Tune in Jan. 7 for Jackson Galaxy Redux
December 29, 2011 3 Comments
Fans of Jackson Galaxy’s My Cat From Hell have been waiting with baited breath for the return of the series. The three-part miniseries aired last year and was renewed, thanks, in part, to viewer demand.
The new series of six episodes featuring the feline trials and tribulations of 12 families, each with a unique set of issues, is set to debut on Jan. 7 on Animal Planet. But when we caught up with Galaxy, it was the deadline for his book that was on his mind, not the television show. “We’re sitting here about to face-plant,” he said.
The book is a memoir about his cat Benny, who died in April 2010. Galaxy describes him as the original Cat from Hell, hence the title: Cat Daddy: My Life with the Original Cat From Hell.
“He had so many issues. Every concept and theory that I tout has to do with him,” he said. “He was my inspiration, my muse.”
Galaxy adopted Benny from a shelter, where he’d been returned, at age 2. Benny lived to 15, when Galaxy turned from “crazy problem solver” into hospice caregiver. Benny had struggled with an asthma-like condition affecting his nasal passages that defied diagnosis. Galaxy found himself over-theorizing about the problem, which turned out to be a tumor in Benny’s nasal passages that affected his eyes and breathing. Galaxy found himself toweling Benny two times a day and administering seven different drugs, including steroids.
Finally, he realized, he was “spitting in the wind.” The lesson learned, he said, was “to know when … and be present.”
He doesn’t want the book to be maudlin. “I’m trying not to succumb to ‘Maury and Me’,” he said. The book is expected to be out by May 10.
In the new season of My Cat From Hell, Galaxy tackles sensitive topics such as the use of psychotropic drugs and declawing. He said every case had the “holy shit” factor, each with a character who was the equivalent of a feline Charles Manson.
Penny Lane was such a cat. Galaxy said she was fine for her first 8 or 9 months, then something went wrong, some kind of stress she couldn’t deal with. “There was no way to predict whether I’d get the snot kicked out of me,” he said.
He explained that from her point of view, the whole world was evil; a ghost was hiding in every corner.
He used his tried and true methods – Spirit Essences, acupuncture and aromatherapy – but they didn’t work. What finally worked was the addition of the mood stabilizer, fluoxetine. It was the combination of alternative and traditional modalities that was key in helping Penny Lane.
Based in Los Angeles, Galaxy appears regularly at various adoption events. He has been gratified by the response to the show. “We’re on the right path,” he said. He added that by investing time in understanding behavior problems, “we will affect euthanasia numbers.” When people see the level of the problems he deals with, it gives them a greater acceptance of their own cats’ problems. Sometimes it’s a matter of acceptance. Even with Benny, Galaxy learned that the constant “fixing” was trivializing their relationship.
When we last left Galaxy, he was tooling around in his producer’s ’64 Chevy Nova, a bright red convertible. While he toyed with the idea of acquiring it, he’s really pining for a 1963-1/2 Ford Galaxie.
See Jackson in action in the Dec. 29 article in the New York Times. You, too, can learn to Walk the Cat.