The windows were open last night, and sometime during the dark hours, a cat began fiercely wailing.
Nerd that I am, I lay awake a few minutes thinking about the term caterwauling, and wondering its derivation.
Well, wonder no more. Here it is: Middle English *caterwawlen : *cater, tomcat; akin to Low German kater + wawlen, wrawlen, to yowl (ultimately of imitative origin).
Of imitative origin. I like that.
And in case you haven't had the pleasure of hearing this cacophony recently, here's a short example: