The story of Max the cat, who was banished from the library at Macalester College

The story of how a St. Paul cat became an internet sensation.

A Twin Cities tabby is following in the pawprints of Grumpy cat, Lil Bub, and Maru.

The internet has fallen in love with the story of Max the cat, whose Instagram page went from 135 followers on Wednesday to over 6,000 followers on Friday.

Here's the tweet that started it all:

It seems Max has been sneaking into the library at Macalester College in St. Paul.

Here he is about a month ago, caught in the act:

According to Alexis Logsdon, one of Macalester's librarians, Max's strategy for gaining access to the building isn't very Ocean's Eleven, but it works.

"Well, mostly he just blocks the door to the library and tries to run in as soon as someone opens the door," Logsdon said in a tweet.

But now Max has been banished – and the sign announcing his eviction turned his story from a campus tale to a profile in The Washington Post. As of Friday afternoon, a photo of the sign has been retweeted nearly 60,000 times, and earned thousands of comments on Reddit.

The feline has become a muse for artists and poets, and stars in his own comic. One fan even made him a super legit library card:

In an interview with The Post, Max's owner explained that she lives across the street from Macalester with her husband, who teaches religious studies at the college.

After the couple adopted Max from a shelter, he made it clear that he wanted to continue to roam outdoors, so they let him. That led to all sorts of shenanigans on campus.

"Last summer, Max hung out at a reunion event that featured live music and a large tent. He enjoyed spending time on a vast green where students play Frisbee. He frequented student housing down the street, entered the science building more than once, and stopped by the Spanish and Portuguese department," the paper says.

But when Max started going to the library, he got in trouble. One of the librarians is very allergic, and there were concerns that the frisky kitty would get locked inside the five-story building overnight. A handwritten note went up on the door asking students and faculty not to let Max in.

That's when an artist and library employee named Christopher Schommer replaced the note with a handmade sign, and the rest is history. Now Schommer's thinking about turning the story into a children's book.

And Max? He's grounded. But his mom bought him a pretty sweet harness and leash so he can keep exploring.

This story is part of our Best of the Web section – which is just cool stuff we find online and want to share with you.

Next Up