'Door Ninja' shelter cat busted setting other cats free

The jailbreaking cat of Houston known as Quilty is on his way to internet stardom -- and a new home.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
2 min read

Cats are great.

Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

For a species that likes to hide under the bed a lot (just mine, then?) cats are sure having a star moment. Chonky cats stole the spotlight at the beginning of summer. Cinderblock, the cat who whines while working out, demonstrated her lazy charm in late October. Last week, a touchdown-scoring black cat took the field during Monday Night Football. And now meet Quilty, the jailbreaking cat of Houston.

Quilty will not be contained. And he has no shame. Quilty loves to let cats out of the senior room. Repeatedly. Several...

Posted by Friends For Life Animal Rescue and Adoption Organization - Houston on Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Quilty resides at Friends for Life Animal Rescue, where he's turned into the Houdini of the feline world. Once he arrived at the shelter, workers would get to work in the morning only to discover all the cats had been freed from the cat room during the night.

Guilty? Quilty.

"Quilty loves to let cats out of the senior room. Repeatedly. Several times a day," a shelter representative wrote on Facebook .

His crimes were captured on film. A shelter representative told CNN that security footage showed Quilty jumping up and pulling down the handle to open the room door, letting more than a dozen cats out.

View this post on Instagram

I will not be contained. #freeQuilty

A post shared by freequilty (@free_quilty) on

When he could no longer break out of the cat room with his handle trick, he followed a staffer out and "crashed our staff meeting," a Facebook post said. Note: This happened more than once.

When unable to get out, Quilty pawed nonstop at the window, as if his claws could break glass. Maybe they can. Not ruling anything out with this guy.

Shelter employees have a sense of humor about the whole thing, and aren't afraid to mock the sassy escape artist, even dubbing him a "spicy a-hole" after he complained about having his freedom restricted. They kind of apologized for the name-calling later, though, in a sorry-not-sorry way, writing, "That is NOT a pre-approved FFL behavior term ... our editing seems to have slipped a bit."

And in this age of social media feline stars, they're making the most of Quilty's fame. He now has his own Instagram account, where his bio dubs him a "door ninja." He held a press conference -- or, his lawyer did. He has a biography page, where you can read about his up-for-adoption friends and buy shirts or stickers.

And best of all, he has a home -- the shelter posted that he has already been matched with a new family. Let's hope they have good locks.