It’s no secret that the naming conventions for Tabby’s Place run fast into the weedy, wonderful fields of the unconcernedly unconventional. From required reading to refrigerators, no source of inspiration goes untapped. In fact, there exists an internal social media channel where staff and volunteers can submit suggestions as soon as a muse sets a spark in someone’s mind.
Perhaps due to this channel, perhaps more due to the changing winds of the moment, several cats’ names lean towards foods that New Jerseyans favor to savor, many at breakfast (Maybe we need a Buttered Roll? Hmm… Okay, maybe not). These names include the likes of Hashbrown, Porkroll, and Taylor Ham.
It should be noted that both pork roll and Taylor ham are the exact same thing, which is, basically, an intense, salty, pork bologna. Pork roll is on the more current packaging while Taylor ham was favored on past, and very nostalgic, packaging. Again, they’re the same thing, but not in the way that Tabby’s Place residents Porkroll and Taylor Ham are the same: both are cats, but the packaging is different, with Taylor Ham being the…um…weightier of the two. He is shaped like an American football with legs, has love to spare, and he has also been burped like a baby. Porkroll, on the other hand, is a petite tabby in hiding. Efforts are being made to get her to love Tabby’s Place just as much as Taylor Ham does. We already love her more than we love any of our favorite foods.
Getting back to those foods, Hashbrown, for his part, is a crispy yet soft treat. He is a grey tuxedo with a luxe coat. Mid-sized and handsome with a switch tottering ever closer to flipped, Hashbrown is actively learning the ways of loving people, naturally starting with the feeders.
(Deep sigh. I’ll get this right someday.)
Okay, some of the non-food-based cat names have been given to cats of well-rounded proportions.
(Phew! Got it! OKAY!)
Alex, Baby, and Oram all carry their sizes well. Each one is sharp looking in his everyday finery. Jerome and Harvey are right there with them. All are dashingly debonair, flashing with fashion, fantastically frocked. Their largess comes through in the love they share with their many fans (of course, especially the feeders). Some go so far as to call Jerome “Jeromeo,” a nod to romantic notions because…well, you just have to meet him for one thousandth of one nanosecond to understand. We could also call him Jerome-meow! Not that we approve of catcalling at all, except in the very literal sense, like calling Carrot (NB: Also a food item. Oy!) to come out from the suite into the solarium. It’s a rare need, since he prefers the outdoors, but he does run for a cuddle when called.
As for the humans of Tabby’s Place, near and far, we may get fixed in our focus and set in our ways. We may struggle to see beyond the edges of our noses or beyond the four walls around us. We may even be a little cat-obsessed. That’s all okay. The round ones, the sleek ones, the hide-and-go-seek and the please-don’t-even-peek ones all help us escape from our own bindings. The cats remind us that we too are pretty nattily clad. We carry ourselves with flash and flare. Sometimes, we’re even a bit debonair.
These are things that come to be simply by our very being, but especially when we are able to see ourselves as more than our jobs, more than the sum of our parts, our educations, or our demographics. The Tabby’s Place cats remind us that we too are a profoundly well-rounded part of a very unique, very special whole. There is plenty of room for us all, no matter what anyone calls us.