What is a Wampus Cat?

What is a Wampus Cat?

What is a Wampus cat, you might ask? Well, it is a legendary creature from the Cherokee folklore. As we know, they have lots of tales full of evil spirits that lurk in the dark. However, the Wampus cat is different. Its tale speaks of bravery and devotion. The story goes like this:

One day, an evil demon with the name of Ew’ah, the Spirit of Madness, began terrorizing a village. The shamans and warchiefs held a meeting and decided to send the bravest and strongest man to fight the beast.  Standing Bear was the one that fit their criteria. Therefore, they sent him out on this mission to battle with the demon. Before he left, his wife, Running Deer, gave him her blessing.

What is a Wampus cat

Weeks went by and no one had any news from Standing Bear. Until suddenly, one night, he turned up in the village. He was screaming and clawing at his eyes. One look at him and Running Deer knew that he would never be the same. Her husband was no more. With time, he could learn how to do some basic chores. But the once brave man was no more. He was as good as dead to the tribe

What is a Wampus Cat?

Running Deer went to the shamans for help, and they gave her a new identity. With it, she could trick the Ew’ah and avenge her husband. After weeks of searching, she finally came upon the evil spirit. The two of them fought, but Running Deer was stronger. She used the magic of the mountain cat to defeat the demon.

Running Deer immediately turned on her heel and back to the village, never once looking back. When she arrived home, she sang a song to herself. It was a quiet song, of joy but also of grief. The shamans declared her the Home-Protector. Even now, the Cherokee think of her as a protector of the village.

So, what is a wampus cat? For some it is a ferocious beast, and it indeed it. But for others, it’s a protector.


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