A cat-themed xkcd

The LOLsy comic xkcd has produced a kitty themed cartoon that is actually a three dimensional plot whose axes are cat phylogeny, coolness of cat name, and temporal order of Mac OS X system names:

May I suggest to Apple a Macintosh OS X “Pallas’s Cat,” the most wonderful of small felids? (Perhaps its other name, “Manul” would go down better):

Image Credit Flickr User muzina_shanghai


h/t: Grania and Matthew


  1. Steve Smith
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 4:47 am | Permalink

    Internet cat names are the next sequence for AAPL OS: Maru etc. OS X Ceiling Cat will be the ultimate, all-seeing OS.

  2. daveau
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 4:47 am | Permalink

    It’s probably cute as a kitten, but as an adult, it looks like a photoshop of all cat species jammed into one, for the humor value.

    • Christian
      Posted May 16, 2012 at 5:11 am | Permalink

      That whitish “beard” and the disapproving stare make it look like Santa Cat.

      And just yesterday looking up some other cat species on wiki and clicking around a bit, I stumbled upon the Manul which is quite a fascinating cat. Seems to be quite a pain breeding them in captivity.

      • Posted May 16, 2012 at 5:21 am | Permalink

        I thought it looked like an evil Santa.

  3. Posted May 16, 2012 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    “Genuses”? Oh dear. :p

    • chascpeterson
      Posted May 16, 2012 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      at least not ‘specie’ though.

    • Posted May 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      It’s an accepted alternative. And the one more easily deciphered by the largest number of xkcd readers.


      • Posted May 25, 2012 at 5:47 am | Permalink

        Nevertheless, he has now changed it to “genera”!


  4. Posted May 16, 2012 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    it’s a stunning looking cat! Attitude in fur.

  5. Christian
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    At the bottom of that page was a link to an other beautiful cat:
    The Sand Cat – Desert Cat Extraordinaire

    Maybe material for an other Caturday post 😉

    • FastLane
      Posted May 16, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      The sand cat is a truly awesome little felid. I first learned about them on a documentary…after watching one quite handily kill one of the more dangerous venomous snakes in the desert, the sidewinder.

  6. Posted May 16, 2012 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Thanks for posting this. I just sent it round to my group members from one of my Spring classes. We did a project on teaching biological classification and one of our examples of problem common names was Panthera concolor.

    Perhaps they are saving Smilodon fatalis for X 10.10. That is a true bad-ass name.

    • Posted May 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Is Cougar an older OS that goes after younger hardware?


      • Posted May 16, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Does anyone outside Australia get that reference?

        • Posted May 17, 2012 at 12:15 am | Permalink

          Well, since I am …

          I thought it was more a USian term!


  7. Posted May 16, 2012 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    For photos and descriptions of the world’s 36 cat species, check out the IUCN Cat Specialist Group website:

    The manul is indeed wonderful but no more so than my favorite, the jaguarundi. The Arizona subspecies is Herpailurus yaguaroundi tolteca. Coolness of name is very high. The cat itself, in the wild, is even more cool.

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted May 16, 2012 at 6:24 am | Permalink

      That website is not yet done and refers back to the old one. But thanks for posting it.

      I have to disagree with the jaguarundi, though: it looks more like a big weasel than a cat! The Pallas’s cat is far cuter–indeed, any other cat is cuter!

      • Posted May 16, 2012 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        You’re both right. Pallas’s cat is far cuter; jaguarundis are cool. They slink silently through the mists, like a jazz man leaving the club after a killer set.

        • Posted May 16, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          No mist here in the desert (plenty of dust and smoke, though!) But they do like prickly thickets for slinking – in AZ and TX, their presence is correlated with that of Allthorn, Koeberlinia spinosa.

          The jaguarundi appears to have a convergent evolution lookalike – the Bornean Bay Cat. The manul has a fuzzy New World counterpart: the Andean Mountain Cat.

          But they’re all cute – whoever heard of a cat that wasn’t?

  8. Achrachno
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Odd animal. Are we sure this is not a cat/badger hybrid?

  9. Strider
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry but any name with the words “saber-toothed” in it is an automatic win.

    • Reginald Selkirk
      Posted May 16, 2012 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Oh yeah? What if it goes up against a scimitar cat?

      • Strider
        Posted May 16, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        That is cool, too, but too vague. Is the cat wielding the scimitar? “Saber-toothed” gets right to the point! Plus, I’m afraid scimitar cats likely suffered from canine envy.

        • Posted May 16, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink



  10. Reginald Selkirk
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Homotherium venezuelensis

    • Posted May 16, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Ha! I Googled that for an image and the xkcd cartoon on this page is among the first hits!


  11. Posted May 16, 2012 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Oh no, they forgot Felis Margarita!

  12. Posted May 16, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Of course, the next version of Mac OSX is going to be called “Mac OSX Liger”. Cooler than both Lion and Tiger.

    • Posted May 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Or Mac OS X Tigon?

      Since cougars aren’t the only cats with multiple common names, we could also have Mac OS X Ounce. Or maybe that’s a lightweight version for OT.


  13. Posted May 16, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Also for an OS with far cooler animal codenames, please look at Ubuntu.

    Some examples of older versions are Gutsy Gibbon and Intrepid Ibex, the current version is called Precise Pangolin, and the planned next version is codenamed Quantal Quetzal (what is a Quetzal?)

    • chascpeterson
      Posted May 16, 2012 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      this is a quetzal

  14. Posted May 16, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    “About twelve million years ago it was one of the first two modern cats to evolve and it hasn’t changed since.”

    Um… Jerry?

  15. BilBy
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    What about ‘kodkod’? Leopardus/Oncifelis guigna.
    And then there is the tiny blackfooted cat from southern Africa (already a favourite on WEIT) with its Afrikaans name ‘miershooptier’ – the ‘anthill tiger’

  16. Posted May 16, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I always thought the Chinese mountain cat was the cutest, followed by the sand, Andean mountain and fishing cat.




  17. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    It is the missing cat-owl link!

  18. Nyanko Sensei
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    It looks like someone crossed a cat with a gremlin *(when it’s in the cute mogwai phase of course).

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