The first night I took Lux into my home, after getting him settled in his kennel where he could safely adjust to his new digs, I wrote in my journal, “Lux – Ghost cat into my heart.” I’m not sure, even now, what caused me to think of him that way. The lost, almost haunted look in his eyes? The poignant way his cat mind touched mine? But there was something spirit-like in him, a strong, smart spirit who was trying to make its way to freedom.
That face, the black side and the white side, like Bele from the original Star Trek’s “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” (with a few extra spots thrown in.) I still see it as clearly as if he were on the table before me, trying to walk on my keys and brush his fur across my monitor touch-screen, driving the image all sorts of crazy. His chin, fur as soft and fine as a kitten’s, and his mouth a smile of pink. But he didn’t smile, at least not at first. The slow cat-blink that cat aficionados know to mean love went nowhere with Lux. He just stared back, looking haunted as ever. I have another cat, Big Red, who was severely traumatized before he came to me. Only now, after four years of total safety under my roof, has he begun to blink back. Does Lux have some form of PTSD? Is that part of his problem? Maybe they will find a kitty psychic to ask him, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
When I first met Lux, I had little doubt that whatever his problem, I could help. I am an experienced foster mom; have had all sorts of special cat training; have Level 3 cattery clearance at OHS, which means I’m qualified to handle the “difficult” cats. I felt confident in my ability to unlock Lux’s secrets and help him on his way to becoming whole again. But confidence can be an illusion.
*Note to those impatient for the resolution: To this day, there is none. These stories are as much for me as for others. I want to examine every corner, every move that was made. I want to know if something might have been done differently. I want to see if I missed something. I also want to roll out an event that has greatly impacted me. Life isn’t like a TV show. Sometimes things happen and you are never the same again. Lux was like that for me.