The university's first mascot, introduced in 1915, was a real desert bobcat named "Rufus Arizona" after the U of A president Rufus von KleinSmid. Rufus had many successors over the years, until the practice of using a live animal as a mascot was officially discontinued in the mid-1960's.
The first costumed-student mascot, "Wilbur", appeared during the 1959 football season and was an instant hit. Since then, Wilbur Wildcat's appearance has changed significantly.
Today, more popular than ever, Wilbur even has a mascot wife: Wilma Wildcat! Wilbur and Wilma were married November 21, 1986.