VIDEO: The Maine coon cat which was taken for a lynx on the Eastbourne downs

The owner of the Maine coon spotted up on the Downs and mistaken for a lynx has come forward.

Julia Wilkinson and her husband Derek are the proud owners of two-year-old Harvey and they say they were very surprised to hear golfers at the Royal Golf club thought it was a wild cat.

Brian Taylor, a member at the golf club, took a photo of the cat while playing a round. He contacted the Gazette and said he believed it was a wild cat.

Harvey’s owner Julia said, “I was amazed when I read it in the paper.

“I was having my breakfast, flicking through the paper and there was Harvey.”

Harvey is a pure-bred Maine coon, a breed also known as American Longhair.

It is a breed of domestic cat with a distinctive physical appearance and valuable hunting skills. It is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America, specifically native to the state of Maine,where it is the official state cat.

The Maine coon is noted for its large bone structure, rectangular body shape, and long, flowing coat. However, Harvey’s body had been shaved – making him look even more unusual to the golfers.

Julia said, “He had been very ill and had a serious operations and we nearly lost him.

“He hadn’t been grooming himself properly which meant that part of his body had to be shaved.”

She joked, “I did tell him not to go out like that. I told him he would scare people.”

Harvey has made a good recovery and is now out and about roaming on the Downs again.

Julia said she was surprised that he had been spotted on the golf course – around half a mile from his home.

She said, “I would really like to speak Brian Taylor to find out where he was and how far he had gone.

“It would be interesting to know what he does when he goes out.”

The golfers had even called Drusillas to check a large cat had not escaped.

Julia said, “I can’t believe it because he isn’t that big.

“He is two and he will grow until he is four, so he will get a bit bigger.”

Harvey also lives with two other Maine coons, Tommy and Daisy, but they do not roam as much as him.