Who's that Cat?It’s Saturday morning, and the alarm is going off much earlier than he wanted. The snooze button sounds like a good plan, but it’s game day, so there is no time to waste. After a quick bath and brush of the whiskers, it’s time to pick out the “purrfect” ensemble. Decked out in blue, Wildcat heads to Commonwealth Stadium to pump up the fans and lead the Cats to victory.
Wildcat has been a staple at UK sporting events since 1976, when he first appeared at Commonwealth Stadium and Rupp Arena to entertain the crowds. While his moves have gotten fancier and his costumes more creative, Wildcat still represents the pride that all of Kentucky has in its University.
“Being the Wildcat takes heart, passion and pride in everything that UK stands for,” Wildcat said. “It’s my job at games to reflect the enthusiasm of the fans who are rooting on the team from their sofas at home as well as lead the crowd in the stands to help our teams win.”
The Wildcat not only serves the University at athletic events, he also serves as a friendly ambassador for UK and makes appearances at academic functions.
“It’s really important to me to be the best that I can be in representing UK. Each year, I want to top what I did the year before – I want to do things bigger, better and bluer than ever before!”
Being the Kentucky Wildcat is hard work. Wildcat spends several hours each week rehearsing skits and routines for games, creating new costumes to wear and brushing up on our opponents. Game days are even longer. Wildcat is one of the first to arrive at the stadium and one of the last to leave, but he says it’s all worth it.
“I still get that nervous excitement each time right before we do the ‘Big K’ at basketball games or get ready to lead the team onto the field before football games. It’s the best part of being the Kentucky Wildcat. Seeing all of Big Blue Nation dressed in blue slowly rise as we pass – there is nothing else that compares in this lifetime; and I should know, I have nine lives.”
When Wildcat is not representing the University, he enjoys hanging out with Scratch, UK’s younger mascot who serves as the host of the Official Kids Club, learning new dance moves and watching college sports.