A chef who rescued a kitten “at death’s door” in the snow was shocked to find out the feline was actually a rare Scottish Wildcat.
Pete Macnab made the “once in a lifetime find” while out walking with his three-month-old son and pal Piotr Peretko on Wednesday when he made the “once in a lifetime find”.
The friends initially thought the fluffy kitten was a domestic cat lost in the snow at walking spot Huntly’s Cave, north of Grantown in Moray.
But after taking the freezing cold cat to the vet in the hope of reuniting kitten with its owner, they discovered it was a rare Scottish Wildcat when it was taken to the vets.
Taking to social media to try to reunite the fluffy animal with its owner, Pete said: “We saw a circle of sheep and found it a bit strange.
“As we were getting closer we found a tiny cat.
“It was in a really bad way – it was freezing, not really moving and at deaths door.
“My pal carried it all the way back and we took it to the vets.
“They were going to try and give it a lot of hot water and a glucose injection.
“Piotr phoned them back at around 6pm to say he’d come and take it home to look after it until the owners were found.
“They said no chance can we give it back, its actually a Scottish Wildcat.
“Pitor is, 6 ft 5″ and 30 stone – he’s a big teddybear but he was absolutely devastated.”
The baby Wildcat has been named Huntleigh to mark where she was found and is now being cared for by a Scottish Wildcat charity, Scottish Wildcat Action.
The charity estimates there are only 100 – 300 pure wildcats remaining.