Thirteen days ago the Daily Mail online presented to the world a mysterious cat which they described as the Beast of St Albans. They said that the outsized moggy had leopard markings and was “definitely bigger than a domestic cat”.
This cat was definitely not domestic they screamed but actually when you look at the photograph and apply a bit of common sense you can see that we are able to scale the cat by comparing its size with the fence beyond and the plastic plant holders in front of the fence.
This cat looks very much like my domestic cat companion in both size and markings. This is a spotted tabby cat running through someone’s back garden. The cat is of a standard size and as mentioned about the same size as my cat. It’s just conceivable that this cat might be a purebred Savannah (wild cat hybrid) but it is unlikely because these are very rare cats in the UK.
UPDATE 5 DAYS LATER: we are told that an F2 Savannah cat went missing a while ago. The cat’s name is Idris. This is almost certainly the animal. F2 Savannahs are bigger than normal of course – about the size of a good-sized Maine Coon. Here is a photo from hertsad.co.uk:
The person who took the photograph, Olly Fairbrother is convinced that the cat in the photograph is not a ‘normal cat’ and that it has the same colours as a leopard or cheetah. The colours are somewhat similar but that does not mean that this is a leopard or cheetah! The similarity is only cursory. Both the leopard and this cat have spots on more or less tawny coloured coats. But that’s about it. And the leopard is vastly larger and much more stocky and muscular. I am stating the obvious, really.
Mr Fairbrother’s wife was really scared and she called him. Her voice was shaking. They think that there’s a large wild cat roaming around St Albans, Hertfordshire, UK because another resident saw a powerful looking cat lurking by the side of the road in the same area. This, too, definitely wasn’t a domestic cat! But, alas, it is and was a domestic cat.
There is nothing shocking about this cat. Apparently he or she jumped up the fence which is quite normal for a domestic cat. I think that we can conclude that this was a bad news day article. I wasn’t going to bother writing about it but once I had looked at the photograph I thought it was pretty obviously a domestic cat.
There is no doubt that Mr Fairbrother sent in the photo because the Mail asks readers to do it. He wanted to make a few quid and it worked as the Mail had a quiet day.
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