By Shawn Proctor
While Villanova alumni treasure their pets, no matter whether they fly, run, or swim, there will always be a special place in their hearts for the University’s fun-loving mascot Will D. Cat.
He can often be seen pouncing around campus, cheering on the teams, and even riding a scooter. But with the help of the University Archives, we’ll take a spin back to mascots of yore and discover how this mascot earned his stripes (or dots, in some cases.)
Will D. Cat’s origin begins under a different name: Count Villan, a live “bobtail” variety of wildcat. Actually the second live wildcat mascot, Villan II (below, in 1945) was given the nickname through a contest run by the Athletics Office. (See more photos here.)
Later in 1940s, the Will D. Cat you know and adore replaced the live wildcat and has thrilled home crowds and terrified opposing teams ever since. Here’s an early look as he poses alongside four dapper gents.
Will D. Cat in the smooth ’70s…
And rocking out in the 1980s…
In the 1990s, he went through a few revisions, beginning to resemble the modern day Will D. Cat.
We hope you enjoyed this look back at Will D. Cat’s history and wish him the happiest of Cat Days! Can’t wait to give him a celebratory “high five!”
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