Kitty LeFey’s Cosmos: A Place Oddity

Kitty LeFey’s Cosmos: A Place Oddity

There are sentences one would never expect to hear. Weirdly combined nouns all mashed up with verbs that don’t seem to work together? Such things are commonplace at Tabby’s Place. A sentence heard as, “Pork roll didn’t hiss at me today,” would sound really strange to most New Jerseyans. Pork roll is a tubular meat product. Of course it doesn’t hiss – not this day…not any day. Rolls of pork only hiss when slices hit the griddle. Increasing the oddness, the very same product is called Taylor ham in many places by many people. So, it is possible to hear someone (that would be me) seem to say, “Taylor ham was trying to steal my lunch.” But, how can a bologna-type pork product steal a lunch when it is lunch? Capitalization matters.

At Tabby’s Place, we’ve become inured to the odd impact such sentences might have on the ears of the uninitiated. We know Porkroll as a shy, grey tabby. We’re slowly gaining her trust. In the past, almost every visit with Juel yielded either a hiss and or a scamper into the farthest corner of the ramp to the solarium. These days, Pork Roll is more frequently found lower down the ramp. She also watches…intently.

A recent brushing event (yes, “event” is the proper term) that yielded 20 kittens-worth of excess Juel was the source of much fascination. He and I were having a grand time toward the lower end of the ramp, complete with head butts, tummy-ups (Juel’s tummy is a rare “yes, please; more, please” especially when brushing), and massive snuggles. To lure him nearer to Porkroll for closer observation (both ways!), all it took was relocating the step ladder, climbing up, and waiting for Juel to walk the teensiest portion of a parsec to resume our visit.

Porkroll watched. Porkroll looked directly into my eyes. I slow blinked and looked away. Porkroll stared. Porkroll did not hiss…not once…nor did she relocate. Juel and I re-relocated after a short time because pushing boundaries is one thing, but creating stress is another. While Juel proceeded to provide another yarn store’s worth of fuzz, Porkroll continued to watch. It was a magnificent visit that later led to the announcement that, “Porkroll didn’t hiss at me today.” A victory worthy of many champagne toasts! (In my case, cheers over beers. Not much of a champagne drinker. It ruins my orange juice, but I digress.)

It was earlier on that very day that another, more minor, yet still important, victory was achieved. My lunch remained my own down to the very last crumb. Such a thing is hardly unusual in most lunch spaces. Yet one has to be on high alert when lunching in the Tabby’s Place lounge. You remember Lynette? She was the original necessitator of the Great Wall of Luncheon Protection. One extraordinarily friendly, excessively sweet tuxedo has begun channeling Lynette.

Taylor Ham has recently proven to be even more enthusiastic than Lynette when it comes to attempts at breaching defenses. He claims that he wants, “only the very smallest nibble…just to see if it’s actually good.” My cell phone proved to be a weak point in my hastily constructed barrier. The ring-shaped phone stand was perfect for one little claw to easily grasp, so it could be dragged out of the way. Maybe there was a lot of giggling amid the minimal frustration. There were only two witnesses, and neither of us is talking. Suffice it to say that not so much as a wee nibble was had by anyone except yours truly, and, yes, it was good. Taylor Ham cannot confirm because, ultimately, my defenses held. Later, however, it could be heard said, “Taylor Ham was trying to steal my lunch.” There is even video evidence that the subject of the sentence was a cat and not a meat product.

Importantly, while we’re on the subject, let it be herein stated and well understood that Porkroll and Taylor Ham have taken opposing sides on the long-standing New Jerseyan debate. She insists the meats are more correctly called “Taylor ham.” He insists that such meats are properly termed “pork roll.” Both insist that they need very many cases of every brand’s offerings to determine which is best in kind. A proper table should be set and catnip tea should also be served. Be assured, if such a luncheon were to happen it would be either in a little kid’s playroom or at Tabby’s Place. If at the latter, someone might just utter a sentence like, “Fortune Cookie makes my heart crumble,” or, “Cornbread and Chicken Nugget cuddle all the time.” If it sounds odd at first, just remember to listen for the capitalization.

Here is something even better to listen to. Volume up!

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