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The Wildcat mascot originated during the 1976-77 academic year at UK. Gary Tanner was the original Wildcat, dancing and entertaining thousands of UK fans at Commonwealth Stadium and Rupp Arena during athletics events.
A few years later, he was joined by another Cat – walking on stilts – who made his appearance during UK’s twin tower era of Melvin Turpin and Sam Bowie. Even today, the original mascot is joined by Scratch, who’s a more child-friendly mascot and serves as the host of UK’s Junior Wildcat Club.
Today, both mascots attend each football and basketball game, several academic functions and generally serve as friendly ambassadors for the University.
In Fall 2003 and 2004, Scratch was named to the Capital One All-America Mascot Teams and competed for the title of the Capital One Mascot of the Year.