It sounds like many of us have had very isolated incidents where we have possibly heard the proverbial "wildcat" call. From everybody's varied accounts, it is apparent that it is difficult to describe, as was ably demonstrated in my initial poor attempt. I agree with turkeydoghunter that the sound I heard repeatedly had two parts to it, and I think Clarks description of a growling sound is more accurate than a purring sound. I thought the other part of the call had some resemblance to an owl, but I also wouldn't discount the idea that it resembled a sound a cat would make.
I do know for sure that what I heard was being made by gobblers, and that there were at least three, and maybe as many as six or eight, of them making the call. It started shortly after first light, initially with just one or two of the birds doing it. As it got closer to flydown, more of the gobblers were doing it and more often, until right before they flew to the ground, which was about thirty yards to my left, and with all of us on a fairly steep hillside. I do not remember any of them making the call once they hit the ground, although in the excited state that I was in at the time, I could be mistaken about that.
There were at least three mature gobblers and possibly as many as ten jakes, plus a few hens. The gobblers and the jakes immediately got into a free-for-all and all of them ended up in a big wad twenty yards straight down the hillside from me, gobbling and purring and kicking and flailing at one another, and pretty much oblivious to my presence there.
I had my gun up and on the wad, but it was still pretty dark on that hillside under the canopy of all of those giant pine and fir trees that we were amongst. I only had one tag left in a season that still had more than two weeks to go, so I had no intention of shooting a jake. Every few seconds a gobbler of some sort would separate himself from the fray just far enough and long enough for me to almost get my gun on him, and almost be able to tell if it was one of the big boys or not. As I recall, this happened about three times during the melee, and each time I hesitated in pulling the trigger just long enough to let the lucky bird jump back into the middle of the whirlwind of flogging wings, legs, and beaks. Finally, just as quickly as the whole thing started, the little tornado of gobblers disappeared over a slight rise on the hillside and off they went to parts unknown.
Just in case you're wondering, I gave them my best renditions of various and sundry turkey noises and employed every "woodswise" tactic I could muster for the next hour or so, but they had vanished as if the entire episode had been nothing more than a wishful figment of my vivid imagination.
At any rate, as far as the wildcat call goes, I guess they don't do it too much....so I am not going to worry about trying to learn to imitate it for use as a calling tool. It would just be one more sound not to know how to use at the right time!