My Daze As A Leopard…


I can’t really say that I was “seduced” by the furry fandom as I came willingly, nay, eagerly!  It was kind of like, “So a ‘furry’ is what I am?  All right, where do I sign, and do I get a membership card?”  

Perhaps it was the many hours I spent watching Warner Bros. cartoons as a kid, identifying with and relating to the characters I saw, liking them more than any human, and heck, wanting to be them!  I got to play a rooster in my second grade farm-themed class play, and I was like out of my mind with the part, although the teacher wouldn’t let me put my Foghorn Leghorn spin on the character.  Sadly, it wasn’t even a speaking part!  As Foghorn might have said, “Teacher, I say, oh Teacher!  You’re about to exceed the limitations of my medication!”  That could have been a breakout role for me, too…sad!

Then there were Halloween opportunities, when it was not only acceptable but required to role-play.  Forget skeletons, ghosts, and witches, too…I wanted to be an animal!  Back then, if your parents weren’t crafty enough to make you a costume, they’d pony up a few bucks, and you landed one of these Ben Cooper or Collegeville kid Halloween costumes.  The material of the body component might even be made of garbage-bag grade stuff, not even fabric, and I remember one tearing as I wore it.  The masks were thin brittle plastic, and it was almost impossible to breathe in them.  If unfortunate enough to wear glasses, they’d steam them up immediately, and you’d blunder around your neighborhood trick-or-treating with severely impaired vision.  Turns out, this was good practice for the COVID masks of today!  

Anyways, one year and the last that I went trick-or-treating, I wore a Ben Cooper leopard costume, identical as I remember it to the one pictured.  Although this was the world’s cheapest fursuit and looked it, I was in heaven…I mean, the costume even had a tail!  Thank God none of the other kids ripped my tail off, although a few grabbed me by it.  Nowadays, this would constitute harassment. And would you believe it?  The same vintage costume I’ve seen selling on eBay for $199, plus shipping.  Now I’m sure that my leopard suit wound up in the trash as I’d outgrown it and abandoned trick-or-treating by the following Halloween.  Maybe I should have said to my mother, “Hey, hang onto this!  It’ll be worth almost $200 in the future!”  But I didn’t know, and parents tend not to listen, anyways…they always know better, or think that they do!

It’s long gone, but I’ll always remember my leopard suit.  Then in a college production of Man of La Mancha, I got to play Don Quixote’s horse.  That had a much better full head mask to it, which unfortunately I was not allowed to keep, although the die was cast by that point. 

So hooray for Halloween, which unfortunately is rarely celebrated today as it was in days of yore.  If you’ve still got your old costumes, hang onto them…they might be worth some bucks today.  And as someone who’s worn the leopard suit, I can only conclude by saying…RAWRR!

 

 

 




 

 

 

Explore posts in the same categories: animals, anthropomorphic, furry, furry fandom, fursuits, historical perspectives, holidays

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3 Comments on “My Daze As A Leopard…”

  1. carycomic Says:

    You can always go trick-or-treating this year as Chester Cheetah. Or maybe even the Barbara Ann Minerva version! Unless, of course, Caitlin “Trans” Jenner already has a monopoly on that.

    Liked by 2 people


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