Did You Know?: The Origins of Weston’s Wildcat
The Owl spends a whole lot of time “go ‘cat’ting” as you probably know, and you may wonder “hey, where did that phrase and logo come from?” Or maybe you don’t and then I would just skip this post.
After extensive market research*, the Weston Wildcat appears a universally well-liked mascot, as mascots go. As we watch the Washington Football Team and the Cleveland Warriors struggle with mascot changes, our town can thank a Weston high school student for the fantastic logo that graces anything that has to do with our sports teams or schools. In all honesty, it completely blows all competition out of the water. Or off the field.
There are many reasons why a wildcat is a superior mascot. First of all, no one really knows what a wildcat is. Seriously, google it. No one knows. But we all know they like to grrrrrr. Second of all, it has no gender. Anyone else get tired of the male mascots or is it just me? Not to pick on Wellesley which is my favorite other W but that Warrior guy with the giant mustache does not wholly speak for the girls’ field hockey team. And it’s not just the “human” mascots: my hometown is the New Canaan Rams. What does that make the girls’ teams? Don’t answer. Finally, I cannot for the life of me find any hidden racist issues with a wildcat but I am 100% willing to be corrected on that if you know something I don’t. Wildcats rule.
Back to the origins of the mascot. According to Weston High School alumni/alumnae of the late 1950s, an art contest was held during the school year of 1957-1958 to choose a mascot. There was no mascot until that point so the competition was pretty free-wheeling. One can only imagine how close we came to being the Weston Wild Turkeys or Woodchucks or Weston Deer Ticks. Fortunately, we were all saved by Peter Lawson, class of 1958, who drew the wildcat as it appears above and everyone said yes! That is totally what we want.
While there have been a few iterations of that Wildcat, including a seriously demented one created for last year’s Field School fundraiser (I am still trying to block that one from memory), the current one is my favorite. Nothing says “here comes our tiny school of 660 students to kick your tush” like this one.
Special thanks to Debbie Toppan, Pamela Fox and Alanna Muldoon for their assistance in writing this story. Please read the full factual account at the Weston Historical Society page, Spring 2021 newsletter (page 5). And become a member. And go ‘Cats!
*Not really. We’re not budgeted for that.
The illustration looks like a true wildcat (Felis sylvestres). Well, as you know I’m sure from your research (I just did it), wildcats are not native to North America. Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are. So to disambiguate, we should be yelling “Go Native Species Bobcats” or better, in Latin, “Vade Lynx rufus.” If the opposing fans are confused, just “grrrr” at the end. (BTW, Cat Rock is named after bobcats, found there by early inhabitants.)
I feel like “Go Rufus” isn’t quite as catchy as go cats but I’m willing to give it a try. I did not know that about Cat Rock but it makes sense…of course it is more Dog Rock now…