Tag Archives: Lux

Lux the cat who sparked a call to 911 is in trouble again!

Lux the 911 cat

Jackson Galaxy, of Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell,” in Portland with Lux, the “911 cat” whose case was featured on the June 14 episode of the show.
AP/Animal Planet

Before the June 14 episode of “My Cat From Hell” aired, Jackson Galaxy called its subject, Lux — the Portland “attack cat” whose guardians called 911 for help in controlling him — “the most complicated character I think I’ve ever dealt with.”

As Galaxy said in a phone interview with The Oregonian days before the broadcast, “It’s a very complicated case, and it continues to be.”

Indeed it does. While the “My Cat From Hell” episode ended with Lux being given a new, calmer home with foster guardians, Lux’s story has taken another turn. As the Associated Press reports, Lux’s attacks continued, even in his new home. The couple who took him in, identified in the show only as Mollie and Jim, contacted Galaxy to say Lux had more violent episodes, despite the cat being treated with medication. For their own safety, they couldn’t keep Lux.

“It was the worst letdown,” Galaxy told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a bigger shock. This is the hardest case I have ever worked.”

As viewers of the Animal Planet show saw last weekend, a veterinarian with the Cat Hospital of Portland suggested Lux’s puzzling behavior — one minute, docile and affectionate, the next lashing out — could be a form of feline hyperesthesia syndrome, a complicated condition that can make a cat behave unpredictably.

The behavior connected to the syndrome can sometimes be controlled with medication, and when we left Lux at the end of the episode, a postscript said the cat had so far been responding to the medication.

The veterinarian shown treating Lux in “My Cat From Hell” was gone for a few days, according to a staffer at the Cat Hospital of Portland.

“(Lux) is currently being fostered,” says the staffer, who asked not to have her name used. “For his protection, we’re not able to disclose where he’s staying. He’s being well-taken care of, and he’s doing great. We are continuing to be involved in his long-term care.”

The difficulty of figuring out exactly what’s going on with a cat like Lux, and determining the best way to treat the animal, is a tricky, time-consuming, trial-and-error process, say veterinary experts.

Alexandra McLaughry, veterinarian and owner of Portland’s Barbur Boulevard Veterinary Hospital, hasn’t treated Lux. But she has dealt with cats who show signs of feline hyperesthesia syndrome.

In such cases, she says, “I would do the full workup and to control them, and so they don’t hurt anyone, I would put them on an anti-seizure medication.”

Cases of feline hyperesthesia syndrome are not common, McLaughry says, “but I have seen it. It’s an emotional thing for the family. It’s tough for everyone.”

In trying to determine the best course of treatment, or whether further medication is called for, McLaughry says, she often turns for consulting help to Christopher Pachel, a board certified veterinary behaviorist who operates the Animal Behavior Clinic in Portland.

Pachel has been aware of the case of Lux, though he hasn’t treated the cat and is reluctant to draw any conclusions from the news coverage the 911 call inspired. “And I’ve only seen snippets of the actual airing of ‘My Cat From Hell,’ as I was out of town much of last week,” he says.

“Without knowing all of the details, and even if I watched every bit of media coverage that’s out there,” Pachel says, “that’s no substitute for observing the cat directly and getting an opportunity to interview people first hand.”

While comments about the Lux situation have raged from the first report — that Lux’s original owners, Lee Palmer and Teresa Barker, called 911 after their baby son pulled Lux’s tail, the cat scratched the baby, and Palmer kicked Lux to get him away from the child — Pachel says onlookers can’t really know specifics of a situation.

“When you only get one or two pieces of the overall clinical picture, things can look very different from what’s actually going on.”

Treating a cat that is acting out in the way Lux has demonstrated presents any number of avenues to explore, Pachel says.

“In my practice, I tend to look at feline hyperesthesia syndrome as a syndrome, not an end point,” Pachel says. The hyperesthesia may be secondary to other triggers, such as social stress, environmental stress, or physical conditions.

“It’s not a completely understood condition,” Pachel says. And exploring all the possible factors involved in a cat’s aggressive behavior takes time and patience. In the past, a difficult cat like Lux may have been euthanized. While that still happens, Pachel says pet owners’ relationship to their animals has evolved.

“I think we’re seeing a lot more attempts at intervention,” he says. “The role that animals are playing in peoples’ lives are changing much more quickly that animals themselves are changing.”

And the media attention devoted to Lux may be positive, Pachel says. “I think every time something like this comes up, it’s an opportunity for education.”

— Kristi Turnquist

Family Cat Goes On Rampage

Portland Pet Cat Lux went on a rampage

Portland Pet Cat Lux

No softie…A terrified family locked themselves in a bedroom and called the police after their pet cat Lux, above, went on the attack. Picture:AP Source: AP

TERRIFIED family locked themselves in the bathroom and called 911 after their fat cat Lux went on a violent rampage and attacked their baby.

Portland police had to be called to subdue the 10-kilogram Himalayan cat that trapped its owners inside their bedroom after attacking their baby.

Owner Lee Palmer told 911 dispatchers that his pet cat had scratched his seven-month-old baby son’s forehead and had “a history of violence.”

“I kicked the cat in the rear, and it has gone over the edge,” he told dispatchers.

“He’s trying to attack us- he’s very, very, very, very hostile.

“He’s at our door, he’s charging us.”

Mr Palmer and his wife Teresa Barker grabbed their baby and dog and fled to their bedroom, barricading themselves inside to escape Lux.

Family lock themselves in bedroom and call 911 after pet cat Lux attacks baby and goes on rampage

“I swear I have never seen anything like it, Mr Palmer told The Oregonian.

Sgt. Pete Simpson said the operator could hear the cat screeching in the background as the couple waited for help to arrive.

When cops arrived, the kitty suspect ran into the kitchen “attempting to flee custody”, police said.

Officers used a dog snare to capture Lux from his perch on top of the fridge, and placed him in a crate.

“The cat remained behind bars in the custody of the family, and officers cleared the scene and continued to fight crime elsewhere in the city,” Portland Police said.

Sgt Simpson said the cat stayed with his owners and that the baby was not injured in the incident.

“It’s only funny when it’s not happening to you,” Ms Barker told KPTV.

“When this happens to you, I assure you, you will do the same thing.”