By Victoria Cumings
Given it’s not easy to tell these brothers apart, one could simply consider them an astonishingly cute couple of kitties. Spend five minutes with Sam and Marvin though, and their unique personalities and the ever-so-slight differences in their good looks become apparent.
Both strikingly handsome gray ‘tuxedo cats’, Sam is the bigger of the two. He’s named after Sam Cook, the influential American singer-songwriter and ‘King of Soul.’ One look at Sam and you know he too has plenty of soul, with his gorgeous light-green eyes and thoughtful expression. Marvin, who is a little smaller and thinner, is named for Marvin Gaye, another music icon. Marvin pays homage to his namesake by emitting melodious bird-like chirps. He has a beautiful singing voice and isn’t shy about using it!
The pair were adopted at two months old from a foster connected with a local shelter, Bideawee. Their future pet mom had seen Sam’s photo on the website as one of four brothers, and thought he’d make a great addition to her family. When she went to pick him up and walked out of the shelter, however, it turned out the household was to grow by one extra member as she brought brother Marvin along as well! This was quite a shock to their pet dad, who had been waiting in the car and expecting a single. A happy surprise, however, as who could resist two such smiley fellows. The perky pair settled into their new surroundings instantly and, now a year old, are lucky enough to call the Upper West Side home.
Despite their similar looks, shared genes, and matching white mittens, Sam and Marvin have quite different tastes when it comes to chow time. Sam is fond of dry snacks and seeks out crunchy treats. A bit of a foodie, he likes to get into some human grub, especially the occasional avocado. Marvin on the other hand prefers garden variety canned wet. To keep their trim physiques, the boys are given special weight management fare. Whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it right – their elegant slender faces and trim bodies are proof of their healthy eating practices.
The boys complement their good diet with plenty of exercise. This might involve some friendly tussling, clambering onto delivery boxes, jumping up and down from the sofa, or chasing their tiny toys around the apartment, which often end up under the fridge or stove. Luckily, their mom has a long thin stick she uses to fish the items out, so they can have another go at hiding them for her to find.
After their playfighting, Sam and Marvin like to do the sweetest thing one can watch cats do – groom one another, a wonderful expression of their affection for each other and a good way to stay nice and clean. Though this results in neither needing a bath, this doesn’t mean the kitties don’t love to hang around the bathtub. In fact, their mom was once taking a soak when she had a small visitor who wanted to sit on the edge of the tub to keep her company. When done, she noticed Marvin’s tail had been dangling in the water all along and was soaking wet! He’s obviously not afraid of water, and at times even leans out onto the spout to catch drips. Sam has a habit of lounging on the latrine, where he has a good view of the daily toothbrushing activity. Given the bathroom seems to be the boys’ favorite hangout spot, mom has to frequently ‘rewind’ the toilet paper, as well as ensure the lid is always down since the cheeky guys might otherwise choose to use the commode as their personal swimming pool. Wet paw prints around the apartment were the original telltale sign of this . . .
Well, all that curiosity and mischievousness can be exhausting. Sam and Marvin also appreciate a good catnap and have plenty of comfy spots in which to catch their combined eighty winks. They might be found snuggled up in a cupboard, resting against an airplane neck cushion, or splayed out in the hallway, meaning anyone trying to get past must carefully step over them (or stop to give them a belly rub). As with most cats, they enjoy kneading their plush blankie, sometimes also giving it gentle kisses. Another fun activity for the boys is hanging out on their kitty condo watching birds out the window. Sometimes instead of a birdie they’ll catch a man making his way up some scaffolding. No doubt a fun surprise for both the cats and the construction worker!
After a good rest, it’s back to looking for fun ways to get up to mischief. Most plants are a no-no due to the lads’ penchant for attacking flowers and greenery. If dad is reading the newspaper, you can be sure one of the kitties will try to sit on it whilst the other has a go at pulling the pins out of mom’s bulletin board, or searches for something precious to knock over. They’re even dexterous enough to yank metal plugs out of sinks. Toys are carried around the apartment and deposited into food bowls, water bowls, and even the kitty litter pan (meaning a not-so-fun clean-up job for someone). All is forgiven, however, with one look at the boys’ cute little faces, each wide-eyed and silently imploring ‘it wasn’t me!’.
It’s endearing that the brothers are clearly very fond of each other, and of being around their pet parents. They take turns snuggling in their mom’s lap and will sit on her legs for so long she’ll feel they’ve gone completely numb (but of course who wants to move when they have a darling sleeping kitty on them). They’ll let mom brush their teeth and, with a little help from dad, clip their nails. Sam and Marvin are also sociable with other people, happy to spend time with visitors, rubbing against their ankles and asking for a pat. They sometimes sit beside a window facing into an outside hallway to watch for approaching people or the next-door dog. It’s look but don’t enter for their canine neighbor, however. When he was invited into the apartment, Sam and Marvin gave him such evil side-eye he was petrified, despite being many times their size. A similar encounter with a vacuum cleaner had the opposite outcome, however, where the hoover, perhaps due to its rather loud and menacing ‘bark’, won.
In the mornings, mom wakes up to Sam on the bed staring intently at her and Marvin snoozing by her feet. She of course relishes being covered ‘head-to-toe in cat love’, and the kitties have clearly won the cat lottery, being showered with endless attention and kindness every day.
Marvelous Marvin and Splendid Sam – curious, playful, cuddly, and affectionate. All the right ingredients for a perfect Upper West Side kittycat combo.
* A reminder to West Side Rag readers that an abundance of loving kitties, just like Sam, Marvin, and many other West Side ‘Mewsters’ are waiting for good homes at shelters around the City. Do consider adopting!
Such a fun article – they seem like a fun kitty crew
incredibly cute cats!
So great to read about a 2-cat household! Sam and Marvin are so cute together; it almost makes me regret not adopting a sibling for our Freyja.
Never too late!
They are too cute! I literally gasped at the first photo, because of the cuteness
Sam and Marvin a perfect duet of furry love !
Love this Mews feature. Sam and Marvin are stunning!
Great story; charming pictures; Lucky cats, lucky owners
Just adorable! Can’t get enough “Mews” ~ Cats may not be seen, but they are just as loveable and loved as dogs.