Snarly cat repeatedly gets tail taps

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Caitlin Abel

Billy Hipp (left) and Ronni Melendez (right), both freshmen, talk by the Mountain Cat Statue. The cat’s tail was the subject of a new Pitt-Johnstown tradition, “Tappin’ the Cat.”

Victoria Gratten, Contributing Writer

During Pitt-Johnstown’s move-in weekend, freshmen were led to the mountain cat statue as part of their orientation to pat the cat.

In exchange for giving the mountain cat’s tail a tap, freshmen received a yellow and blue wristband, sporting the phrase “Pitt-Johnstown Mountain Cat Maniacs” to commemorate this new tradition.

Sophomore Nick DiGiorgio said, “No, that’s not a tradition. I didn’t have to do that as a freshman. I’m pretty sure that was just made up this year.”

At least one freshman said she thought traditions should not be required.

“I don’t think a tradition should be forced. I think that most students would make their way to the statue on their own because they wanted to, not because they were required to as part of orientation,” said freshman Emily Colella.

After patting the cat, freshman gathered in the Sports Center later that evening for a pep rally, in which coaches and student athletes were introduced. Student Affairs Vice President Shawn Brooks  said the pep rally is designed to get students excited to attend athletic events. “The mountain cat maniac fan base was something that was started several years ago but didn’t fully gain traction. All of these efforts were designed to get students excited about turning out to athletic events on campus.”

Brooks said there are to be additional pep rallies held on campus to generate school spirit, as well as a new mascot within the coming weeks.