More thoughts on Lux


Lux is a prime example of how easily cats can be misuderstood.

Lux is a prime example of how easily cats can be misunderstood.

The saga of Lux, the cat who held his people hostage in their bedroom and forced them to call 911, has been plastered all over the news world wide. It’s been analyzed ad infinitum, as cat experts are collectively rolling their eyes and wringing their hands.

While we can point out what caused the cat to react dramatically – the 7-month-old baby pulled his tail and Lee Palmer, the father, kicked the cat in a knee-jerk reaction – the family is/was woefully lacking in understanding feline dynamics – like many households that adopt a cute fluffy cat, subject it to all sorts of chaos, then wonder why it acts up.

Cats are not babies. They are not small dogs.

Lux is 4 years old. From the looks of the family structure, he was probably adopted as a kitten when Lee Palmer and Teresa Barker got together. “Oh, he’s so cute! Let’s adopt him!” (No, he is not a Himalayan.)

So they bring Lux home and dote on him. His “history of violence” probably manifested itself in stalking kitty behavior or biting and scratching when his buttons were pushed. As a result, the couple may have lost interest in him and left him to graze on dry food all day long; hence his ballooning to 22 pounds.

A couple of years pass, and they adopt a dog: Stressor number 1. Pomeranians are yappy little things though according to Dogtime.com, they’re among the least likely breeds to chase cats.

Stressor number 2: The baby. There are ways to prepare a cat (or dog) for the arrival of a baby. And once the kid is mobile, it’s essential to supervise him or her around the pet. This obviously wasn’t done. It’s never too early to start teaching kids how to behave around pets.

So it’s also obvious that Lux was relegated to the bottom of the household ladder – surrounded by formerly caring owners, who are now preoccupied with a noisy, grabby kid, and a yappy little dog.

The sad part is that the scenario is not all that unusual, which is how many cats end up in shelters once The Baby arrives.

So now Lux has been sent to the local animal shelter, his future uncertain.  (AP Photo/Lee Palmer)

So now Lux has been sent to the local animal shelter, his future uncertain. (AP Photo/Lee Palmer)

The difference here is that Lux decided to take matters into his own … errr … paws and it made national headlines.

Update. According to KGW in Los Angeles, Jackson Galaxy of Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell,” will visit Lux and his family to try to resolve the problem that has parents and pet owners at odds with each other.

“Every parental site on the Internet blames the cat for this confrontation. Every pet site blames the family,” he said, adding that something is wrong if the cat is acting out. “We need to step away from the hysteria. There is a story behind all this. Don’t assume anything.”

The fifth season of “My Cat From Hell” starts April 26.

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About ExclusivelyCats
Sally Bahner is an expert in all aspects of cat care: Writer, consultant, speaker, instructor.

12 Responses to More thoughts on Lux

  1. Connie says:

    I just hope he is getting the help he needs

  2. Julie Porter says:

    Best thing I have read on the subject so far. Thank you.

  3. Reblogged this on Catnips – one stop feline shop for all cat related advice and commented:
    great article from Exclusively Cats

  4. lauriesaves says:

    I agree – best piece I’ve read on Lux. Thanks for telling it like it is. I sure hope he finds his way into a loving home that understands cats.

  5. Barb Spegal says:

    Poor cat. I hope he finds a new forever home that will take good care of him.

  6. This is a very good quote to keep in mind for everyday situations: “We need to step away from the hysteria. There is a story behind all this. Don’t assume anything.” Internet especially is a place where all the rage runs loose. Any story (regardless topic) can be highlighted as bad as it sounds, without even understanding what’s going on there.

    Thanks Sally for this article. Liked you FB page, so hope to hear more from you.

    By the way, couple of nights ago I had a dream that I had to work with this cat. Once I entered the room Lux immediately charged his attack on my legs with so much rage I have never seen before. In panic I tried to reach for a cat toy to redirect his attention away from my legs. It kinda worked, but I was still so scared this cat will eventually kill me.. and then I woke up. Phew… :D

    • Thanks for your comments, Maris. Yes, there’s been so much publicity about Lux, it’s hard to get a real perspective. And your dream shows just how deeply a cat like Lux can affect the psyche of a concerned cat lover!

  7. lifeofmissb says:

    Poor Lux, I hope he’s getting lots of love! I just found your blog and I’m a big lover of cats …Plus I’ve nominated you for a Liebster award: http://lifeofmissb.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1049&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2

  8. katzyonetsy says:

    You are so right about the stress this animal is experiencing. I have seen it time and time again: well meaning friends who spontaneously get another pet without considering the one they have. I believe that loyalties are to the existing pet. Just because you want a dog, it doesnt mean that your cat does. The child should be taught how to treat a cat. And kicking an animal is never ok. But, saying that, I think this family is overwhelmed and needs help. It’s so easy to blame. I am really interested in seeing how Jackson helps to resolve this situation.

    Hopefully, the recent “cat saves boy” video will help to counter the bad kitty press.

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