The Wampus cat is a fearsome critter variously described as a large sort of water panther with glowing eyes that stalks its prey at night. The wampus cat is often compared to the Ewah of Cherokee mythology that was a woman who disguised herself in the skin of a mountain lion to spy on the men of the tribe as they sat around the campfire and told sacred stories on a hunting trip. When the woman was discovered, the tribe's medicine man punished her by transforming her into a half-woman, half-cat, who supposedly still haunts the forests of East Tennessee. The wampus cat is known by its six legs. Four of which are for running while the front two are for attacking its prey.
The Wampus cat is the mascot of the following high schools:
The Wampus cat was formerly the mascot of Cambridge City High School, Cambridge City, Indiana.
The Tennessee Wampus Cats, an AAU and competitive basketball team, are based in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The 1940's singing duo Lulu Belle and Scotty recorded the song "Wampus Cat" which humorously describes their fleeing from an encounter with the creature.
While the above version of the Wampus Cat refers to one type, the text below refers to another:
Clark Fork Idaho Wampus Cat:'
The Wampus Cat is a creature resembling a large mountain lion with a spiked ball on the end of it's tale. It became the Clarksfork mascot in February 1935, making 2010 it’s 75th Birthday. A teacher, Mr. Al Derr, came up with a few ideas for a sports mascot, including the Wampus Cat and the Sidehill Gouger (an animal with legs longer on one side than the other so that it could traverse the steep hills in the area). Luckily for us, the school students and Professor Derr decided on the Wampus Cat.
Local resident and Clark Fork Alumni Shirley (Dawson) Crawford wrote a story about the Wampus Cat years ago:
The Legend of the Wampus Cat
The quiet town of Clark Fork is home to one of the most enduring legends of Bonner County - the Wampus Cat. The fearsome feline has been the trademark of Clark Fork High School for 57 years - ever since the school's basketball team adopted the carnivorous cat as its own. But the tale of the Wampus Cat is rooted in legends of the Indians who once lived in the Clark Fork valley.
The Indians who lived in the valley told of a wild cat that was often seen stalking its prey along the banks of the Clark Fork River. The cat resembled a cougar, except for a ball-like formation at the end of its tail. Some stories of the cat reported that the ball was covered with sharp quills, or spikes.
When the cat approached his prey, he would begin to swing his tail striking down his victim. The slow, but deadly cat was given the name "Wampus Cat" by the Indians. Like the Wampus Cat of original legend, the Clark Fork Jr/Sr High Wampus Cat has become known as a fierce contender in battle and a sure conqueror of its prey.'
This Wampus cat is the mascot of the following high school:
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