Meet Sam, short for Socially Awkward Meow. Sam adopted us when her utterly clueless mom, Hello Kitty, succumbed to peer pressure and went back to her ‘hot-kitty-seeking-divided-attention-from-misguided-toms’ days without even a second glance at Sam. She was last seen hanging out with the highly despicable resident tomcat, Mr. Jinx. It can be said of Mr. Jinx that forget taking him him home for a cup of milk, you won’t bother wishing him a friendly greeting. He is a bad hissing ball of fur.
To get back to Sam, life was quite hunky dory in the beginning. Attention was showered on her, and well, she lapped it up. And then came a sister act - Shashikala (named after the 60’s actress who wouldn’t have recognized a good intention even if it had landed as a juicy sardine on her plate) and Dimple (not named after the sultry actress but after the character named Dimple in the movie ‘99’ – a hired goon) - into the scheme of things. And scheme they did. It so happened that these two sisters were the original inhabitants of the house. They were relocated to another part of town and then unceremoniously dumped back after some months. The sisters were understandably not too pleased with the state of affairs. First of all, they got uprooted from familiar surroundings. No self-respecting cat likes that. All that marking of territories means something. And just when they were getting used to their new surroundings, they found themselves back in their old neighbourhood. Heck! They were just getting used to the second-hand IKEA sofa with questionable stains. After all, it takes time to find the sweet spot. They weren't too happy to find Sam lording over their former pad. Truth be told, in the beginning, they did try a ‘Live and let live’ approach. ‘Hey, there’s plenty of fish around for everyone, capisce?’
But Sam had unresolved anger issues thanks to her abandonment by Hello Kitty. She also suffered from a ‘tough cat’ syndrome. Sam decided on a strategy adopted by the erstwhile East India Company i.e. whatever I see is all mine. It worked for East India Company for a century or two. Sam’s aggressive approach backfired spectacularly, instantly. Trained in the Mao School of Sharp Claws, both Shashikala and Dimple, gave Sam quite a few lessons in paw-to-paw fighting. More Dimple, than Shashikala, actually. Dimple, you see, is quite simple. If this was a theatrical production of Riverdale, no prizes for guessing who would have landed the role of Big Moose. Shashikala would just need to make a threatening snarl and Dimple would fly past her. Shashikala would then calmly groom herself, as fur would fly in all directions.
Sam realized she misjudged the whole situation. Her foes were formidable. She observed other cats quietly pay their respects to Shashikala and Dimple, and share the daily rations quite amiably. But not having grown up with feline company, she didn’t know how to lap the bowl of peace. So, she decided on an approach that most human beings adopt quite successfully – live like a coward. Sam found digs on the roof of our neighbor's house. A vantage point from where she would keep an eye out for Shashikala and Dimple. She soon figured out that they were creatures of habit. Every morning, they would need their S&S – sunbathing and siesta. The moment she spotted their supine bodies stretched out languidly soaking in the warm rays of the morning sun, Sam would make her way very, very, cautiously to our kitchen for her morning chow. After her meal, she would quietly crawl back to her bedroom thinking if only she had approached the situation a bit gently.