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How one cat's quest to visit the library became an internet sensation

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All Max the cat wanted to do was hang out in the library, but the feline wanderer got a little more than he bargained for, becoming an overnight viral sensation.

The latest edition to the prestigious online clowder — joining the likes of Grumpy Cat and Nyan Cat — is St. Paul's very own Max the cat, whose escapades have become well-known among the Macalester College community.

His rise to fame began after a sign posted on the DeWitt Wallace Library door was picked up online this week. The sign made its way through Twitter, Tumblr and Reddit after a professor posted it on their Instagram, according to sign creator and library employee Christopher Schommer.

The printed sign read, "Please do not let in the cat. 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

The sign was originally taped to the door about a month ago after Schommer returned from paternity leave. Schommer's sign replaced another that simply read, "Do not let in the cat," written by a student library worker to protect a colleague that is highly allergic to cats.

"That kind of direction, sometimes people don't really know what to do. I heard stories of students and prospective students getting stuck outside the library because no one knew what to do with Max," Schommer said, "So, I thought if we tell the story of Max, people would be more comfortable with interacting with Max." 

Since being posted online, people have been flocking to be a part of the tabby cat's story with some people posting their own Max inspired work inducing a comic, crafts, poetry and even Max's own library card.

 Great comic by Macalester art student Mariah @marjoramen she's posted it on tumblr at Mariah Jo marjoramen.tumblr.com

A post shared by Max the Cat and Gracie (@cool_cat_max_and_gracie) on Nov 30, 2017 at 7:45am PST

@librarianrover Please allow this kind and gentle soul the right to good literature that he deserves more than anyone pic.twitter.com/y6e9gFCLNV

— Sevinth (@SevinthStreams) November 29, 2017

Max was adopted by his current owners, Connie and Gregory Lipton, about a year ago and was named for his royal behavior. 

"We were thinking about names and I just thought, Maxwell because he is such a regal guy. When he sits around he looks around like a king," Connie Lipton said. 

The Lipton's live across the road from the campus where Gregory is a visiting professor in religious studies.

Sadly for Max, he won't be the free roaming king of Macalester much longer, having now been placed on a leash to stop him from walking into new construction work around the college. 

Nevertheless, he has cemented his position as one of the king cats of the internet.