Owner of cat lost in Ballantyne warns her unsuspecting neighbors: ‘My cat is a jerk’

Lost and found ads for pets are typically brimming with all the lovable qualities of a missing cat or dog, but Mary Irwin of Charlotte decided to go the honest route on

Her posting was more of a warning to neighbors in Ballantyne: Beware, her missing cat, Babou, is “kind of a jerk.”

“I live in a big apartment complex and my guess is someone found her and took her in,” said Irwin. “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.”

Babou has been missing since last Thursday night, when she slipped out the door while Irwin’s husband, Don West, was emptying the trash. She’s 6 years old, gray and white, and has bizarre tendencies that took Irwin years to accept.

“She likes to sit on you, but doesn’t want you to touch her,” says Irwin. “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.”

Oh, Babou also likes to sit in the shower and watch people wash their hair.

Irwin says she and Don are in the fashion industry and moved to Charlotte about 18 months ago from Manhattan. They’ve been together for eight years, and they found Babou in the parking lot of a Target in Florida. The plan, she says, was to take the cat to a shelter for adoption. “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. Then she started purring. I knew then that we had just gotten a cat,” Iwrin says.

But then their kitty Dr. Jekyll turned into little Miss Hyde.

Babou is an indoor cat, so this stretch of time outside is probably exciting for her and dangerous. Irwin says they have posted notes on multiple community Web sites and have even walked around at night with flashlights.

As of Sunday morning, no one had called to say they spotted Babou, she says.

“I want her back,” Irwin says. “I’m the kind of person that doesn’t get rid of an animal. If I adopt one, I will have it for life, until it is gone.”

Have you seen Babou?

She may be in the area around the Legacy Ballantyne Apartments. If you see her, email Don at She’s spayed, about 10 pounds and friendly when she’s in the mood. Irwin is offering a $100 reward. Irwin can be reached at