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Wampus Cat

The Wampus cat comes from American folklore as a variation of a fierce cougar. It also is compared to the Ewah of Cherokee mythology.

In the myth a woman covers herself with the skin of a cougar and spies on the men of the tribe. While the men are telling sacred stories around a fire, she is caught and turned into a half-woman, half-cat by the tribe’s medicine man.

The Wampus cat supposedly still haunts the forests of east Tennessee. Other legends state the Wampus cat is the spirit of death and when its cry is heard that means someone is going to die within the next three days.

Several schools use the Wampus cat as their mascot:

Clark Fork, Idaho, Junior and Senior High school; Conway, Arkansas, High School; Atoka, Oklahoma High School; Itasca, Texas High School; Leesville, Louisiana High School: and prior to 1925 San Diego State University.

Knoxville, Tennessee, an amateur basketball team is called the Tennessee Wampus Cats and an amateur football team from Charlotte, North Carolina is called the Charlotte Wampus Cats.

A musical group who recorded several tracks in 1937 and 1938 was called “The Wampus Cats.”

Image Caption: Cougar (Wampus Cat). Credit: USDA/Wikipedia (public domain)

Wampus Cat


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