I recently received an email which contained a striking subject line titled "black cats". I have been welcoming people to share their reports of unidentified and out of place animals for quite some time now, and I have finally received an email regarding a related sighting. I have received permission to share the person's name, the location of the alleged encounter, and the report here. The eyewitness is James Francis, a 40 year old man from Mississippi. He told me that he has had a lifelong interest in animals, nature, and cryptozoology, but was contacting me this time to share two encounters which he has had with a large black-colored cat. I have a great interest in reports of "black panthers" and relict Eastern cougars in North America, so I was extremely excited to receive this report and be able to share it. Here is his report:
I have seen a large black cat on my wooded rural property twice. I called the Dept. of Wildlife and they said they get reports of them all the time. This cat was quite large but nowhere near the size of a full grown mountain lion, leopard, or jaguar. I would estimate it under 2' tall and maybe around 4' plus long. It had a very long tail. It looked like a miniature mountain lion. It wasn't built as heavily as a leopard or as boxy as a jaguar. After doing much research, I'm convinced that what I saw was a jaguarundi. While I have been passionate about animals all my life, this is a cat that I had never heard of before. They are from South and Central America, and do resemble a small mountain lion. They come in a tawny color very similar to a mountain lion and a very dark grey that can look black. The first one (sighting) was probably about 3 years ago. It was sometime in the fall probably late October or early November. That's about the best I can remember. My living room has a wall of windows that look out to my backyard and several wooded acres of my own and neighbors' property. I simply looked out the window and saw it crossing the yard as clear as day. It was maybe 100 feet away. It walked out of the woods and walked across an open area of my yard. I ran outside, but it was long gone by the time I got there. I do remember that it was about 3:30 in the afternoon. I really can't remember when I saw the second one. It might have been a little over a year ago. I do remember that it was about the same time of day. It was in the same area of my yard and looked like it was sniffing around underneath a big cedar tree in my yard. Again, I ran outside just hoping for a closer look. I got a little closer, maybe 70 feet from it. I saw it run away this time. It topped a little rise in my yard that leads into the woods and it was just gone, which doesn't really surprise me since it's a cat.
|The image which James Francis included in his email|
|A map showing the regions where jaguarundis are recognized as a native species; Mississippi is not on this map.|
|Different images of jaguarundi individuals and a jaguarundi skull.|
|A possible jaguarundi track from an area of Texas where they are not a recognized species|
- "Jaguarundi (Puma Yagouaroundi)." Jaguarundi Videos, Photos and Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2013. http://www.arkive.org/jaguarundi/puma-yagouaroundi/.
- "Texas Cryptid Hunter: Black Panther Photographed in the Texas Hill Country?" Texas Cryptid Hunter: Black Panther Photographed in the Texas Hill Country? N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2013. http://texascryptidhunter.blogspot.com/2012/02/black-panther-photographed-in-texas.html.
- "Anomalist Feature: Are US 'Black Panthers' Actually Jaguarundi?" Anomalist Feature: Are US 'Black Panthers' Actually Jaguarundi? N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2013. http://www.anomalist.com/features/jag.html.