Lux the Cat: Jackson Galaxy Updates The Kitty’s Progress

According to an article in the Seattle Times about Lux, the Portland, Oregon “Attack cat” (aka the 911 kitty), Cat Daddy Jackson Galaxy said;

“I can say without hesitation that Lux is the most complicated character I think I’ve ever dealt with.”

LUX the aggressive kittie
LUX the aggressive kittie – Photo credit: Lux The Cat Facebook Page
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Following its international media release last March, Lux’s story went viral. I suspect that most cat lovers would find it difficult to forget the hair-raising account of the close to 22 pound black and white kitty who, due to his aggressive behavior and “vicious” attack on their seven-month old toddler, drove his guardians, Portlanders Lee Palmer and Teresa Barker to lock themselves and their son and dog in their bedroom and call 911 for help and rescue.

Since Palmer admitted that he kicked the cat after he witnessed Lux attacking his son, the fur started flying around the internet. Some people angrily accused Palmer of animal cruelty while others were worried about what might ultimately happen to the distraught kitty

Although the production of the current season of “My Cat from Hell” had ended, fortunately for all concerned, after Jackson learned about the disastrous and dangerous situation, he became committed to find a way that would allow both the apparently combative cat and his terrified human companions to live in peace.


During Jackson’s first home visit encounter with Lux, he joined the kitty in a bedroom where his guardians had him locked away. Lux peeked up at him from a box in which he was hiding. The cat’s pupils were dilated; he growled and was obviously distressed. But after Jackson spoke softly to him and made eye contact, offering him some treats, Jackson was easily able to pick him up and put him in his lap. Jackson remarked,

“I do not see a vicious cat. I do not see a killer.”

After thoroughly evaluating the kittys behavior, Jackson suspected it was possible that Lux had an underlying medical condition causing his aggressive behavior. As part of their homework, Jackson asked the couple to have Lux evaluated by a veterinarian. The veterinarian found nothing wrong with Lux, but Jackson remained unconvinced and saught a second opinion.

Finally, Jackson was able to convince Lux’s guardians to allow their cat to be fostered by Mollie and Jim, a couple with no children or other pets living in their home. The couple fell in love with Lux and all went well for a few days. But once again Lux became extremely aggressive; attacking his foster parents.

However, another veterinarian finally diagnosed Lux with feline hyperesthesia syndrome which can trigger violent behavior. This painful neurological condition generally causes cats to attack themselves, but with Lux, his behavior was targeted at humans. To control his violent outbursts, Lux was put on anti-seizure and antidepressant medications.

Unfortunately, Jackson’s recent update is one that leaves us hanging. Due to Lux’s aggression, Mollie and Jim were not able to consistently give him the medication, or institute Jackson’s behavioral plans. While they loved him deeply, they too became extremely fearful of the kitty.

As a result Jackson felt that for the sake of all concerned it was time to put some short-range plans into effect. Jackson got Lux under the care of what he referred to as an “amazing cat hospital” where he could live temporarily, receive his medications and get the attention to start working on the behavioral plan Jackson had assigned to Mollie and Jim.

Jackson remains optimistic that once Lux’s condition is stabilized he will be able to resume his adoptive life. But for now, Lux is being housed at a very unique open veterinary space which is as similar to a home situation as possible. Under the care of this veterinary hospital, Lux is doing very well. He is responding to the medication and socialization project.

At the same time however, the Cat Daddy remains cautious since after making certain assumptions he has on occasions been fooled. But throughout all of these ups and downs, Jackson is remaining totally committed to this rather remarkable cat, as he is too all the cats with whom he works.

Mollie and Jim continue to participate in Lux’s life and his “journey to wellness”. All of Lux’s connections hope and believe that this battle can be won.

What makes Lux’s story so compelling to this writer, is that it illustrates how crucial it is not to jump to snap decisions when working with a fractious cat. We who greatly love and admire felines must be ready to commit to dig deeply and creatively when trying to solve difficult and mystifying feline behavior. Jackson Galaxy is a powerful exemplar of someone who is truly committed to helping cats. We all have much to learn from him.

How did you react to Lux’s story when you first heard about him? Have your opinions changed? Tell us in a comment.

Jo

95 thoughts on “Lux the Cat: Jackson Galaxy Updates The Kitty’s Progress”

  1. With the admission that the husband kicked the cat, you can guarantee that this happened more than once, especially if the wife was out of view or out of the house. Men are notorious for “hating” cats, and just because your chosen mate loves her cat doesn’t mean the guy will too. Guys seem to think that wrestling with a cat when it’s young like a dog is OK, until they get scratched or bit. Then they take out their stupidity on the cat and beat on it. Dogs take that, but cats react totally different, by attacking their antagonizer. People also have trouble with jealousy, “the cat or me” problem. What better way to alienate the cat from your partner than to make it aggressive and undesirable? People are selfish and cruel when it comes to their perceived control. If any one of us were kicked repeatedly by a bully, we’d either run away or attack, eventually.

    Reply
      • I’ve based my comment on personal observations of various guys who go along with the wife’s desire to have a cat, which is then named by the guy with names like “Ruffino” or “Toughguy”, or “TG” for short. Both of these cats were pretty mean and aggressive towards strangers and men in particular. I saw both kittens roughed up with hands when these guys and their drunken, football watching buddies were over at the house. Those cats grew up into the worst cats, with men, I’d ever seen. The wives were given a pass by the cat, but not the men. You’d walk into Ruffino’s home and first thing it would screech at you, go after your legs or leave a smelly BM in the litter box. Guys just need to stop agitating cats and they need to remember, you get out of a cat what you put in or give. If you can’t be gentle, get a dog for a pet. Thanks for commenting on my post.

        Reply
  2. I am still seeking updates about Lux’s condition and his progress. So far nothing new has been added. I must agree with the commentor that said that at this point we don’t know precisely how the veterinarians that Jackson is working with has come to this diagnosis. I am most eager to find out why and what medication he is getting and the behavioral plan Jackson has in store. Will update when I get this information.

    Reply
  3. Our cat was always a bad-tempered madam. It just seemed to be in her character to be miserable and grumpy. That was until I took her to the vet and he found some bad teeth. These were taken out and a transformation occurred. She still dislikes other cats but now has the loudest purr on the planet and loves being brushed, doesn’t moan too much having her claws trimmed, likes to sit on laps and snuggle up at bedtime. It seems the infection from her bad teeth was getting into her bloodstream and may have been affecting her brain, turning her into PMS cat! She’s now an affectionate talkative 17/18 year old home-loving moggy.

    Reply
  4. we want our animals to live a good and happy life,if the meds they are trying just make him so docile he sleeps all the time, that isnt much of a life.i hope they can help this fella eventually without the meds.i really go along with someone who said it sounded like PTSS, i believe Lux suffered a very traumatic event at some point and may even have brain damage.with the right home, no kids or other pets, i think he will come around in time.if not i guess hishumans will jut need to watch their backs and wear long sleeves!!!!

    Reply
  5. I have been following this story intently. This is good. having this cat be with other cats will properly socialize him. This is what Cesar Milan does with dogs who have not been properly socialized. I predict the outcome will be good here. As a fellow behaviorist, I applaud this move. I also volunteer to help Jackson with this problem animal, as this is also my specialty.

    Reply
      • I believe so. And i also believe that being part of a pack, his behavior will be in line for a correction. Do I think that’s the TOTAL fix. I’m leaning maybe to no. Do I think it part of the solution, yes.

        I took the worst behaving cat in NYC in June of 2012 and turn him. Attacks on humans and other cats were part of the problem. BUT, I also realize every situation is unique to the cat involved.

        If Jackson would consider my offer, I believe I could help either way, from being totally corrected and socialized, to finding better ways of medication. I have access to some of the best doctor’s living in Green Bay, WI of all places. If you wish to know this story, I could expound.

        Reply
  6. had an uncle once whowhile we were at get togethers at his home would be laughing and hugging us and having a wonderfl time, when like the flick of a switch would start screaming i hate you all get out of my house, and actually try to do physical harm to us.we would all leave of course and he wouldnt remember being abusive the next day. this went on till he died we all just got used to it,because it didnt happen that often.he was bi-polar.Lux sounds just like him!

    Reply
      • actually emotionally, cats are the closest to humans of any other species. I don’t agree that all cats know what babies are and that tail pulling is an innocent act, definitely not the kicking. Like humans, some can brush things off, some are traumatized. Cats are as individual as humans. Yes, his reaction is severe and I do blame the new man in the house, the baby just topped it off. I agree cats shouldn’t always be with small kids, but the cat was there first. I know my friend who rescued and fostered most of my cats is very wary of adopting to people with kids, they have come back abused by them before.

        Reply

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