For years staff at a veterinary practice in the town of Marseille had wondered how their adopted cat Chamallow had managed to break free from his cage after being locked up for the night.
So one evening they decided to set up a camera in front of his cage to find out exactly what was going on.
The result of their secret filming has caused the white tomcat to become something of an internet celebrity.
In the clip (below), the bold feline doesn’t pussyfoot about as he uses his paws to slide open the latch on the outside of his cage, which he does within seconds.
“We knew something was going on,” a receptionist at the veterinary practice told La Provence. “We would lock him up in the evening in his cage with his food and cat litter and in the morning he would wait for us in the clinic.”
According to staff the cat would break out each night to steal dog biscuits.
“I’ve only seen it two or three times in my career,” animal behaviour expert Philippe Passelegue told La Provence. “I think that this cat managed to open the cage through trial and error, perhaps by imitating human actions.
“It can be explained by the animal’s character. So a lively or really timid cat with a great ability for foresight would be more likely to carry out this kind of action than a passive cat.”
The video, which was published last month only started to go viral this week, and has since clocked up almost one million views.
Unfortunately for Chamallow, though, his career as an escape-artist has come to an abrupt end. Since staff uncovered his secret an extra bolt has been added to the lock making it impossible for him to escape.