Winged

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Domestic or feral Cat with apparent wings.

Variant name: Pauca billee (Hindi, Pankha billi, "winged cat").

Physical description: Otherwise normal cat with winglike extensions of fur growing from its back.

Behavior: In some cases, the cats are said to use the wings to make flying or at least gliding jumps.

Significant sightings: In India in the 1860s, Alexander Gibson shot a Winged cat whose dried skin was exhibited at a meeting of the Bombay Asiatic Society.

In 1899, Strand Magazine carried a photograph of a cat belonging to a woman in Wivelis-combe, Somerset, England, that had two fur-covered growths coming out of its back. They flapped about whenever the cat moved.

In June 1949, a cat with a wingspan of 23 inches was shot and killed in northern Sweden after it rushed at a child.

On June 24, 1966, Jean-Jacque Revers shot a cat with a wingspan of 14 inches that was attacking other animals near Alfred, Ontario. It was said to be able to make gliding jumps of 50-60 feet with wings extended. A veterinarian determined that the wings were long growths of thick, matted, black fur. An autopsy confirmed that it had been rabid.

Possible explanation: According to Karl

590 WINGED CAT

Shuker, Domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus) with a rare condition known as feline cutaneous asthenia (FCA) have abnormally loose skin that stretches easily along the shoulders or back. This can result in the creation of furry outgrowths like wings.

Sources: R. B. W., "Flying Cat," Naturalist's Note Book, no. 5 (1868): 318; "Can a Cat Fly?" Strand Magazine 18 (November 1899): 599; John A. Keel, Strange Creatures from Time and Space (Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett, 1970), pp. 37-41; X, "Vampire Cats," Pursuit, no. 36 (Fall 1976): 93; John Michell and Robert J. N. Rickard, Living Wonders (London: Thames and Hudson, 1982), pp. 118-120; Gerald L. Wood, Guinness Book of Pet Records (Enfield, England: Guinness Superlatives, 1984), pp. 93-94; Karl Shuker, "Cat Flaps," Fortean Times, no. 78 (December 1994-January 1995): 32-33; Karl Shuker, "Dadadadadadadada— Batcat!" Strange Magazine, no. 17 (Summer 1996): 24.

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