An Apparition In The Snow
On November 23rd we had our first snowfall since moving into our cottage this year. I woke up pretty early, and decided to take a pre-dawn photo of our house in snow. The whiteness filled the air with a dense mist, and I could see the silhouette of the trees leading up the road, one of the few things visible, colorless against the white engulfing background.
As I stood there focused on my mission to get one good photo of the stone cottage against the white background, I heard a funny sort of 'animal sound'. Not a sheep; they were well across the field. More of a grumble (not a growl). Admittedly, the sound gave me a bit of the shivers, but it was coming from up the road. I looked up the road and thought I saw something on the left side heading towards the bushes.
I dismissed the grey apparition as my imagination and went back inside. When the sun peaked over the horizon, I went back outside to photograph from the crossroads. There, I saw animal tracks in the new snow. They looked a bit like a cat's, but were longer in shape and quite a bit larger than a domestic cat, and being the only house for almost half a mile, I knew it wasn't domestic. I ran inside and got my husband out of bed on a Sunday morning, which, in this case was surprisingly easy to do, but when he heard the reason for such a rude awakening in the depths of a winter morning on his day off, he was on his feet faster than I'd seen in years.
We followed the tracks which had led past our wee house, to the crossroads, and onwards. They went up onto the stone dyke wall and back down again, then crossed the road to the left side...... just at the point where I thought I had seen something earlier. We took photos of the tracks, and I've sent them off to Russell Coope, in north Perthshire, who is an expert on Scottish Wild Cats and animal tracks, and has been studying the cats for 30 years. Though we don't know what the tracks are. Hopefully he will be able to tell us if it is this endangered species at our own doorstep or some other wascally Scottish beastie! Any guess as to what they may be?