The so called “violent” cat, Lux, who held his family hostage on March 9, has been turned in to the Multnomah County Animal Shelter (MCAS). KGW Channel 8 News out of Portland broke the news March 17. I report this to the PoC family with great sadness today.
This situation has created mass hysteria in the cat world, mainly because Lux’s owners, Lee Palmer and Teresa Barker, were adamant Lux would remain with the family. They did state that therapy might be a solution for Lux, who trapped his family (including the family dog) in a bedroom after having his tail pulled and being kicked by Palmer. The couples 7-month-old toddler was scratched by the family cat after the child pulled his tail. For some reason, Palmer decided to kick the cat, and was shocked when the cat fought back.
To hear the family and their excuses for dumping Lux at the Multnomah shelter, the cat is only there for an evaluation. Palmer insinuates he has called in professional help to deal with his cat’s emotional problems. In other words, the shelter situation is temporary, Lux is not up for adoption, and will be home in the near future.
There’s been a lot of hate radiating on Palmer’s Facebook page, with the majority stemming from Lux being kicked after the 22-pound Himalayan defended himself after being physically harmed. Shouldn’t a cat be expected to defend itself in order to make the pain stop?
This situation is sad all the way around. Jackson Galaxy has offered to help with Lux, what I’d expect to be mediation between cat and owner. Not only that, rescues and individuals from throughout the U.S. have offered to take Lux in until a loving home can be found. I apologize, but a home where the family cat has it’s tail pulled and is physically abused isn’t a loving home. If either of the owners or their child had been kicked, someone would be going to jail on criminal domestic violence charges.
It’s likely a thin line for the Portland police on whether Palmer could legally be charged with animal cruelty. I feel sure from following his Facebook page that Palmer doesn’t believe he’s done anything wrong. Neither did his offspring do anything wrong. There’s a balance that must be considered when a cat and a small child share the home. Both must be monitored and taught to respect each other. That universal word “aannkkkk” seems to do the trick, whether spoken to a child or an animal. Try it when your own child (or cat) is about to do something you’d rather they don’t do.
Everyone needs to consider Lux a bit more. You don’t take a cat you care for to a shelter and just drop them off. There are diseases that are easily picked up in even the best maintained shelters in the U.S. Infections such as feline panleuk, calicivirus and upper respiratory infections spread quickly, especially when dealing with a stressed cat. There’s no way Lux isn’t under stress in a shelter environment. Shelter’s are noisy, with dogs barking day and probably during the night, while the staff is gone.
I did a bit of research into MCAS, and found they’re the only open door shelter in Portland. They’re the primary agency for lost pet care, animal abuse situations and animal rescue. Nothing on their website mentions evaluation services.
I’m curious how the readers here feel about this latest development? Do you believe Lux is really in a shelter for an “evaluation.” Has the family actually given him up and had hoped the news media wouldn’t learn about this tragedy (to me, that’s what this is). Or do you believe Lux is just there for a cooling off period until the family decides what to do with this poor cat. Please leave a comment on what you believe is really going on between Lux and his family.
Source and photo credit:
- Photo believed to have been taken by Lee Palmer, the cat’s owner.
- http://multcopets.org/ (MCAS)