Abandon all decorum, ye who enter here.
This is Jerome‘s home, and we are but guests.
Don’t misunderstand me; we are honored guests. Jerome is looking into ordering us all Burger King crowns, contingent upon our ordering him all the Whoppers. (All of them. And not those smarmy Impossible Whoppers with their plant-based hoodoo. Jerome is exclusively interested in Highly Possible Whoppers.)
But we are, in the end, Jerome’s guests here.
I understand that you have questions. How does a striped sausage come into sole proprietorship of Tabby’s Place? Will he retain the deed to Tabby’s Place when he is adopted? How did we survive this long without knowing Jerome?
Jerome is his own answer.
Jerome is the “GERONIMO!” you whoop as you dig your tablespoon into the peanut butter jar. Jerome is the velveteen couch that calls your name when you are shopping for reasonable coffee tables. Jerome is the hand-drawn map of a fairy-tale kingdom.
Jerome is the noun form of “gigantic,” as in, “I have been forever changed. Today I met an actual gigantic.”
Jerome is shalom, as in, “hello,” “goodbye,” and “the peace that transcends striving.”
Jerome is entirely at home at Tabby’s Place. Jerome is entirely at home in himself.
He came in the usual way, one more rail-rider from a public shelter. The elephantine tabby shared his boxcar with glamour cat Katniss, glowy Chloe, and the dowager empress Miss Marple.
One companion could engulf the world in her boa. One could explain the difference between “grey” and “silver” with a single flash of her stripes. One would breathe her last mystery after mere days in our arms. (You are forever loved, Miss Marple.)
One shouted “JEROMIO!” and purchased Tabby’s Place on arrival.
Katniss may be the croissant, a postcard cat with eyes like Paris and elegance longer than her hair. Chloe may have been the first adopted, a sterling silver charm on forever’s bracelet. Miss Marple may have taken and broken our hearts entirely.
But Jerome is the home.
Jerome is causing visitors to fall over their own fantasies. “I came for a tour. I already have fourteen cats. I don’t know if I can leave without him.”
Jerome is causing staff to contemplate new tattoos. “But if they draw him to scale with my other cattoos, he will take up half my body.”
Jerome is causing commotions without expending any unnecessary motion, the better to maintain his physique. Make no mistake: the trend of Autumn 2023 shall be Walrus Dad Bod.
Jerome is equipped with lower urinary tract disease and the upper limits of jubilation. He is size and splendor, kindness and Kriss Kringle come early. He is all the holidays, crammed together, pressed down and shaken together on the day called “today.” Tomorrow is also looking rather festive.
It’s Jerome’s home. Jerome makes the calendar.
It’s Jerome’s world. Jerome makes the rules.
We’re Jerome’s people. Jerome makes us better, balmier, sweeter, sillier.
Jerome has actually ordered a welcome mat, “Prepare To Be Sillied.” As a responsible host, he wants you to be prepared. Once you have been to Jerome’s home, you will be changed. The process is not reversible.
You will know the feeling of a land-manatee dancing infinity signs between your ankles. You will hear the chant, “lardy, lardy, don’t be tardy.”
You will walk labyrinths with smitten fingers through his wide-ruled stripes. You will walk backwards to childhood and find yourself as wide-eyed as a walrus bodied cat.
You just might feel more at home everywhere. The world is a hearth for the open-hearted.
That’s good news, since we suspect Jerome will not be calling Tabby’s Place home much longer. He will retain full ownership, and he will even let some gentle person say they are his “owner.”
We’ll all be a little more lively, a little more lardy, a little more gigantic for having been Jeromed.