Once upon a time a lovesick Dahlia met a smushcat named Mr. Bruce. Mr. Bruce is an Exotic Himalayan who belongs to my friend Lisa. It was love at first sight. I considered bludgeoning Lisa and taking Mr. Bruce, but I don’t have so many friends that I can afford to kill one off. So instead, I started a five month quest to obtain a smush of my own.
Leopold joined our misfit household in late April. He is a black Exotic Shorthair with orange eyes. He was a show cat — almost a Grand Champion — but when he was a year and a half old he started sticking out his tongue. For whatever reason, cat show judges find tongues offensive, and Leopold’s career as a show cat came to an abrupt end. He spent a few years as a playboy stud. Now he is retired, about four years old, and living the good life in casa creepies. His tongue is always out. Sometimes it just peeks out of his mouth. Other times, his tongue is stuck way out and he’s definitely expressing his contempt.
I haven’t posted Leopold anywhere yet because I’ve been taking pleasure in having a secret cat. But it’s too much cuteness to keep to myself. His fur is silky soft black and his bright orange eyes bulge out. He looks unreal.
I named Leopold after Nathan Leopold of Leopold and Loeb. Leopold and Loeb were teenagers attending the University of Chicago in 1924 who kidnapped and murdered a 14 year old boy named Bobby Franks. They believed that they were smart enough to commit the perfect crime. Unfortunately, though they unloaded the body hours away in Indiana and obscured its identity with hydrochloric acid, their plot unravelled when police found Leopold’s rare prescription eyeglasses at the dump site.
I’m fascinated with the case for my usual perverse reasons, but as a native of the north side of Chicago, I especially connect to the restless rich teenagers who made some fatally bad choices. Leopold and Loeb also had a touching, warped love story. When Loeb was eventually stabbed to death in prison, Leopold washed his naked body and cried over it.
Incidentally, it’s interesting that Leopold and Loeb were interested in this idea of committing the “perfect crime” and living Niezsche’s Superman theory. A few weeks ago, two pre-teen girls fell into the fantasy of Slenderman. The triggers change depending on the context of the moment, but the outcome when you’re dealing with psychopathic children is consistent.
If you want to know more about Leopold and Loeb, I heartily recommend For the Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz Age Chicago by Simon Baatz.
I was a little worried that my Matilda Beast puppy wouldn’t accept a kitty sibling. But she’s quite taken with the Leopold cat. She often runs up to him and licks his face. I’ve seen her bathe out his ear with his tongue, and he leans into it. She also tries to get him to play with her toys. She’ll present him a ball by dropping it at his feet. Then she looks at the ball, looks at Leo’s face, looks back at the ball. Leopold just stares at her. Sometimes she barks with frustration at his face and once in a while that provokes a lazy swat in her general direction. He’s not really bothered to take her down though I’m sure he could if he wanted to. He’s such a calming presence in the household.
Leo and Bruce met last night. They seen to really like each other. So now there’s double cuteness.
Can you believe how freaking cute my cat is?