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.
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.
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.