70. The Thamesmead Prowler
During the early hours of Saturday 10th August at Goldfinch Road, west Thamesmead, a man awoke and peered around his curtain into the blackness of the night. A small animal startled him in the distance as it scurried around a corner into the gloom, but what shocked him even more was its pursuer. A large black animal seemed to begin to roll on the grass between two trees.
"Bloody Hell! That's the biggest moggy I've ever seen!" the man muttered to himself, keeping his eye on the animal, which he was now beginning to think must be a dog. Suddenly, it got up and walked to the left on all fours. It was then it struck the witness as to what he was seeing. A large black cat indeed... but a very wild one that resembled a 'panther'. The tail was very long and the animal was muscular but sleek, and it prowled out of sight.
The following morning at 3:30 am, the man, intrigued by what he'd seen, peered out of the window again, and to his amazement saw the same creature – but this time it was sitting near a tree near to his shed, and scanning the green. In the distance a domestic cat 'meowed' and the larger relative pricked its ears, stood up and slinked off. The witness decided to inform the police who, rather worryingly, told him they'd send out a unit as soon as one was available.
At 4:30 am the cat casually strolled back into sight. It wandered along the footpath and headed towards undergrowth. Then, at 9:55 pm on Thursday August 11th, the man had his third sighting. The cat walked parallel to the pathway from a northerly direction and again it headed towards the scrubland. Suddenly, a man appeared from the side passage that leads to the backs of the houses. He was shining his torch around the undergrowth as if looking for something. He scanned the football pitch and then returned from whence he'd came.
A few days later, on the 17th August, the man had his final sighting of the beast. This time it was 4:30 am. The cat was sitting on its haunches by the tree. The man decided to get a picture on his camera phone but all that could be seen was a dark blur. The man then shone a torch at the cat which didn't bat an eyelid. He then turned away to prepare his camera phone again but when he looked back there was no sign of the animal...
Photo by Jon's Pics on flickr