native american cat

Wampus Cat

It is a creature in American folklore, variously described as some kind of fearsome variation on a cougar.

Description

In terms of appearance, sources say:

  • It is commonly described as being bipedal.
  • A body covered in short fur that resembles half-mountain lion, and half-woman.
  • Yellow, glowing eyes (sometimes described as hypnotic).
  • It emits a powerful and nauseous odour.
  • A metre and a half tall (on four legs).
  • Cries out sinister screams and howls.
  • Very sharp teeth.

The wampus cat is often compared to the “Ewah” of Cherokee mythology,  in that it was a woman who disguised herself in the skin of a cougar to spy on the men of the tribe, as they sat around the campfire with their wolf brothers, and told sacred stories on a hunting trip. When the woman was discovered, the tribe’s medicine man punished her by transforming her into a half-woman, half-cat, to forever doomed to roam the Earth. It supposedly still haunts the forests of East Tennessee. 

Legends state the Wampus cat is the spirit of death and when its cry is heard that means someone is going to die and be buried within the next three days. It is also believed that the Wampus cat is aggressive and attacks humans, as well as feasting on their flesh.

SPYING IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA

ONE DAY A WOMAN WANTS TO KNOW WHAT THE FUCK IT IS HER HUSBAND AND HIS FRIENDS TALK ABOUT WHEN THEY’RE OUT HUNTING. SHE GETS REALLY FUCKING OBSESSED WITH THIS IDEA, AND DECIDES TO DRESS UP AS A CAT AND FOLLOW HIM. SHE DOESN’T THINK THAT SHE MIGHT GET SHOT OR ANY SHIT LIKE THAT; SHE’S TOO FUCKING DISTRACTED BY NEEDING TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS ON HUNTING TRIPS.

SHE FOLLOWS THE MEN OUT TO THE WOODS, COVERED UP IN A CAT SKIN, AND WAITS TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

WHAT HAPPENS IS THAT THE FUCKERS CATCH HER BECAUSE PUTTING A DEAD CAT ON YOUR HEAD IS A PRETTY FUCKING SHITTY DISGUISE. THEN, IN PUNISHMENT FOR INTERRUPTING THEIR PRIVATE MAN TIME, SHE GETS MAGICALLY TURNED INTO A MAN-EATING SIX-LEGGED CATWOMAN MONSTER.

IT’S A BIT FUCKING DISPROPORTIONATE. THEIR CONVERSATION WAS A BIT SHIT AND BORING ANYWAY.

Underwater Panther

An Underwater panther, called Mishipeshu or Mishibijiw in Ojibwe, is one of the most important of several water beings among many Great Lakes and Northeastern Woodlands Native American tribes, particularly among the Anishinaabe peoples. Mishipeshu translates into “The Great Lynx."  

Underwater Panthers are seen as an opposing yet complementary force to the Thunderbirds, and they are engaged in eternal conflict. As late as the 1950s, the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Indians performed a traditional ceremony to placate the Underworld Panther and maintain balance with the Thunderbird.

Description

  • It has the head and paws of a giant cat.
  • It is covered in scales.
  • It has dagger-like spikes running along its back and tail.
  • It has horns of a deer or bison.
  • Occasionally it has bird feathers.
  • They are often said to have exceptionally long tails.

The creatures are thought to roar or hiss in the sounds of storms or rushing rapids.

Mishipeshu are said to live in the deepest parts of lakes and rivers, where they can cause storms. Some traditions believed the underwater panthers to be helpful, protective creatures, but more often they were viewed as malevolent beasts that brought death and misfortune. They often need to be placated for safe passage across a lake. 

The history of Mishipeshu is merely a legend for some, but for Algonquin Indians and their relatives it is as real as the water and precious metal it guarded. Mishipeshu is known for guarding the vast amounts of copper in Lake Superior and the Great Lakes region. There seems to be substantial evidence that there was a very ancient and unknown people that mined the copper and moved the majority to an undisclosed location. Later, during the 17th century, the Jesuit Missionaries arrived in the Great Lakes Region. By that time, swiping copper from the region was extremely taboo and forbidden by the Ojibwa tribe. It was even worse to take it from the Great Lynx’s home, Michipicoten Island - this was considered to be stealing from Mishipeshu himself.

Encounters

There are a few stories that might be of true believers of this great beast. A Jesuit missionary named Claude Dablon told a story about four Ojibwa Indians who embarked on a journey to the home of Mishipeshu to take some copper back to their home, and use it to heat water. The very second they pushed off and backed into the water with their canoe, the eerie voice of the water panther surrounded them. The water panther came growling after them, vigorously accusing them of stealing the playthings of his children. All four of the Indians died on the way back to their village; the last one surviving just long enough to tell the tale of what had happened in his final moments before he finally died.

During the 1840s there was a copper rush; people there had realised the value of copper which was for the taking around Isle Royale and Keweenaw Peninsula.There was great suffering and accidents to which many key people and vessels fell victim. The steamer Cumberland was lost at the Rock of Ages Reef on Isle Royale. Another ship, by the name of Algoma, was sunk in a storm during 1885, and forty-five people sunk to a watery death in the creature’s lair.

Ilvermorny Houses: Wampus Cat

So…it took a lot longer than we care to admit to find sources on the Wampus, but thats mainly because when googling the info we just searched “Wampus” and not “Wampus Cat”…because apparently that makes a big difference.

Like the other house figureheads the Wampus Cat’s lore originates within Native American culture, and depending on the region you’re in it has a different Wampusy name, for example in Missouri its apparently known as a  Gallywampus. 

The Wampus Cat is, unsurprising, a half-cat, cat looking creature with some variations of its mythology identifying it as half-dog and half-woman as well. As seen on the Ilvermorny crest, the Wampus cat is sometimes seen as having 6 legs, “4 for flight and 2 for fights.” The Wampus cat is said to be quite ugly, smell of wet dog and sunk, and is viciously aggressive as it is known to attack people, kill animals, and steal children.

There seem to be 2 main origin stories of the Wampus Cat. 

One story depicts a Native American woman who followed her husband and the tribe’s huntsmen into the woods. Hiding under the skin of a mountain lion she spied upon the group learning their secrets and seeing their forbidden magic; when she was caught the tribe’s shaman binded her being to the skin of the mountain lion creating a monstrous half-human half-cat hybrid. Since that day she’s been doomed to roam the land and desperately cries to return to her human body.

The other story depicts a Native American wife achieving revenge for her husband who was mentally destroyed by the demon Ew’ah. She was able to sneak upon the demon wearing the Cat-Spirit-Mask and startled Ew’ah, who in shock and fear then began to tear into himself. This legend states that the Wampus cat embodies the spirit of this woman and serves as a protector of Native American lands. 

Irregardless there are actually quite a few reports and stories of farmers and hunters being attacked by the Wampus beast.

(As always sites we used to help us write this piece can be found under our references tab)