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'Jerk cat' missing in North Carolina returns home after flyer goes viral

Babou, an indoor cat, had a grand outdoor adventure while her owner warned the neighbors the "jerk" was lurking.
Cats are Jerks
Babou is sweet around strangers but rules with an iron paw at home. Photo: Instagram/marymakeup

Cats are jerks, according to their reputation. After posting fliers for her missing “jerk cat,” a North Carolina woman was reunited with her owner, uh, we mean pet.

“Babou is a 6 year old, spayed, grey female shorthair with no chip and no collar, about 10 pounds,” the flyer began. “She’s been missing since Friday morning, June 9th.

“She’s mostly friendly but may run if you try to catch her – she’s kind of a jerk, too. She has strong opinions about things.”

Mary Irwin said she had been searching in the “pouring rain” on Thursday, but headed home. Babou, the missing cat in question, returned home on her own around 10 p.m.

“Babou walked up to our front door in the pouring rain and meowed LOUDLY until we let her inside,” Irwin wrote in an email to ABC News. “She's a little thinner and totally soaked but home safe and sound!!”

It wasn’t the “West Side Story” homecoming Irwin, 35, imagined.

“It’s going to be like the Sharks and the Jets and she’s going to be leading this team of wild cats,” Irwin told ABC while Babou was missing. “She’ll show up in two weeks missing an ear and patches of hair and smoking a cigarette all like, ‘You should see the other guy. I’d tell you where he is but then I’d have to kill you.’”

“I live in a big apartment complex and my guess is someone found her and took her in,” Irwin told the Charlotte Observer. “But Babou is not the kind of cat people would keep. I assume whoever found her wants to get rid of her. She is the weirdest cat ever.

“She likes to sit on you, but doesn’t want you to touch her. She likes to sleep on your head and she’s a talker. She has opinions about things and is very verbal. She will sit next to you, stare you in the face, and start a conversation that is a bit uppity.”

Irwin and her husband, Don West, first met Babou in the parking lot of a Miami Target in 2011.

“I had hurt my neck and my husband went into Target to get some medication for me and I said, ‘Oh, God, we can’t leave her here or she’ll get run over,’” Irwin recalled while talking to ABC.

The plan was to take the kitty to a shelter, “but when I called her, she ran to me, jumped in my arms, put one paw on each shoulder and buried her head in my chest,” Irwin told the Observer. “Then she started purring. I knew then that we had just gotten a cat.”

“She ran across the parking lot and jumped into my arms,” she added to ABC. “She was the coolest cat for six months and then she got spayed and that changed everything.”

So, what changed?

“She knows how she is supposed to behave but she likes to see what she can get away with,” Irwin said. “She has a scratching post but if she’s mad at us, she’ll wait until we’re looking at her, then she’ll walk over to the couch and stick out one paw and run it slowly down the side of the couch. Like a teenager.”

“She’ll snuggle with you and then after 2.5 seconds will do that thing where she’ll attack your foot,” Irwin added.

 

I suppose you may kiss my paw....#thequeen #babou #evilkitty #missher

A post shared by Mary Irwin (@marymakeup) on

When Irwin and West married, Babou and her “jerk” behavior were part of the ceremony.

“I will be by your side for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health until death do us part or Babou finally accomplishes the world domination we both know she is plotting,” West said in his 2016 vows.

Irwin said Babou is an angel when she’s around strangers, like the vet, “but when she’s home, she’s like, ‘Did you just look at me in the eyes? Did you make direct eye contact with me?’

“Ugh, she’s a jerk,” she added while laughing. “Everyone who knows us knows it. I’m at work and people are like, ‘How’s the jerk?’ That’s just what she’s like.”

 

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