History of the Microsoft 'Ninja Cat on a Unicorn' (and how to get your own)

Last night, I posted on how to get a copy of the Microsoft 'Ninja cat riding a flame-breathing unicorn' sticker. Yes, you read that correctly. Just go with it.

Today, with my sober eyes a little bit more of the story is coming into focus, including some fan-created wallpapers, which I will give you the link to download directly.

However, first, some back story.

First up, it looks like the original image of a cat riding a unicorn goes back to a post on Deviant Art by an artist named Jason Heuser aka SharpWriter from late 2012. You can still download that, sans Microsoft Windows flag, from that site.

The image next made its way to a popular beer called 'Fantasy Factory' by Karben4 Brewing sometime in 2013. That beer garners a 92 rating on Beer Advocate, so evidently good stuff. Unfortunately, it is IPA, which means it might as well be dirt water (sorry I hate hoppy beers).

Sometime between then and now, someone over at Redmond modified the image further by adding the Windows Flag. For some odd reason, it is missing an Office and Bing logo. Regardless, the stickers were likely printed up by someone as an inside joke, probably starting over drinking that aforementioned beer. The stickers then began appearing online in various tweets.

In fact, I distinctly remember seeing Microsoft's Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President, Communications, tweet out the image back in December. Shaw is a rather prominent personality amongst media types, so someone so high up sporting one of these likely pushed the trend even further.

So what about the version on Redbubble? It is likely a copy (of a copy, of a reinvention, etc.). Rudy Huyn posted an image comparing both versions, and there are differences between the two. Still, for those outside of the US, shipping a few stickers from Microsoft's Campus Store was upwards of $70 (no joke).

Speaking of, the Microsoft Campus Store was selling two sizes of the stickers and a window decal (cling). However, they only had limited stock, and once we posted the link they quickly ran out. Due to the rising popularity we are sure they will somehow procure more.

Wallpapers of Ninja Cat

Not to be outdone, many in the community have taken to creating their own creations, which we will share here.

First up, Michael Gillett on Twitter shared some high-resolution wallpapers for your PC, laptop or Surface.

Download Ninja cat high-resolution wallpaper

Next, reader of the site Chris_Kez shared a Windows Phone Lockscreen version, now with Bing and Office logos to boot:

Download Ninja cat Windows Phone lockscreen wallpaper

Finally, Mike Hole on Twitter shared with us a smaller one for Microsoft Band owners. Using an app like Pimp My Band will let you set the image as your Me Tile, so you are covered.

Download Ninja cat for the Microsoft Band

Have you made a creation? Share it in comments with others! Don't forget to tweet out and share your devices to spread the word, because hey, it is almost Friday, right?

You can also still buy the knock-off sticker from Redbubble. They take Amazon Pay and Paypal, making the transaction super easy.

Thanks, everyone, for helping contribute to this story in comments and on Twitter!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.