearly dropped his pipe!”

Peter, who lived in Carlisle at the time but now lives in Scotby, added said: “I looked up and saw a creature crouching in the grass, but I couldn’t see what it was.

“Then I saw the cows running and it stood up and ran and jumped over the fence and disappeared.”

He added: “The same week I was in the same area with another guy, and we saw a red deer at the fence, desperately trying to get through; it was panicked and I thought maybe it had smelled a big cat.”

The incident happened about five or six years ago but the pair’s initial attempts to report it to a radio station resulted in them being laughed at.

Despite the reaction, they have never wavered in what they saw.

“The sun was shining, and it was just a shiny black,” Peter recalled. “It was the height of a labrador, but longer and with a long tail. I know what I saw.”

Patricia was so convinced – and concerned – by the sight, that she even rang the police.

“I got through to Carleton House headquarters,” she said, “and they said they had had three or four sightings that day. One was on the edge of Penrith.

“I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it myself.”

Have your say

I notice most of the reports are around asda/rockcliffe/harker/blackford.

For those that dont know, Brooke Milestone used to live on the A7 and had a population of RED DEER penned in. When he died, somebody cut the fences down & released the deer.

For those that havent seen Deer in the dark, using artificial light - car headlights, infrared, spotlamps etc....

then they have 2 great big shiny eyes that reflect back. these are often confused with eyes of a cat.

If you spot a ROE DEER then, you can be forgiven, if you think its a CAT. but a RED DEER, well your a fool if you think it could be even the biggest of cats.... (unless it is laying down)

so there you go, mystery solved, everyone is seeing DEER, not CATS.

Posted by Ry on 3 March 2013 at 19:46

Robert, I've seen deer across the river from there, but these are roe deer, not the much larger red deer. Roe deer, having few natural predators, (other than man) have become more & more common over the last 15/20 years & are spreading out to take advantage of the more urban areas around the outskirts of towns & cities. As Roe are secretive by nature & spend their daytime laying up in woodland or long grass, venturing forth to feed at dusk, they can exist in an area more of less un-noticed except for their distinctive tracks.

Roe deer are about the size of a large dog or as their Latin name (Capreolus capreolus) suggests, about the size of a goat. Red deer are much larger & in Cumbria confined to Grizedale forest & areas in the Lake District, so it's extremely unlikely the deer witnessed at Rickerby were red.

Posted by Mosstrooper on 20 August 2012 at 19:18

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