look closely at Mike the Tiger, and tell me he has low/rounded ears.
Well, I looked, they ARE rounded. If he's relaxed, they're towards the sides (360 deg. listening mode), so from the front it looks more like the "cat" triangle; if he's focusing on you, they're turned towards his attention (round teddybear look), if he's roaring, they're flattened back tight to his head and not visible.
2) Screw the black...use a dark purple for the stripings and other accompanying aspects. Purple and Gold and White. It is a mascot, not a real animal,
I've always had a problem with painting his nose and tongue YELLOW. Not natural. Black nose, and tongus either pink (yeah I said it) or red (blood of his victims?).