By Samantha Grillo @_samanthagrillo
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Videographer / Director: Alex Ayers
Producer: Samantha Grillo, Nick Johnson
Editor: Sonia Estal
The curious-looking cat named Sam has racked up 150,000 Instagram followers and 530,000 likes on Facebook since bursting onto the scene in 2012.
Owner Amanda Collado, 26, has been handling the overwhelming amount of requests from fans and media for the past three years.
She said: “There have definitely been situations where I have had to ignore friends, family or work in order to take the time to do Sam’s posts or answer emails on his behalf.
“Everyone gets a little annoyed when I’m on my phone and not paying attention to them.
“On Facebook he’ll get up to 10,000 likes on each photo - on Instagram he gets maybe 5,000 likes on each photo.
“I never thought Sam would be so popular in Japan, Australia, Sweden, or any of the countries where he’s been featured in newspapers and magazines.”
Amanda’s mum, Ivette Rodriguez, noticed the abandoned cat outside her home in New York one evening before a night out.
Ivette said: “I looked to the right and I saw a little niche next to the house and there was a cat in there.
“He was just curled up - I put blinders on because I really did not want a cat.
“My daughter said that he willingly gave himself up to her - I guess he was so tired of being outside.
“People said he looked like Martin Scorsese or Colin Farrell - he also has the same eyebrows as my mother, who thinks we dyed Sam’s eyebrows.”
Amanda created an Instagram account for Sam after a friend pointed out his expressive brows.
She said: “I didn’t notice his eyebrows initially.
"He had about 800 followers at first - but in February someone posted his photo on Reddit and he blew up overnight - I woke up with 1600 followers.
“From there we made a Facebook and all other social media accounts - I find it baffling that a cat is this famous and that people car about him this much.”
Amanda posts pictures to Sam’s account every two days, but spends most of her day keeping up with all of his fans.
But the effort she puts into her pet’s social media has paid off - and she has bigger plans for Sam’s future.
Amanda said: “Sam’s fame is definitely growing - he has a lot of potential to branch out.
“Eventually we’ll sell Sam merchandise, because I know many people do like having cute little mugs, Sam mugs, or posters, t-shirts.
“Down the line that will be a thing. Right now we’re trying to share him in a free way."