Wild E. Cat (New Hampshire)
Wild E. Cat is the official mascot of the New Hampshire Wildcats. The Athletic Department holds annual mascot try-outs for selecting male and females to wear the "Wild E. Cat" costume at various sporting events and occasional university functions. Those selected as the athletic department's icon are cheerleaders.
The Wildcat became the official college mascot and nickname in February 1926. Students cast their votes using a ballot which appeared in the February 26, 1926, edition of The New Hampshire. The "Durham Bulls," a nickname given to the Hockey team by the local media, was a close runner-up. Other votes for the mascot included a husky, an eagle and even a unicorn. It was argued in an opinion piece in The New Hampshire, in part that: The Wildcat is small and aggressive -- like New Hampshire. The actions of the wildcat are more symbolic of a New Hampshire team on the field than those of the sluggish bull. Furthermore, the actual mascot, if a wildcat, could be more easily transported from place to place than a bull.
The first live mascot of the University was "Mazie," a cat who was captured by a farmer in Meredith, New Hampshire. Maizie made her first appearance at the 1927 Homecoming game, and died in 1929. The second mascot, "Bozo", was purchased in 1932 but disappeared in Spring 1933.
The third cat was purchased in 1934, and was to be named for the first New Hampshire player to score in the game against Maine. Charles scored the first touchdown, but Henry kicked the first field goal; neither name was chosen and the cat was named "Butch III." Butch III lived behind the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house in a cage and was the only mascot to be stolen by a rival school. Butch III was stolen in 1939, a week before a football game against Harvard and just after the Wildcats beat Tufts. There were no claims of responsibility, but the cat was found in a garage in Woburn, Massachusetts with "HARVARD 60, N.H. 0," written on the top of the cage.
"Butch IV" was the fourth mascot and was purchased in 1940, but lived only a week. Since 1940, the only live mascot has been "Wild E. Cat," a cheerleader dressed in a wildcat costume. However, in 1970, a fan's pet wildcat appeared at some football games.