30th anniversary, Willy Wildcat remembered fondly

May 17, 2009 at 8:14 pm

Since 1980, Willy the Wildcat has entertained crowds and traumatized children at ACU events. The university has a history of attracting curious visitors who frequent campus for years without making any progress toward a degree, so Weird ACU sent researchers to Abilene to investigate the weird wildcat with just one name.

Willy arrived on campus in 1980, apparently under some kind of indenture purchased from a family in Cleveland for $1,200. The Prickly Pear that year welcomed him to Moody Coliseum where he “wanders leisurely on the ACU sidelines, as if he didn’t have a care in the world.” Or so it appeared to the thoughtless crowds, but to friends Willy was an introspective soul, who didn’t talk much, and simply shrugged when others engaged him in questions of politics or religion. 
In these early years, Willy worked through bouts of depression in his new surroundings, rarely seen during the daytime and suffering extreme spurts of weight gain and loss. Friends approached the Dean of Students about their concerns for the cat late in 1983 after Willy’s arrest by campus security at a Harlem Globetrotters game, not as many thought for public exposure but for the far more serious Abilene crime of public lewdness through choreography. 
That same year Willy was seen regularly with one Wilma Wildcat, though acquaintances from the period were unclear whether she was a girlfriend, spouse or family member, but by the following fall, she was forgotten and Willy was a lone cat once again. 
The loneliness was apparently too much to bear and in the 90s Willy’s health began to decline, his facial features became more drawn and lean until the fatal accident of 1990. Friends found Willy’s lifeless head in the newly opened College of Biblical Studies where undergraduates had apparently been taking callous pictures with it. Fierce to the last, the wildcat had apparently been drawn into a graduate lecture on the fate of cats in the afterlife (“Shall Felines Find Eternal Felicity?”) where he was slain by a professor in a fit of rhetorical violence. 
Over the last few years the sons and daughters of Willy (and Wilma?) have returned to the campus their father loved. Sadly, Abilene has been no more welcoming to the wildkittens than to their sire, and in April Physical Resources announced plans to set out traps to try to thin their numbers. 
As the 30th anniversary of Willy’s arrival to campus nears, the staff here at Weird ACU just wanted to come out in support of brave Willy Wildcat and his feral family. He lived life on his own terms, remote and brooding, wild and untamed, but loyal, fiercely loyal to the university that gave him a home. Willy, you will be missed. 

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