Mudcat uses a very simple (and early?) form of bulletin board technology. It suits the virtually-unmoderated style of the forum.
There are more recent bulletin board packages such as YABB and PHB which can show which threads have been viewed and how many times, how many times each poster has posted etc etc which I am sure many have seen elsewhere. Sites such as musesmuse.com and songstuff.com use this type of technology.
But you would have to canvas the management to get them to change the look of mudcat and I sense that a lot of people here like it just as it is.