The sighting

An elderly woman in Essex recently let her dog out into the yard and got a huge surprise. The dog then made a fuss to get back inside quickly. She let him back in and returned to washing dishes. When she looked out the window over the sink, she couldn’t believe her eyes. In her backyard was a huge cat with leopard-like markings and no tail. She noted he was much bigger than a domestic cat and had large, green eyes. She was shaken by the experience and wanted to warn others of the potential danger, so anyone with small pets or children would know to be on the lookout.

The story

To alert her fellow citizens, the woman wrote an anonymous letter to the local paper, detailing what she’d seen. In her letter, she noted, “I have never seen anything like this in my life and remain shaken by the experience. I’m 100 percent certain it was a big wild cat, possibly a lynx or a jungle cat.” The fantastic story was soon picked up by other news outlets and the animal was dubbed “The Beast of Broomfield.”

Result

The widespread media coverage caught the attention of another local woman, Hannah Butcher, for an entirely different reason. Her cat, Dougal, had been missing for several days. It turns out, Dougal fit the description of the anonymous “jungle” cat perfectly, right down to the missing tail. Being a Bengal cat, Dougal is somewhat larger than normal house cats, although she’s still not sure how he could be mistaken for a wild cat. Luckily, the news of “The Beast of Broomfield” has brought much attention to Hannah’s missing feline, and she hopes to have him safely back home soon.