Recidivism is a real problem for some shelter cats. Quilty, a seven-year-old domestic shorthair, was born in the Friends For Life Animal Rescue and Adoption Organization (FFL), a Houston-area animal shelter. Named after Claire Quilty in Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita," Quilty was recently returned to the shelter he was born in after his adopter moved and couldn't bring him along. He immediately started causing trouble.
Quilty knows how to open doors, and liberated the other captive cats in the shelter like some kind of feline Simon Bolivar. "Quilty loves to let cats out of the senior room. Repeatedly, several times a day," the shelter wrote on Facebook. "Quilty will not be contained. And he has no shame."
Quilty was caught and sentenced solitary confinement (i.e. left to sit behind a glass door) for the jail breaks, looking adorably sad yet showing no remorse.
The staff "Quilty-proofed" the room, putting child locks on the cat doors. "His roommates missed him while he was banished to the lobby. They enjoyed their nighttime escapades around the shelter. The staff, however, did not miss the morning cat wrangling, so we'll just have to agree to disagree there," the shelter continued on their post.
There's no controlling Quilty. The clever cat then sprung himself out of kitty jail. "Quilty's review with the parole board was denied, so he released himself of his own recognizance today," FFL wrote in a Facebook comment. "He felt that confinement had nothing more to offer him. He has been returned to solitary. The review board will take up his case again tomorrow. Y'all. This cat released himself from the integration kennel in the room."
Quilty is a repeat offender. At his old home, Quilty would frequently let the dogs out. Finally, the Baha Men have an answer to their age-old question.
More of Quilty's great escapes have been documented and posted on his official Instagram account.
Quilty went viral and the shelter capitalized on the cat's popularity, creating a #FreeQuilty hashtag and subsequent merch (which benefits the shelter). It's all part of a clever way for the shelter to bring awareness to its cause. "We don't want to 'Sarah McLachlan' anyone with our communications; bringing a new family member into your home should be a joyful experience," Jennifer Hopkins from FFL told the Houston Chronicle. "We want to create more of that in the world, and if it means calling a cat a 'spicy a-hole,' then we're your people."
Their strategy worked. Quilty received a floor of applications, because apparently a lot of people wanted to live with a hardened cat criminal.
Quilty may have found his forever home thanks to his antics. He is currently on a one-week "sleepover" trial with his new family, and is doing well. "He hasn't shown any slickness at all yet; he is the most loving and affectionate cat I have ever met!" his potential owners told the shelter.
However, the shelter reports that a few other cats have caught his "spicy." History may soon be repeating itself…
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