LUX: AN OFFICIAL (& NOT SO OFFICIAL) UPDATE

LUX 6

I’m happy to announce – finally – an update on Lux, Portland’s own 911 cat.

As most of you know, 2 1/2 years ago, Lux frightened a couple with a baby into locking themselves in their bedroom and calling 911. For anyone who wants to catch up, here is the original story from the Oregonian, March 10, 2014: Aggravated Cat Is Subdued By Portland Police After Terrorizing Family  

Like you, I really want to know what’s happening with my sweetie, Lux, so a short time ago, I checked the internet and found this interview with Jackson Galaxy.  The interviewer, Stephanie Stephens, M.A. (Digital Health, Lifestyle, Celeb Journalist/Producer/Host) asks Jackson: 

SS: What’s the toughest cat situation you’ve ever faced on the show?

JG: It has to be Lux, “The 911 Cat.” He scared his family into locking themselves in a room and calling 911. Yes, really. He challenged me, and that’s a tough one for someone like me. He’s in a sanctuary now, living a great life.

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I was glad to see this admission from Jackson, because for so long there has been no official word. I know we all want to see Lux “fixed” and normal – that may never happen but his future is looking brighter all the time. 

Last year, I was able to visit Lux in his sanctuary and saw for myself what a wonderful place it was. The peaceful environment was a perfect place to address his triggers and phobias. He had a lovely, large space and a throng of caregivers to cater to his needs and whims. Everyone loved him, and he was making great strides. 

What made Lux act out in such a divergent way? We will probably never know, though many possibilities have been suggested. When Lux had the full-body MRI in 2014, it turned up no abnormalities, but it is still possible there was a physical cause that the tests missed. For a while, he was thought to have a form of feline hyperesthesia syndrome, but that was pretty well ruled out by the doctors at the sanctuary. (Lux takes no medication now and hasn’t for approximately 2 years.) 

So if it wasn’t physical, was it mental? Cats hate change. Was the introduction of a husband, dog, and baby into Lux’s life too much for him? Most commonly, a cat stressed by change will become reclusive or adopt inappropriate litterbox habits, not turn into a wolverine. 

Lux had definite triggers that spurred the onset of an episode. He hated when a person turned away from him to walk out of a room. The drive for a cat to attack when someone leaves the room is not unheard-of. Though most cats aren’t as brutal as Lux, I’ve since been told of several cases. Simply put, kitty doesn’t want you to go. 

Clutter was another no-no for Lux, which made my house with its many rooms of knick-knacks and collectibles a bad fit. He liked to see what was going on around him. When things blocked his line of sight, he became nervous and unsure, and then an outburst could occur. 

For a normal cat, none  of those things should be traumatic enough to throw him into all-out aggression. According to his original family, there had been no hint of what was to come previous to the 2014 outburst. If this is true, what made a 4-year-old cat suddenly change his disposition? Usually by 4, a cat’s personality is somewhat set. According to the Cat Life Stage Table, 4 is “Prime”, approximating an age of 32 in human years.  

04-10-14 Lux 001 - Copy

Luxie is now 6. I hope to visit him again sometime soon. I hope even more that Jackson Galaxy can finally solve his mystery or at least conquer his demons once and for all. Jackson hasn’t forgotten Lux. The story is still playing out. Meanwhile I’m thrilled at the news that he is happy, and gratified knowing he is safe and loved. 

 cat yin yang 3

 

 

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About Mollie Hunt

I am the crazy cat lady, animal shelter volunteer, Trekkie, and mystery writer. I live in the rainy Pacific Northwest and will watch any TV show or movie filmed here. Even though I am of a goodly age (sixty-something) I go to Star Trek conventions in costume and am not afraid to be by myself. I enjoy my life in the cat lane. Words to live by: Spay and neuter; Live long and prosper; Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
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20 Responses to LUX: AN OFFICIAL (& NOT SO OFFICIAL) UPDATE

  1. jowensauthor says:

    So glad that Lux is doing well 🙂

  2. Roby Sweet says:

    Poor Lux! I’m glad to hear he’s doing better now that he’s at the sanctuary.

  3. My cat has just been diagnosed with the same condition. I can relate to wanting to shut myself away & call the emergency services! 😳

  4. Thank you. That will be the next step if the pills don’t work. 💊💊💊💊💊

  5. Katie says:

    Thank you for updating and taking care of Lux for so long. He seems like a sweet cat most days…I’m glad the sanctuary may one day give us answers on what is happening to him one day, but I do have one question about something you wrote. In one of the attacks, your other cat, Lucky? She fought Lux once in one of his outbursts before you separated them and you mentioned that snapped Lux partially out of his state, at least for a moment… Though I don’t want Lux or cats to fight in general, I was wondering if Lux in the sanctuary, had access to other cats. Cats that may keep him calm or help him stay out of that “attack mode?” I was wondering if exposure to other cats, keeps him more sane, or if it is the other way around.

    • Mollie Hunt says:

      The cat who attacked him was Tinkerbelle, a tiny elderly cat with spunk. (She did not actually hurt him at all; just chased and surprised him) He’d had contact with my 3 other cats before and had done well with them. He does have contact with other cats now, though I don’t know how it has affected his outbursts. He has been outburst-free for quite some time! Maybe that has something to do with it.

  6. Fran says:

    I know this is an old post but I have been so worried about Lux. I still believe that he was abused by that guy and so far I have not seen anything to make me think otherwise. That guy was shady and I don’t think this was the first time he has kicked Lux. I was so glad to come across this article as I have searched and searched for any information on him. I feel so relieved that he is getting the care and love that he so much deserves. So glad also that Jackson Galaxy stepped in and took charge of this situation. There is no doubt that had he not, Lux would have been euthanized or worse had he stayed with these nut job people.

    • Mollie Hunt says:

      Lux is well and happy. I’m sorry I can’t tell you more. Maybe someday Jackson will make a public statement. I hope so, but the important thing is Lux’s wellbeing, sweet beautiful boy.

  7. Stacey Jo says:

    Is Lux at Best Friends Sanctuary in Utah?

  8. chrisscatmeow says:

    I had never heard of Lux before today. I feel sorry for him who knows what made him act that way maybe the kick in the rear didn’t help….im so glad he’s safe and being cared for. x😻💞🐾🐾🐾

  9. Erin Carroll says:

    My first cat had a severe and unpreditable behavior disorder very similar to what was described in Lux. I can attest that these animals are frightening, and no one believes you that they can be as scary as a dog attack until it happens to them, which leads to people ignoring warnings. A few of our incidents ended in bite reports and 30 day rabies watch (he was a completely indoor healthy cat, this is just required whenever a bite is reported as part of a medical followup). He trusted only a handful of people, and his occasional night terrors would end in him mauling whatever he happened to be sleeping on (which was often someones legs). He finally went on amitripltaline which ended the occasional night attacks on the people he trusted, but he absolutely never got over the possibility of attacking people that he didnt feel belonged in the house.

    This was especially true if we werent home, these situations guaranteed an attack. In one memorable incident, he was completely fine and comfortable with our roommate for months. The cat was asleep when we left to go do laundry, and when he woke up, he was alone with our rommate. Suddenly his acceptance disappeared, and he chased the poor guy into our bedroom and trapped him there. The cat never treated him the same again. Our vet and behaviorist had seen these kinds of unpredictable neurotic behaviors (he classified them as atypical territorial aggression because of the unusual habit of targeting people as though they were competing cats, and the inconsistency of applying this aggression) and in both their experience, abnormal neurotic behaviors were more common in white-blue-eyed genetically deaf cats like ours. Medication was deemed the only solution.

    For people dealing with cats suffering from these kinds of unexplained aggression, remember that mental illness and neurological disease isnt limited to humans, and won’t necessarily show up on an mri.

    • Mollie Hunt says:

      Thank you for your input. If the agressive behavior can be treated, many cats could be saved.

      • Erin Carroll says:

        Our boy lived with us to a ripe old age, and was well loved by all those whom he trusted. It can be done! (Althought with a young child, I totally understand the parents feelings in their situation)

  10. Diane says:

    Bless you Molly and Jackson. Sounds like Lux is in a good place, that’s awesome. 🙂

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