Here in Mazatlan, Mexico, I’m house and pet sitting. I connected with a condo owner who wanted to swap houses with someone in Boulder, CO, where she lived for many years. I jumped at the chance to escape the onset of winter and stay on the beach. So my furry charges are a cat named Baby and a dog named Funny.
Baby. Is anything but. At 13 this sweet, demure, diminutive kitty seems the perfect lady. Until night falls. Despite her feather weight and demeanor she packs a yowl that would wake the dead. She sounds like a nubile cat in heat, strutting the red-light district of notorious cat houses. Of course this Jekyll and Hyde transformation only occurs at 3:00 a.m., and continues until dawn.
For the last two nights Baby has caterwauled in the wee hours keeping me awake and/or reawakened every 15 minutes. Needless to say, I woke up this morning mad at Baby. So then she later disappeared. After searching on three floors of this giant condo building with three sets of stairs I went to ask Judy, a neighbor who helps find Baby when she wanders off. Baby or any other pet is not allowed to roam freely throughout the condo.
After the last two nights I was hoping that Baby had flung herself off a railing from the 9th floor to the concrete below. In fact in the middle of the night when she kept caterwauling relentlessly, I had thoughts of flinging her off my 9th floor balcony. This morning during the search for Baby, I looked down from the dizzying heights hoping to see a cat pancaked on the ground. Don’t get me wrong. I love cats and have four of my own, but Baby is ready for an asylum or the old cats home.
So Judy and I began a sweep of the entire nine floors of the condo building, which has three wings, separated by three staircases. Apparently, Baby will go down stairs but doesn’t like to go up. So Judy started on the ground floor hoping to sweep her upward. I started on the top floor to sweep her downward or intercept Judy’s “upsweep.” No Baby.
Baaaaaaa Beeeeeeeee, Judy sang loudly and embarassingly through out the echoing hallways. I did a quieter version. After we met in the middle with no luck I gave up and went to the unit. As I fired up the laptop Baby came strolling out from under the couch where she had been sleeping. This was after we had returned once to the unit to call Baby and make sure she wasn’t in it. So then I had to go find Judy, who was still sweeping the condo hallways singing Baaaaaaaaaaa Beeeeeeeeee, kitty, kitty, kitty in a very loud voice. Judy was good natured when I told her about Baby’s reappearance after Judy had walked up and down nine floors and all the hallways.
Baby is now sitting placidly out in the sun on the front step washing herself, oblivious to the disturbance she created.
I e-mailed my neighbor who is a vet. She says such caterwauling is caused by deafness, hyperthyroidism or senility. Baby might have all three.