i was reading this article about china's reaction to the movie kung fu panda. it mentions the movie's title in chinese, 功夫熊猫... i was curious how the word for panda was pronounced, so i ran it through adsotrans - xiongmao. "mao" as in cat? check. and it turns out the first character means "bear." so, literally, we have bearcat.
which, as it happens, connects pandas to the blues, for me anyhow. right after big mama thornton's song "hound dog" came out in 1953 (that's right, elvis's was a remake), rufus thomas came back with "bear cat" to approximately the same tune, complete with campy fun sound effects. it was sun records' first hit, and they later lost the lawsuit for plagiarizing. you can hear a sample here.
and so it goes, now you see why my mental pandas are no longer lounging about, munching on bamboo. nor are they waging gravity-defying battles against power hungry ex-con snow leopards. nope, they're scratchin' at the door, purring, and otherwise trying to win their way back in under false pretenses...
another panda-related tidbit i didn't know: firefox is another name for a red panda.