Library Bans Mischievous Kitty, But Social Media Welcomes Him With Open Arms

Written by: Dina Fantegrossi
Dina Fantegrossi is the Assistant Editor and Head Writer for HomeLife Media. Before her career in writing, Dina was a veterinary technician for more than 15 years.Read more
| Published on December 2, 2017

Max is a 3-year-old orange tabby cat with a nose like bubble gum and a thirst for adventure. He is the beloved pet of Connie Lipton and her husband, who live just across the street from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The couple adopted the former street cat just over a year ago and Max quickly made it clear that life as an indoor-only cat was not for him.

Max was instantly drawn to the Macalester campus. Perhaps it was the fact that his human dad works there or the bustle of young students. He frequented outdoor events on the green, made pals at student housing, swung by the science department, and became a regular visitor at the Spanish and Portuguese department.

“We’ve had multiple calls because his phone number is on his tag,” Lipton told The Washington Post. “He’s a funny guy. He loves people. He loves to socialize — with groups.”

Max@with a gaggle of students on campus #cat #catsofinstagram #cats #cats_of_instagram #ilovemycat

A post shared by Max the Cat and Gracie (@cool_cat_max_and_gracie) on

But none of these places fascinated Max as much as the library. He began hovering around outside the door and darting inside when an unsuspecting student passed through. While the staff found Max rightfully adorable, one employee had a cat allergy and they worried that he may trip a distracted student or become locked inside overnight.

Oops Max was caught on camera as he sneaked into the library about a month ago

A post shared by Max the Cat and Gracie (@cool_cat_max_and_gracie) on

Artist and library employee, Christopher Schommer, created a sign to alert visitors to Max’s banishment. Fresh off a 12-week parental leave, Schommer designed the sign like a children’s book he might read to his daughter.

“I spent 10 minutes making the sign and writing it like I was telling it to my three-and-a-half-year-old,” he said.

A photo of the sign – featuring a grumpy-looking cat illustration – began to circulate on social media, and just like that, Max was famous!

The Instagram account that Lipton runs for both Max and his feline sister Gracie went from 135 followers on Wednesday morning to 2,400 as of midday Thursday!

One clever Twitter user called Finn, a Human, even created his own rhyming children’s story to go along with the sign.

Another creative Tweeter brought the library card from Finn’s story to life.

Now that a major construction project has started on campus, Lipton has put an end to Max’s roaming days. She plans to train him to walk on a leash and shared an Instagram photo of a less-than-jolly Max sporting a new red harness.

“He’s going crazy. He cries and howls and paces around, looking out the windows,” Lipton said. “I’m really hoping he takes to walking on the leash. Then I can just walk him over there and he can still see his peeps and have his social life.”

Lipton is also considering turning Max into a therapy cat so he can continue meeting new friends and spreading joy.

As for the famous sign, it no longer hangs on the Macalester Library door. But there is a chance its legacy will live on forever. Christopher Schommer – the employee who authored the sign – has partnered with the artist who created the free cat image he used, and they are planning to turn Max’s story into a real children’s book!


H/T to The Washington Post

Featured Images via Instagram/Cool_Cat_Max_And_Gracie