Batman Kept Letting Her Escape Out Of Horniness
Batman's devotion to fighting crime is complete and unwavering ... unless the criminal involved happens to have a nice butt. Then he doesn't give a shit. Hell, he'll even help you escape if you're hot enough. Catwoman's very first appearance ends when Batman intentionally bumps into Robin as he's about to catch her, then muses about "bumping into her again sometime." With other body parts this time, presumably.
DC ComicsThis also explains a lot about the Joker's continued survival.
Sure, she's only a jewel thief in that issue, but even when she becomes a full-fledged criminal mastermind with a gang and all, Batman still lets her go because she kissed him and he momentarily forgot how to use his arms.
DC Comics"Please ignore my boner. It's there for completely unrelated reasons."
The kissing thing happened more than once. Catwoman figured out pretty fast that Batman is so starved for human affection that his body completely shuts down if she gives him a little sugar. One kiss and this master ninja with years of intense training can be pushed as easily as a frail old grandma. (Don't ask why we know so much about pushing grandmas.)
DC ComicsWhen your date suddenly remembers about social distancing.
These early comics made no effort to disguise the fact that Batman was letting her go because he had the hots for her. This culminated in the issue when, as soon as Catwoman claims she's in love with billionaire socialite Bruce Wayne, Batman lets her escape just so they can start dating. Robin is, understandably, not pleased with this turn of events.
DC Comics"By the way, she has like 27 cats, so you're going back to the orphanage."