Be it known: there are exactly zero cats in this world who are sub-spectacular.
However, there are certain specimens who are simply in a class of their own. And today, the nicest class in the whole dang world is in session.
It would be enough to win medals of Extreme Awesomeness(TM) if they simply had the names “Leonard” and “Leroy.”
It would be sufficient in itself if they were just about as cute as a button the world’s largest button collection.
But Leonard and Leroy apparently take this business of spectacularity pretty seriously…because that’s just the beginning.
At five months of age, the boys have all the lanky, loopy cuteness of any feline teenagers. Look at them quickly, and you may think they’re identical twins. A closer inspection will show the distinction: Leonard is a perfect mackerel tabby, while Leroy’s sporting the “classic,” swirly splotches more common in Great Britain. Or, as it was recently phrased to someone who couldn’t tell the difference: “Leroy’s the one who’s loud n’ swirly.”
With a name like Leroy, you might expect a cat to be meaner than old King Kong. (After all, the kitten suite is the baddest part of town.) But this loud and swirly boy is perhaps the anti-Kong (I’m thinking more along the lines of Gamera). While the average adolescent cat has the attention span of a fruit fly, and will leap up from whatever he’s doing to greet you when you enter the room, Leroy is almost astonishingly…thoughtful. He and his bro are far and away the largest kittens in Tabby’s Place’s kitten suite right now (or, as one volunteer put it, “they’re those hyooooooge ones!”). Picture twin Shaquille O’Neals next to a Hobbit. Picture side-by-side 27-layer wedding cakes next to a cupcake. Picture…well, picture Gamera next to a box turtle. At five months of age, Leonard and Leroy are cat-eons older and huger than their companions, who barely break the 8-week/2-pound mark. Compared to them, Leonard and Leroy would seem to stand…well, about six foot four.
Fortunately, this Leroy, as the nicest cat in the whole dern town, is remarkably thoughtful. When you enter the kitten suite, you’ll surely spot Leroy serving as a blanket – a living fur rug – for a kitten or five. Last time I looked, itty-bitty kitty committee Collins, Ward, Kenworth and Liberty had all piled onto Uncle Leroy. When I walked in, the little kittens (kittenettes?) were all fast asleep. Leroy met my gaze, but then looked back down at the kindle of kittens sleeping on him. If I could translate his expression, it would be, Shhh…don’t wake the babies. In a stunning show of restraint, even though Leroy’s eyes said I want to get up and moosh you!, he stayed put, keeping “his” kittens warm and cuddled and content.
However, as you can see from these photos, taken just a short time later, Leroy is a proper kitten…and so there is abundant time spent moonlighting as mad, mad Leroy Rosenberg.*
It’s not just the loud and swirly brother who has a heart of gold. A little quieter, but no less thoughtful, Leonard is the other brother, and he’s entirely wonderful in his own right. If memory serves me, in that cultural landmark Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Leonardo was the most philosophical turtle – so it’s only fitting that Leonard should sort of bear his name. (Or was Donatello the philosopher? Actually I think he was. But I don’t care, because that wouldn’t work for this metaphor.)
All of this makes for two spectacular kittens. But I haven’t even gotten to my favorite Len-and-Le detail. Are you ready for this, Felis Catus folk? I’m not sure if you are, but here goes. Leonard and Leroy…finish each other’s sentences.
I am not making this up.
Maybe it’s twin-speak. Maybe it’s my imagination. But, over and over again, I’ve heard them do it. It goes a little something like this:
Leroy: -mow? Maaah-
Leonard: -mrrrp. Meeoo-
Leroy: -rooop? Brr-
You get the idea. I’m not sure what they’re saying, and I’d never presume to guess. I think it’s a twin secret, and that’s okay with me. I do, however, have a feeling they let their little kittenettes in on it.
And I do, quite honestly, have a feeling that these bodacious bros are not here for long. Ringoes may soon be out of the nicest cats in our whole darn town…but, for the right AwesomeAdopter, that’s a sacrifice we’ll be willing to make.
Special thanks to Tabby’s Place videographer Jess for these stellar photos.
*Yes, Leroy’s last name is Rosenberg. So is Leonard’s, and Webster’s, and Cecille’s, and every cat’s at Tabby’s Place. Long story. But 100% true.