Max the Cat wants to go to the library. But the library doesn’t want Max the Cat.
No, that’s not the start of a children’s book. It’s the real-life saga of a cat from Minnesota named Max who was banned from his local library. According to social media posts shared by his owner, Connie Lipton, and plenty of students on campus, Max frequented Macalester College’s DeWitt Wallace Library in Saint Paul often. But he won’t be anymore.
On Wednesday, Twitter user Erin McGuire posted a photo of a sign that the DeWitt Wallace library put on its doors.
“*Please do not let the cat in*” the flier starts.
“His name is Max. Max is nice. His owner does not want Max in the library. We do not want Max in the library. Max wants to be in the library. Please do not let Max into the library.”
This is basically halfway to being a children's book pic.twitter.com/DjwUPHy9Wz
— Erin McGuire (@e_mcguire_) November 29, 2017
A post shared by Max the Cat and Gracie (@cool_cat_max_and_gracie) on Nov 29, 2017 at 3:38pm PST
A library employee confirmed that the flier was real and staffer Christopher Schommer wrote the text. Illustrator Gamze Genc Celik created the design. In other words, it’s totally real.
“We live near the college and so it was easy for him to just go over and hang out with all the students. Most of the students love him, and he loves their attention,” Lipton tells Yahoo Lifestyle. Things got rocky though when Max started acting like a full-fledged student himself.
“As the fall semester picked up, Max started slipping into the library behind them, as well as into a few other buildings, the athletic center and a dorm,” Lipton, a staff member who lives near the campus, explains.
She says the library banned Max because someone there is allergic and staffers worried he might get locked in one night. “There is also some major construction starting across the street from us on campus, so we felt he now needed to stay in so he wouldn’t get hurt,” Lipton says.
Media relations manager Barbara K. Laskin agrees.
“Library staff have generally been able to keep Max out of the building, and although they are animal lovers, they know that not everyone is comfortable with cats and that some people are seriously allergic to them,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Most of all, everyone wants to make sure Max is safe and well.”
She says Schommer replaced boring signs advising the students to watch out for Max with the fun, illustrated one.
A post shared by Max the Cat and Gracie (@cool_cat_max_and_gracie) on Nov 29, 2017 at 6:22pm PST
This wasn’t OK with Twitter users who after seeing the flier hopped on #TeamMax. Some even started the hashtag #LetMaxIn. McGuire’s original tweet with the poster of Max got more than 25,000 retweets and caused a cat-astrophic movement around Max and his library rights, or lack thereof.
In addition to sticking up for Max, many people have turned Max the Cat and the library into a children’s story and shared some sections in tweets.
“Please do not let in the cat,”
the sign said. By the door he sat.
His name was Max, I read and learned.
“He’s nice,” but this cat hadn’t earned
the right to come inside and read.
Why could it be? What did he need?
— Finn, a Human (@relsqui) November 29, 2017
Some even made him his own library card to bypass the system.
— Sevinth (@SevinthStreams) November 29, 2017
Macalester art student Mariah Sitler created a comic for him.
A post shared by Max the Cat and Gracie (@cool_cat_max_and_gracie) on Nov 30, 2017 at 7:45am PST
In reality, a DeWitt library patron pointed out that the stories about Max are way more exciting than the real-life situation.
Well, mostly he just blocks the door to the library and tries to run in as soon as someone opens the door. The legend of Max might end up being a LOT more fun than the real Max.
— Alexis Logsdon (@librarianrover) November 29, 2017
“What shenanigans does Max get up to?” one person asked.
“Well, mostly he just blocks the door to the library and tries to run in as soon as someone opens the door,” Research and Instruction Librarian in the Fine Arts and Humanities department Alexis Logsdon responded. “The legend of Max might end up being a LOT more fun than the real Max. ;)”
As it currently stands, Max is “grounded” and, according to Lipton, is “very sad about it.” But he may be able to interact with the students again sooner rather than later.
“We are going to train him hopefully, to walk on a leash so we can take him to campus to see his fans,“ she says. “We may also get him trained as a therapy cat so he can go to schools and make other students happy too.”
Lipton says the attention has been overwhelming, but she’s happy her cat has brought so many people happiness. Thanks, Max the Cat!
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