Catamount Mascot a Victim of Wildcat Family Confusion

Dear Editor:

I am a freshman here at WCU and I am proud to go here. I have always been proud of where I went to school, but there is one thing that has been getting on my nerves, it is our mascot. I thought we were supposed to be the Western Carolina Catamounts, but why is our mascot portrayed as a Bobcat? Wherever I see our mascot it is portrayed as a bobcat. Most people do not know what a catamount is but it is more easily identified as mountain lion, cougar, puma, big cat, painters, panthers, and about 34 different names. Catamounts are all but extinct in the Eastern part of the U.S. but their numbers are starting to grow in places where they were thought to of been extinct since the 1920’s. So to set the record straight here are the differences between these two cats. Catamounts are usually about six feet long, bobcats range from 24 to almost 40 inches in length, including the tail. Catamounts can weight up to 200 pounds, while bobcats usually weigh between 16 and 24 pounds. Catamounts have a pale brown coat, while bobcats’ mottled coloration varies from grayish to reddish brown with small darker spots and blotches. Catamounts have a long tail, but a bobcat’s tail is short and tipped with black on the upper surface. Also an easy way to tell the difference between catamounts and bobcats is to look at their face. Catamount’s faces are covered with short hair, while the long hairs on bobcat’s faces resemble ‘sideburns’ and their ears are usually dark with a white patch near the tip (just like the picture on the WCU homepage.) I know that this will probably not change the way our mascot is portrayed, considering they spent god knows how much on that statue across from Dodson. I just wanted it to be known what the difference was.

Sincerely, Josh James