After Max The Cat Was Banned From The Library, The Internet Turned His Story Into Viral Gold (With Illustrations)

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Max lives his life by a simple code. Hang out at the library and chew kibble.

For a while, he’s been all out of kibble. The problem is, he’s also been in the library.

While the literature-loving kitty would be welcome at most other libraries, Max, sadly, has achieved the status of fursona non grata. You see, Max is less a book worm than a curious cat, and the Macalester College library he’s patronized for the last few months has let its human guests know he’s not welcome.

“Please do not let in the cat,” the sign reads. “His name is Max. Max is nice. His owner does not want Max in the library. We do not want Max in the library.”

As the Internet is always quick to point out, however, you can’t keep a good cat down. A photo of the poster was reposted—a few million times—after it first showed up on Twitter.


“This is basically halfway to being a children’s book,” wrote Erin McGuire, a noted children’s book illustrator in her own right.

Following McGuire’s lead, another Max-minded Twitter reader offered his own prose, detailing Max’s woes in several lines. It seems as this story grows, it becomes more lovable by the Tweet.

Here’s @relsqui’s contribution:

Every time Max went inside,
librarians from far and wide
would chase him out and whisper “Shoo!”
His owner had forbade him too.
Poor cat. No human thought that he
belonged inside the library.

Source: flickr/Steve Rainwater Not all library cats are unwelcome.

Source: flickr/Steve Rainwater
Not all library cats are unwelcome.

It seemed unjust to me that Max
was not allowed to browse the stacks!
So I set out to make it right,
with pen and paper, desk and light.
I filed the forms. It wasn’t hard.
And now Max has a library card.

Source: flickr/brewbooks It's easy for a cat to make itself comfortable amongst so many books.

Source: flickr/brewbooks
It’s easy for a cat to make itself comfortable amongst so many books.

“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?

Source: Instagram/cool_cat_max_and_gracie

Source: Instagram/cool_cat_max_and_gracie
Fans of Max even offered creative illustrations.

Librarian Alexis Logsdon connected with Max’s owners, who love their cat dearly but just don’t want him in the library.

“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,” Logsdon wrote.

As clever minds on Twitter often do, a follower of Max’s tale quickly found a loophole to this quandary and designed a library card for the cat.

Whether or not he’ll be admitted access again is yet to be seen, but rest assured, the world is waiting to see what Max is going to check out next!

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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

The world is full of amazing animals, some of whom have done more for humans than they could ever imagine. Click the button below to hear about a cat who helped saved the life of a young boy with autism on several occasions, only to have the favor returned years later.


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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee. Find more about Matthew on his personal website.