If you’ve ever stood behind a cat that stood behind a closed door, you know they prefer an open door. But some cats have stopped waiting for humans to free them from the tyranny of doors. One in particular, Quilty The Cat of Houston, Texas, decided he’d not only free himself, but his comrades, who made an office-sized litter box for their rescue team to find. After repeated attempts to curb Quilty’s behavior, his owners placed him in solitary confinement.
With more than half a million views across social media and 52,000 followers on his Instagram account @freequilty, Quilty has joined the pantheon of Internet-famous cats before him. Quilty’s antics were even recognized on The Daily Show. The Friends for Life animal rescue where he made his home has made Quilty the official ambassador of Team Cat, and has used his fame to further their fundraising goals as a no-kill shelter. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Friends for Life was able to raise $10,000 in two days in their cats vs. dogs fundraiser challenge. (Dogs won!)
As shelter employees tell it, Quilty began escaping the cat room for solo adventures at first, but once he knew how to open the door, he convinced his fellow felines to come out and play. One day he let them out three times in a row, and the shelter staff were left herding cats all day. They tried reinforcements and more complex locks, but Quilty bested them all. So, he had to be placed in solitary confinement. #freequilty began trending on social media, and Quilty’s mugshot now graces a complete line of merchandise with the same hashtag.
The good news is, all of the attention on Quilty’s escapes prompted a Houston family to bring him home. According to Quilty’s official Facebook page, he immediately set about trying to figure out all the doors in the house. However, his new family was prepared. “Well, I finally figured out how to open the garage door! Unfortunately, my mum caught me in the act and immediately changed the darn doorknobs! I swear to Cat, that woman just takes all my fun away! To make matters worse, she installed a Ring door sensor like the ones on all the other doors on the darn door to make escape even harder! I guess that makes her a good mum, even though I should be able to do what I want when I want! #mumisafunsucker #Dadgumdoors #QuiltyisKingandshouldgowherehepleases #immafindaway”
Quilty is a little different from his famous feline brethren Grumpy Cat or the O.G.s #lolcats in that his language is not PG-rated, and he comes with the nickname “Mr. Spicy [expletive]”! He is using his current platform to promote cat adoptions at Friends for Life, and, in spite of finding a permanent home, he will lend his name to their ongoing fundraising efforts.
The Friends for Life Facebook page is teeming with Quilty fans, anxious to follow his escapades. Deena Floyd left a hopeful, “Quilty for Prez 2020! 😺” visitor message, and Prairie Tarrien wrote, “I can imagine how proud he must be letting all of them free!” Jodi Polduke was one of many fans to share her own cats’ antics, “my cats know how to open doors too. Rugby has tried to take her sister on excursions to the basement😆. They have also broken into the closed-off room where their extra food is stored.” One thing is clear: cats are getting smarter and will not be contained by human locks.
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