The first thing they noticed is that their cats were missing.
The thing about a housecat, of course, is that it’s difficult to know for sure if it’s really missing, or just out having a good time. So, it was at least half a year before the residents of Frenchtown Road in Trumbull, Connecticut came together and realized their common problem.
As the neighbors talked with each other about the loss of their pets, they also began to share stories of the strange noises they had been hearing at night. “I swear that it’s just like that sound they made in the movie Bringing Up Baby for the jaguar,” explains one resident, who asked that her name not be made public.
A few described having seen something that could have made the sounds, something that was the size of a large dog, but moved like a cat, with ears that stood up straight, with tufts on the end. Rumors began of strange breeding programs at the Beardsley Park Zoological Gardens, just a half-mile to the east of Frenchtown Road, which houses multiple species of wild cats. The purpose was said to be the creation a hybrid between the specimens in the American Lynx and the Amur Tiger, and perhaps other species as well.
Could one of the offspring of this program have gotten loose from the park, or been purposefully disposed of in attempt to cover up the unethical project? Could the creature survive? There is a large park on the northeastern side of Frenchtown Road, and Lake Forest offers an easy supply of water. Many previously wild animals, such as coyotes and foxes, now make suburban areas their homes.
At this point, the neighbors are unsure about what happened to their cats, whether they were eaten by the creature of Frenchtown Road, or were captured and made part of the breeding program that produced the hellcat that haunts their park in the first place. The staff at Beardsley Park Zoological Gardens have not issued a statement on the matter.