National Cancer Institute researchers fail to notice ten-legged cat

UPDATE: Here’s Titan in his four-legged form:

Titan - 4 legs


Here’s where the missing legs went.  (Remember yesterday’s two-legged cat? Sadly, that’s proven to be a Photoshopped ruse rather than a true Google Street View image; see here and here.)

This photo was sent by reader Simon Hayward, professor of Urolic Surgery and Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennesee.  It shows a group of researchers convened at a recent National Cancer Institute “retreat” (pretty cushy, eh?). Hayward added this note:

In the attached photo–part of a panoramic view taken on an iPhone in my backyard last week—three biologists, a computer scientist, and a stray pathologist all fail to notice the ten-legged cat walking by (as indeed did the mathematical biologist who took the picture). Clearly trained observers.

He later appended something from the deci-cat himself:

Titan the cat would like it to be known that this is an illusion caused by his advanced hunting skills!


  1. Marella
    Posted May 8, 2013 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    Pity about yesterday’s moggie, but this one is pretty good too.

  2. Sheila B
    Posted May 8, 2013 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    With his advanced hunting skills Titan decimates the local rodent population

  3. gbjames
    Posted May 8, 2013 at 5:15 am | Permalink


    A fine start to this sunny day.

  4. Posted May 8, 2013 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Stray pathologist? Is Simon going to adopt him? 🙂

  5. Alexandra M
    Posted May 8, 2013 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Is this an effect of using the panorama setting on the camera (panning sideways)?

    • Simon Hayward
      Posted May 8, 2013 at 6:06 am | Permalink

      Yes – with the cat walking in the same general direction that you are scanning. The camera stitches the segments together, and we end up with a caterpillar. Didn’t see this effect until we looked at the picture. When I saw the bipedal cat yesterday I assumed it was the opposite effect.

  6. neil
    Posted May 8, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I bet whoever owns that decicat has very ruined furniture.

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted May 8, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Shouldn’t that be “decacat”?

      • neil
        Posted May 8, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Yes, you are quite correct. But JAC called it a decicat and I would not dare correct him on this blo.., I mean, website.

  7. Bill Gilliland
    Posted May 8, 2013 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Would that be a caterpillar in the photo?

  8. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted May 8, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Just what we needed – a cat having nine lives and a leg up on its hunting skills.

    CATS: All your bug are belong to us!

  9. JBlilie
    Posted May 8, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    That is terrific!

  10. Diana MacPherson
    Posted May 8, 2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    F. catus decem crurum

  11. Filippo
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    I wonder what Carl Sandburg would make of all those little cat feet. 😉

%d bloggers like this: