"Wonderful and strange animal at Reading, Yorkshire"

A wonderful and strange animal, never before seen in the country, has lately been caught on the premises of a gentleman residing at Reading, Yorkshire. It has a head like a cat, fore feet like a leopard, hind feet like a ferret, purple eyes when seen in the shade, and of a greenish hue when seen in the light. It has three white marks over the right eye, and three black over the left. It is of a whitey-brown colour spotted with red. The tail is a beautiful white, tipped with blue.
- Morning Paper.

Morning Chronicle, January 10th, 1828.

What does this mean? Is it a riddle or a joke? There isn't a Reading in Yorkshire, surely. And what's with the weird marks over the eyes? I am bemused. It's repeated in many papers. In fact, the Hull Packet says: "This beats the American Sea Serpent hollow."