It goes without saying that people in Japan are crazy about cats. Politicians use them as election mascots, artists create works in their image, railway companies appoint kitty “stationmasters,” and there’s even a national Cat Day. Thanks to their revered status, you’d think that the furry creatures would be given carte blanche to do whatever they want. But when one cute black feline tried to enter a new cat-themed photography exhibition at Hiroshima’s Onomichi City Museum of Art, RocketNews24 reports, it was unceremoniously tossed out.

The feline-inspired show is titled Cats–Mitsuaki Iwago Photography Exhibition. It features images of street cats around the world, taken by famed Japanese wildlife photographer and filmmaker Mitsuaki Iwago. Naturally, the event attracted both humans and felines: Several days after the exhibition opened on June 25, the kitty sauntered through the Hiroshima museum’s front doors, and sat in the middle of a mat at the entrance. But instead of rolling out a red carpet for the bold feline, a security guard chased it away.

Eventually, the feline left the premises, presumably to lick its wounds and console itself with catnip. Twitter user @mukusuke caught the entire thing on camera, and ailurophiles across the world cheered the cat's brave quest for culture.

Hopefully, the cat's newfound social media fame will help it finally gain purr-mission to enter the museum before the exhibition closes on August 14. But if it doesn't, we know a cat-friendly museum in Russia that will welcome the artsy kitty with open arms (and paws).

[h/t RocketNews 24]

Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at tips@mentalfloss.com.