Never underestimate the power of cured meat to complicate your day.
I think Winston Churchill said that, but it might have been J-Lo.
At any rate, Tabby’s Place is currently keeping company with one mad, moderately maniacal meatstick with vast powers all his own.
You can’t blame Pepperoni, really. (Aside: you can never blame a cat, not for anything, not even if he becomes a bona fide war criminal and/or plays “We Built This City” on repeat all night, which would be the same thing, but I digress.)
Pepperoni was plucked from the Big Apple and plunked in the Tiny Turnip. (Let the record show we are actively campaigning for The Tiny Turnip to be the official tourism slogan of Ringoes, NJ.)
Pepperoni was peeled off the place known for real pizza, real bagels, and real fashion and deposited in a land of real cornfields, real buzzards, and real weird humans who really think they can herd cats.
Pepperoni is actually a fan of our Boss, but he’s convinced that every last Bruce anthem, from Badlands to Jungleland to Land of Hope and Dreams, is a thinly veiled cry for help to get him out of Jersey and into the real world, meaning New York.
It’s all enough to make a meatstick-monikered cat more than a little…mad.
I would hasten to add that Pepperoni is not mad in the sense of hatters and persons who believe they are Napoleon and persons who believe that high-waisted jeans are a good idea. Neither is he mad in the sense of tantrummy toddlers or tantrummy politicians or persons who cannot find a decent bagel in all of New Jersey.
Pepperoni is mad in a more favorable flavor than that.
Pepperoni is a million Machiavellian speckles of spice and savagery, a little sub-sane and a little supra-angry, but mostly the kind of madcap-joyful that just might save hungry souls — perhaps even all of ragged Ringoes — from themselves.
Pep, salty and citified and serious when it comes to silliness, could sink Manhattan with the sheer weight of his loveableness.
A borough bursting with Jerry Seinfelds, Fran Leibowitzes, and Jimmy Fallons would be just one shriveled sausage-nubbin next to the planet-sized humor-pizza that is Pepperoni.
And so we roll with Pep, letting his cured-meat crazitude cure us of common days.
So, he rears up on his hind legs to fight you. Any self-respecting Tyrannosaurus rex or uprooted Manhattanite would do the same under these circumstances. (Let the record show that Pepperoni fully intends to remain victorious under precisely these circumstances.)
So, he goes from zero to screammobile in a New York minute. Screaming is still communicating, and as long as we’re communicating, we’re in relationship, and that’s good. (Pepperoni has done enough therapy to know that.)
So, he has a very complicated, very inappropriate, keep-your-tales-of-the-city-to-yourself relationship with fabric objects.
Any fabric objects.
Pep first displayed this amorous behavior with his bedding. Apparently, Fifth Avenue has nothing so glamorous and lovable as the towels and blankets found in Ringoes, New Jersey. Pepperoni loved these fabrics.
He LOVED these fabrics.
But “Sex and the City” went off the airwaves many years ago, and “Weirdness in the Country” has yet to be picked up, so we had to intervene. Pepperoni was gifted a stuffed animal sweetheart who quickly became his best friend, viceroy, deputy despot and second-in-command.
They cuddle. They connive. They contort themselves. They discuss the situation in South Sudan. They evaluate the merits of representative democracy. They debate whether or not it’s good for the world that Viennetta is coming back. They prank-call Jonathan. They contort themselves some more.
And together, they remind one mad, maddening, magnificent individual that he is exactly who, what, and where he’s meant to be…even if that is the depths of New Jersey.
So bring on the spice.
Find yourself a true friend.
And remember: if you cause a little heartburn, citify sleepy circumstances, or even complicate someone’s day, you’re the tops.
Take it from our favorite topping.