Sam came into my life, like his eyebrows, in a most peculiar way.
In mid-March of 2012, an empty cat carrier without a door appeared in front of my house. Like many objects lying on the sidewalk, we had initially assumed that our neighbors had placed it there to be taken care of by sanitation. One problem: our neighbors didn’t have any pets. It wasn’t until a couple of days later that we noticed a new cat with peculiar markings in the neighborhood who had situated himself in a little crevice between my neighbors building and my own. For three days I saw him every morning and evening in the same position, not having moved an inch. On the fourth day, I left food and water for him but I came home to find both items untouched. The fifth day had arrived and the cat was still there, so I decided to try and make friends. I spoke to him and gestured to the food, poking it around with my finger to get him to notice, but he wasn’t interested. I then tried to pet him and after no resistance and a weak meow, I realized that this cat was not feral at all.
A neighbor of mine came home to find me petting the cat and told me that he had been there for a few days. I told her that I was going to take him in and that it might be best to put him in a box first. She went upstairs to grab a box and after growing impatient, I reached over the railing, picked up the cat, and brought him inside.
For several days, the cat was kept in the hallway to prevent him from seeing the two existing cats that I had, and more importantly, to prevent us from becoming too attached. We knew that we could not keep another cat and asked around for weeks to see if anyone could take him to no avail. In the first two weeks that he was with us, we brought him to the vet, worried that he may have had injuries that prevented him from leaving the spot that he was in, and to get his shots and have him neutered. His examination proved that he was about a year old and had a clean bill of health. After the exam, we told the vet how we came across him and he was shocked to learn that we had not had him for several months. He told us that because of the absence of parasites and fleas, condition of his fur, paw pads and temperament that this cat was not a stray, he was abandoned.
Several more weeks passed with unsuccessful attempts at finding him a home. In that time, I decided to name him Sam, after Andy Warhol’s cats. By the time summer arrived, Sam was allowed into the apartment (though not with the other cats) and had claimed the space as his own. At the end of August, we realized that if Sam were to go to someone, the new owners would have to be absolutely perfect and be able to provide Sam with the same, if not more, love and affection that we had given him. In the end, it is unclear whether or not we could not find the criteria we were looking for or if we simply did not want to give him up, but it was decided that Sam would have a far happier life if he stayed with us.
In December of 2012, my friend Erika had suggested that I make Sam an Instagram account, insisting that he would become famous. I agreed to it thinking that if anything, it would be a good way to keep a photo-diary of Sam. The account gained followers slowly and steadily, but it was not until one of his followers posted him on Reddit that Sam became a hit. Soon after, he was featured on Gawker, Buzzfeed, and later by the Daily Mail and Huffington Post. He now has over 14,000 followers, and his features online are becoming a daily event.
This website was created not only to share Sam with the world, but to help out other animals who did not have the fortune, like Sam did, of being adopted. A portion of all the proceeds from this site will go towards benefiting Empty Cages Collective, an amazing organization in Brooklyn, NY which rescues urban animals. Though they have very little money are are completely volunteer-based, they are able to rescue roosters that have been fought, rats that have been victim to laboratory tests, and cats that are on the Animal Care and Control’s euthanasia list. ECC is constantly in need of volunteers, donations (monetary or pet supply-wise) in order to save as many lives as possible and I hope that Sam and his fans will be able to raise enough money in order to make their lives a little easier.
Sam was lucky enough to be taken into a loving home, but not every animal is. We hope that Sam will encourage people to help out animals in need, all while bringing a smile to their face.