NEW YORK — Buddy the Cat approached his dining nook, took an exploratory sniff of the wet food in his bowl and wrinkled his nose in disgust.
“Ugh! Marone!” the exasperated cat said. “This salmon smells terrible! What does it take to get a bowl of fresh gabagool around here, huh? Is it too much to ask for a nice chicken cutlet or some soppressat?”
The silver tabby has been arbitrarily dropping vowels from his words, peppering his meows with corruptions of southern Italian slang and complaining about his food more than usual after binge-watching the first two seasons of The Sopranos with his human, sources said.
“You’re bustin’ my balls over here,” Buddy meowed to his human, expressing sudden displeasure with cat food he’s been eating for years.
Witnesses reported odd changes in Buddy’s behavior over the holidays when he began watching episodes of HBO’s classic, but it wasn’t until he completed the second season that the mercurial cat built his own bocce court and began wearing a pinky ring on his front right paw.
A gold chain in place of a collar and a newsboy-style flat cap completed the look.
“Me and the boys, we like to hang out at Satriale’s and the Bada Bing in Jersey,” Buddy explained. “Though if you ask me, they got too many of them human broads at the Bing. It ain’t gonna kill ’em to mix it up a little with a Calico now and then.”
The previously non-Italian feline has been running in new circles as well, sources said, and has been frequently seen in the passenger seat of a Lincoln Town Car owned by Fat Vito Catterelli, as well as an I-ROC Z28 owned by Dino Felinzano.
His human, Big Buddy, said that things had “gone too far” when he arrived home one day to find Buddy with his feet up on the dinner table, a copy of the New York Post in his paws, and a radio playing WFAN’s Mike and the Mad Dog, who were arguing about Mike Piazza.
“Hey, Grande Compagno!” the cat said, eyeing his human over the newspaper. “How about a little melted mootsarell on top of my chicken tonight, eh? A little sauce. A chicken parm pâté, if you will.”
Told he wasn’t going to get “chicken parm pâté,” Buddy seemed unperturbed.
“Okay then, the galamad,” he said, nonchalantly flipping to the sports section.
“Do you even know what ‘galamad’ is, you little clown?” Big Buddy asked.
Buddy stopped flipping the pages of the Post, pausing with the newspaper as a shield over his eyes.
“It’s, uh, some kind of…pork. Yeah! Pork, obviously,” the flustered cat said. “From Arthur Ave.”
“It’s fried squid, dummy! You’re not gonna eat fried squid!”
Buddy shrugged and went back to flipping the pages.
“Then I guess,” he said, “you’ll have to make the chicken parm.”