PORTLAND, Ore. — In what truly epitomized the title of his TV show, “My Cat From Hell,” feline behaviorist Jackson Galaxy is calling his attempt to tame the Portland cat notorious for attacking a baby and boxing his panicked owners into a bedroom “the hardest case I have ever worked.”
It got more difficult after the happy ending for the cat named Lux soon unraveled.
In the Animal Planet channel reality show that aired last weekend, Mr. Galaxy persuades another Portland couple to take Lux while the cat is treated with antidepressants and anti-seizure medication. A veterinarian diagnosed Lux with feline hyperesthesia syndrome, which can trigger violent behavior.
But after the episode’s taping, Lux attacked his new guardians, and they gave him up for their own safety. “It was the worst letdown,” Mr. Galaxy said in an interview Tuesday. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a bigger shock. This is the hardest case I have ever worked.”
But take heart, Lux supporters. The 4-year-old cat has become Mr. Galaxy’s buddy, and the reality star says he hasn’t given up. He has placed Lux in a veterinary clinic, where the cat receives medication while undergoing treatment to try to identify what turns this feline Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde.
Lux became one of the most notorious cats in pet history after his owner called 911 on March 9 as the cat terrorized his family. Lee Palmer told dispatchers that Lux had scratched his son’s head and was out of control. The family barricaded themselves in a bedroom, and Lux could be heard screeching menacingly in the background.
Mr. Galaxy set up a series of meetings with Lux and his owners, who did not return messages seeking comment. The episode televised Saturday demonstrated the difficulty in solving the puzzle that is Lux.
In their first encounter, Mr. Galaxy walks into a bedroom where the cat’s fearful owners have sequestered him. Mr. Galaxy sees Lux peeking out from behind a box. The cat’s eyes are dilated, a sign of distress. He growls. After making eye contact at the cat’s level and offering treats, Mr. Galaxy is able to pick up Lux and put him on his lap. The cat returns Mr. Galaxy’s affection as the tattooed TV host pets him.
“I do not see a vicious cat,” Mr. Galaxy says. “I do not see a killer.”
In the show, Mr. Galaxy temporarily puts Lux in the care of another couple to see whether the cat would be violent in a different home. Lux attacked one of its new owners. A Portland veterinarian suggests that Lux be medicated, and the new owners agree to take Lux back.
But Lux turned violent again.Oregon - United States - North America - Portland