By Ashley Hoffman
March 17, 2019

If you’re looking for a funny animal story, look no further than the tale of three precocious pets who took over a Brooklyn, New York building and lit up the internet in the process.

It all began when an unknown rogue cat burglar and two dog accomplices arrived uninvited at writer John Paul Brammer’s doorstep on Saturday.

“There’s a… cat and two dogs knocking on my apartment door? Like, inside the building what do I do?” Brammer shared in a tweet that kicked off a saga that drew comparisons to Homeward Bound and captivated the collective minds of Twitter.

The animals belonged to Brammer’s upstairs neighbors. They apparently got out because of an honest mistake. After all, the doors in the building don’t function too well, Brammer said.

He tried to return them to their owners’ home, but the animals had their own plans. “I would find one solution and then, the animals would overcome it,” Brammer tells TIME.

“I thought I’d take a video, and it would be over, but it just kept unfolding,” he said. Apparently, they were running this show and the professional storyteller felt the whole thing was stranger than fiction. “Even I was shocked by how cleanly the narrative unfolded.”

What followed was a story that just kept getting more amusing for the thousands who were glued to it. Filled as it was with everything from slapstick humor, narrow escapes and animals outsmarting humans, it was an instant hit.

Brammer, who got much more than he bargained for in this dramatic ordeal, took it upon himself to try to set things right. He continued to document the entire fiasco as things went awry, updating his captive audience with every twist in the winding story.

The thread has been a ton of fun for social media users who may have underestimated animals before this.

The cat got so comfortable that Brammer called for help. He didn’t get it too soon.

“OK so it’s confirmed that these dogs are opening the doors themselves,” he wrote. “These are the masterminds I’m up against by the way,” he shared.

He was outnumbered.

People following along took sides and they took the side of the animals.

He wasn’t alone for long.

And there was this hilarious commentary. “LMAO the other dog owners thought they could simply put the dogs in their apartment and close the door!! Just heard ‘it’s like Jurassic Park’ from the hall trust me I know!!!” he wrote.

Make no mistake. The animals were in control of the situation, and the clarity of that fact was in abundance.

They all became fast friends. Best of all, people thought that the cat had a famous doppelgänger, a cat from Captain Marvel.

Lucky for all parties involved, all’s well that ends well, right?

“When the pet owners came back, I can’t even tell you how relieved I was. I was just glad there wasn’t a dead body in the bedroom,” he joked. “Then I’d have to say, hey y’all, this took a turn for the worse.”

Eventually, the cat returned.

Write to Ashley Hoffman at Ashley.Hoffman@time.com.

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