Couple spot cougar on Kingston Road

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 9, 2009

NATCHEZ — Buddy Patterson and his girlfriend came to Natchez for a quiet getaway. They left with a piece of Natchez folklore.

“We just packed up and we were getting ready to head home,” Patterson said of the end of his weekend stay at the Cedar Grove Plantation on Kingston Road with his girlfriend.

Patterson returned to the house to thank the owner and was called to backyard to see a strange animal.

Email newsletter signup

“(The owner) pointed at this bobcat in the backyard,” Paterson said. “But I thought it was too big to be a bobcat. It walked like a cat, and it had a long tail. Not like a bobcat.”

When Patterson returned to work on Monday, he began searching the Internet to better identify what he saw.

He stumbled across The Democrat’s Web site, and the recent articles about cougar sightings in town.

“And it just hit me,” Patterson said. “I was like ‘That’s the friggin’ cougar,’ I can’t believe it.”

Patterson said the animal was walking across the backyard when it stopped, after Patterson called to his girlfriend, sat for a minute then walked away into the woods.

In addition to Patterson, his girlfriend, the owner and Lola Walter, the housekeeper, saw the animal.

Walter said she’s not positive what she saw was a cougar.

“But it could have been, I’m not sure,” Walter said. “It moved like cat, and it had that long tail.”

Sightings of the big cat, believed to be a cougar, first began on Briel Avenue in June 2008 when two local women reported seeing the creature.

Since then the cougar has reportedly been seen on the Natchez Trace, between the first and third mile markers.

Officials at the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have not substantiated any of the claims.