You what now

A wonderful and strange animal, never before seen in this 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 tale is a beautiful white, tipped with blue. --- Morning Paper.

From 'The Age', January 13th, 1828.

Is this an in-joke? Or a proto-big cat? Or just a mad bit of newspaper column filler? I feel confused.

a slightly confused ferret