BLACK cats are normally considered lucky.
But you would hardly want the massive beast seen on the fringes of Huddersfield to cross your path.
A five-foot-long feline stunned three witnesses as it prowled along the edge of town in the last week.
And feline expert Paul Westwood, who runs Big Cat Monitor, thinks it could be a creature with a vast territory between Leeds and Manchester.
"It's very unusual to get two cat sightings in the same area within a few days which suggests, for some reason, it's staying in that particular area," he said.
Mr Westwood said he would be travelling to Huddersfield at the weekend.
Rose-Marie Wayte's Bolster Moor home overlooks the wilderness stretching west.
She and husband Martin left a chicken carcass out on Friday night for a family of foxes.
But at 9.50pm a very different visitor arrived for supper.
They watched in amazement from their living room as the huge cat wolfed the chicken down in one go.
"I couldn't believe my eyes," said Mrs Wayte. "There was this huge silhouette against the skyline on top of our wall.
"We get a lot of wildlife up here but nothing as wild as that."
The powerful animal had clearly smelled out the chicken on the wall.
"It stood up and just devoured it."
Robert Sowerby, 36, of Oakes, saw the cat on an out-building in Birchencliffe as he was being driven to work by a friend at about 7am on Wednesday.
They were turning onto Halifax Road from Birchencliffe Hill when Robert spotted the creature.
Just a week before, a pedestrian had spotted the cat at nearby Birchencliffe Service Station.
"This was not a big domestic cat," said Robert.
"You wouldn't be able to get a cat flap big enough. This thing was huge."
Big cats such as pumas cover 60 to 70 miles a day in search of food. Estimates suggest between 20 and 30 big cats live in the wild on the British Isles.