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Jackson Galaxy Hits One Out of the Park with Lux Episode

[While I try to stay clear of all the juicy details there IS a spoiler alert in this post so be forewarned if you haven't seen My Cat From Hell: 911, My Cat’s Holding Me Hostage!]

I cried during the fledgling episode of My Cat From Hell. It was the first time I ever saw a cat behaviorist work with a cat on television and get seemingly magical results. I’ve worked with cats on an informal basis for years, but the show’s star and self-proclaimed “Cat Daddy,” Jackson Galaxy helped a whole new audience learn to see the world through a cat’s eyes. I knew his work was going to save countless lives of cats who had previously been misunderstood. For that, I am forever in his debt.

Over the past 5 seasons, MCFH has become, I dread to say, a bit formulaic. As we watch each show unfold with the threat of the cat losing its home if it “doesn’t behave” or if “Jackson can’t fix the cat,” we find ourselves feeling a bit like the boy who cried wolf. We know that in the end, the cat will be okay and the family will learn a valuable lesson. The cat always stays in his or her home. What's becomes clear over the years is that often the cat guardians need the training more than the cat does.

In My Cat From Hell: 911, My Cat’s Holding Me Hostage!, Jackson moves us over our “challenge line” into a new realm that feels unsafe. I wasn’t sure I wanted to cross into this uncharted territory. Would the show have a happy conclusion? I watched because I trust Jackson's instincts and unlike some naysayers online, I never thought for a second that Jackson's motives were anything other than sincere. He's not out to grab onto Lux's media magnetism. He convinced Animal Planet to go back into production after the fifth season shooting had wrapped, hoping that documenting his time with Lux would mean a better life for the cat and his guardians and allow the public to see beyond the media firestorm. There was no turning away with such sincere motives.

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©2014 Animal Planet. Used with permission. Jackson meets Lux.

The goals of this hour-long episode focusing on Lux the cat, were many, with the main objective being to end the vilification of Lux’s family by the media (not me!) and of Lux, himself. In my interview with Jackson Galaxy, we discussed this episode and went into the details of why 911 was called by Lee Palmer after Lux went berserk after his 7-month old baby pulled Lux’s tail.

Without giving away all the details, I can say that how the show unfolded left me breathless. The story of Lux, his family and how they're coping with being vilified in the media, how they're trying to right their ship, is what I want to see. The editing in of the 911 call clips repeatedly played over and over as the show evolved, were a distraction to the gut-wrenching truth being revealed. I don’t get a buzz from seeing the attempt to re-sensationalize the story by the production company. We KNOW why Jackson is with Lux, let’s focus on moving forward after we get the gist of the past problems.

How Jackson handled this cat’s problems and managed his family’s expectations once he realized he could be over his head were what made this show great. He gave Lee Palmer and Teresa Barker a fair shake, while I remained suspicious about their motives after hearing their description of Lux going on the attack. By the show’s conclusion I realized like so many others, that indeed the family had been terrorized, but now they knew most likely why.

In my interview with Jackson, before the airing of this groundbreaking episode, I asked him if Lux being a bottle baby affected his current condition, to which he agreed. But what didn’t come into play was something that dawned on by watching the show. Lux was REJECTED by his mother, which is different than finding him as an orphan. If you’ve ever fostered a mama cat and kittens, it’s very likely one or more of them don’t make it. It’s Mother Nature. Mama-cats KNOW there is something wrong with their offspring. They won’t feed them and they won’t clean them. They basically ignore them and let them die. Unless humans intervene, these kittens have no chance to live and even if they do try to help, as I learned a few weeks ago, the kittens still often die.

I have to wonder if Lux’s mother knew there was something wrong with him at birth. With the thousands of dollars of tests done on Lux during the episode that couldn’t find a thing, something that Lux’s mother knew, was something we can’t test for. Perhaps she understood that Lux shouldn’t have lived, while Teresa helped him beat the odds by saving his life.

Does that mean Lux should be euthanized? Hell, no!

Regardless of how Lux acquired the issues he has, seeing Jackson go the distance for this cat is a shout out, loud and clear, about how imperative it is to GET YOUR CAT TO A VET whenever they display behaviors that are outside the norm. While I don’t know if this is the case, I was shocked that Palmer and Barker didn’t get this cat checked out FIRST. Perhaps they did, but not thoroughly. It’s too late to throw stones, but again it underscores why, especially in cases like Lux’s, that you can’t just do a physical exam and call it a day. You have to dig as deep as you need to go to get to the answer. Anything less than that is not humane because the cat will end up needlessly suffering, possibly for a lifetime.

As the episode unfolded, I started to cry. When Jackson told the family what he felt was best, after all these seasons of this very threat hanging over every cat, here it was…this cat can’t stay in his home. It's not safe for the baby. It's not fair to the cat. Instead of a “Hollywood ending” there was real drama here. Gone was the trademark Jackson Galaxy fist pump signaling success yet again. Though there was an appropriate conclusion, it was just as messy as Jackson had hinted at during our chat. Once difficult decisions had been made, Lux was still not out of the woods, but if nothing else, we know the truth now.

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©2014 Animal Planet. Used with permission. No longer a villain, Lux has the world rooting for him.

In this story there are no villains, only people trying to do the best with what they understand about cats and a cat who was seriously misunderstood. For Lee and Teresa, they can turn the page in this chapter of their life and move forward without fear of reprisal. They didn’t do anything wrong. For Jackson, he had the chutzpah to do the right thing no matter what that meant and to convince these people to trust his evaluation. For Lux, after being rejected at birth, then 4 years of being wrongly accused, he has a chance to live a decent life, maybe not charmed, but certainly one where he is no Cat From Hell. He’s just an adorable cat who got dealt an unfair hand of cards.

I hope that in future episodes of MCFH, Jackson takes on more difficult cases as we've seen with Lux. We’ve grown in our understanding of cats with Jackson's guidance and have learned so much, but if I’m like most viewers I’m hungry to know more even if that means no guarantee of a happy ending.


A special shout out to the Oregon Humane Society for helping Lux and for a 98% save rate. Well done!


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I am a cat caretaker and former Veterinary Tech.  Having heard all the media, read different cat blogs and comments, I wondered about Lux's owners myself but I still had questions. Where was Lux now? Was there a medical condition? Did these owners have too much to handle (new baby & dog & cat in an apartment)?  Only after watching MCFH last night did I get some answers. Yes I think the young owners had too much on their plate, with a new baby comes all kinds of new worries and shutting the cat in the back room proved that to me. Did the owners do anything wrong? Not really as we found out Lux's condition.  I am grateful that they had the wisdom to give Lux a better life.  I can't tell you how happy I am for Lux!  But as I watched, I couldn't help but think about the reality of life. Due to the publicity of the case and Jackson Galaxy's envolvement, I don't think the average cat would have had all those medical tests done. Blood work & exam, yes but not the MRI. It was only AFTER the MRI that we were shown another possible factor for Lux's problem. I love animals but I don't think the "average joe schmo pet owner" would or could pay all the extra money to have this done.  People can't seem to get with the program of spay & neuter let alone go all through what Lux had done. Money is a major issue when dealing with an animal's medical care. As much as we want to do everything for the animal, sometimes tough choices have to be made. OK that is a whole other can of worms so let me just say that MCFH last night was a really good episode and I wish Lux and his new caretakers all the best!

I agree that the owners did what they could, but they in no way looked like they had the means to go as far as Jackson was able to go with the medical tests. That is not a criticisim of the owners because sometimes as much as people want to go the extra mile they can't. I give them props for making the hard decision to let him go. That to me proves they had his best interest in mind. From updates I've read about Lux it doesn't appear he has normalized yet, but it's being worked on.

I'm hoping things work out for this poor kitty, but at least with Jackson still involved you know that whatever the outcome it will be carefully considered and the best for the cat.

I just wanted to comment about being bottle fed. We lived in a townhouse at the time and a stray cat had a litter of kittens she gave birth to in an empty apartment. Apparently the neigborhood kids found them and the mother cat moved all of the kittens except one. My daughter came to me concerned about the lone kitten. We didn't know if she just hadn't come back for it as yet or had abandoned it. I told her to wait and see if mom returned. The next day when my daughter came home from school the kitten was still there. I told her to go get her and bring her to me. We called our vet and they advised she probably wouldn't survive without her mother (her eyes were still closed), but if we were going to try to save her to get a bottle and milk replacement at the pet store. We fed her every couple of hours and wiped her private area with a cotton balls saturated with warm water so she would go. I even took her to work with me so I could feed her and care for her, but after a week my boss asked me not to bring her in because she was such a distraction to all of the employees. By this time her eyes were open and she was able to get around, so I put down a litter box and wet food and water and she started eating and using the litter box on her own right away. We named her Precious. She was a beautiful reverse calico with gorgeous blue eyes and she lived to be 20 years old. She never had any physical (except in her declining age) or psychological issues. There was no mistaking that she was a female, She was such a miss priss. Of all of the cats I've had in my life she will always be the one most dear in my heart. I love them all, but she was the most special.

Thank you. I wanted to comment with similar story (I work/volunteer at animal organizations for years, and know several similar stories)  to defend cats that were abandoned after birth by their mothers. Saying Lux has issues because of that is like saying that human orphans will be bad people when they will grow up, because they were abandoned as infants. Yes, there are exceptions, but generalization is bad for all those poor cats.

While I'd be hard pressed to find a single positive thing to say about Lux's former family, I am VERY glad he's out of there and that he will never have to endure another second with them.  My heartfelt prayers for Lux to have a happy, healthy, LOVED life and my heartfelt thanks to, and admiration for, Jackson Galaxy in once again being the catalyst for positive change for cats.  And you're so right -- it's 99% the people, not the cats, in this series who need serious behavioral adjustment, education, and sensitization, STAT -- this being the most over-the-top instance of it, IMHO.

I don't know....they COULD have let animal control put him down, or when he was taken to the shelter they COULD have left him there, but they didn't. 


I kinda feel for them....I felt like they really tried, they just didn't know what to do.  But they never abandoned Lux.  I do agree that he's better off out of that home though.  With his issues, a toddler walking around the house isn't a good thing for anyone involved.

No one, including the guy who kicked Lux, has said he was in the right to kick Lux. However, it was instinctual. When you have a kid, and you hear him wailing, you stop being logical. You only think about protecting your child. That's true of every species. What's the first thing you learn about cats and dogs that have offspring? Don't mess with the babies or you'll get hurt. 

Beyond that, I personally feel they did the right thing. If you paid attention, you would have caught them admit they had two choices: try to go out and probably hurt Lux far worse than a kick to the butt to subdue him, possibly getting themselves and/or their child hurt in the process, or make themselves look like fools by calling 911. Considering the two possibilities, I'm glad they called 911 to let professionals handle it since animal control is more likely to get the situation under control without anyone getting hurt, Lux included. The family could have called it quits and just let the animal shelter euthanize him, Teresa could have given in to her emotions and refused to give up Lux, they could have severely injured him the night of the call, but they did none of the above. 

What the original family DID do is take an abandoned kitten and bottle feed it to give it a chance. Teresa didn't have to do that. That shows quite a bit of compassion and that also creates an intense bond. I know. I've been there with a kitten the mother left behind, too. She could have even taken the kitten to a vet and just left him, not caring what happened. She didn't. She gave him a home, and she gave him love. And then she did the kindest thing she could do for him- to let him go to people who could offer him a better, more stable home. And people villianize her for this? Jackson didn't. And I don't.

The home was dysfunctional for Lux, but not because he wasn't loved or cared for, but because he has an illness that isn't his fault and a toddler that would exacerbate the situation. I'm glad he's not in the house any longer, too because it is what was best for everyone involved. But don't say there isn't ANYTHING good about his former family. He was given a chance at life because of them.

I agree except I think it was the woman who didn't leave him, really tried and never abandoned him.  She had him from a kitten but not the man. He had no hesitation in kicking Lux after he scratched the baby.  And you're right, with a baby in the house and a cat with violent issues that can pop up with no warning, he is better off out of there.

I believe they only took him back from the animal shelter after all the back lash they received from their 911 call they made. And the fact the guy kicked Lux....well, he definitely didn't need to be in that home.

Saw the "Lux episode" again last night.  Continuning *PRAYERS* for him.  One of my two furry "big brothers" growing up was a cat who undoubtedly would have received a similar diagnosis, but it never occurred to my parents or I to be troubled enough to get one.  He was a beloved family member, and as such, his idiosyncrasies, which would have been called "attacks" by the hyperbolic mainstream media, were accepted as being part of who he was.  He was loved always, and there was never any question of our family rehoming him or anything like that.  Once you're family, with us, you're FAMILY.  

While I do think Lux has his issues, I have to say I do not think his former owners should ever own another animal.  The man admitted to kicking this cat.  Who is to say he had not done this before on several occasions.  This cat looks like he's got major PTSD.  Just looking at the video, they freaked just because the cat was looking at them. Cats look at you, it's what they and most living beings with eyes do. 

Jackson you are amazing. I thank you for helping Lux ...he is with a wonderful family who understands and will give him a good life.  I never knew that a cat could have this problem .. reminds me of  fibromyalgia which affects humans. 

It is a pleasure  that we got to see what happen to Lux since the media only reports the negative of that 911 call. Never heard another word until your show.

I have fostered many kittens and there is no greater joy then raising the little guys into healthy adoptable babies. When they nurse on that bottle and look you in the eye it melts your heart. I would like to tell everyone that if you have the time to give .. foster a cat or kitten there is no greater reward.

I personally have learned so much since watching My Cat From Hell....thank you so much and my many cats also thank you.


I feel that Lux would never have been happy in that house.
He had to share his "mother" with a man who obviously didn't like him, a baby and a dog. Such a sad scenario.
I wonder how many beautiful cats (and dogs) go through the same thing and end abandoned or on the street.
Please spay and neuter.
And thank you to those that helped poor Lux.

I had a cat that had also been rejected by its mother. The reason became apparent when the kitten was about six months old and started having seizures every couple of weeks. We could tell he was getting close to having one when he became vicious--unprovoked biting and attacking. And then, once the seizure passed, tough though it was to observe, he returned to being a sweet, loving pet for the interim between episodes. We had him checked by a veterinary neurologist who confirmed the birth defect. In spite of it, he lived to be almost 16, and as he got older, the seizures became less frequent.

Lux might also have a seizure disorder that doesn't manifest in the grand mal type of seizures that our cat had--his might not even be noticeable, but his poor little brain may be turning over inside. I hope Lux goes on to live a long, comfortable life with someone who understands this issue.

I've been trying to contact Jackson's team, producers, network, etc. for several days now.  We've rescued, fostered, rehabilitated, and raised cats for many years.... from new kittens needing homes, to ferals nobody else could touch. We are fully prepared to provide a permanent forever home to Lux, along with any medical carehe may need for the rest of his life, right now, today, just pick up the phone and return my calls... his airfare, escort and travel itenerary are standing by.

Every animal has a right to life, and deserves the chance to enjoy it.

This is an open-ended offer, and I am available 24/7.


Jack Randal

Bless you if you really do end up giving Lux a forever home!

It was all maybe not so neat, and now we hear that Lux is in a 'new' foster home because he turned on the people who adopted him away from his original family.   Poor Kitty.  Yes, I totally agree this one made me cry, I felt sorry for the original owners and sorry for Lux.  I am truly sorry for Lux now.  It is so obvious there is a problem that cannot be fixed.   See above - as much as I love my kitty we don't all have the money for bloodwork and exam AND an MRI.  This is a difficult case.   

I like the idea variety...but I also like the regular Hollywood endings because it shows so many people there is hope

I totally agree with Zoe. I think the family love Lux but are clueless as to how to help him. Jackson did the best that he could do for Lux, leaving him with a forever home filled with love and UNDERSTANDING of his problems. I have love for Lux, Jackson and the family.  I have a special love for the foster family that took Lux with CONDITIONAL LOVE.

****SPOILERS**** Warning to anyone who hasn't seen the episode yet, this post has spoilers.

There is an update since the episode aired for those interested what the situation may be now:

I was one of those who's first reaction was that the family was at fault. But it quickly became clear that they did everything (including taking him to a vet who sounded dismissive, and evidently wasn't one of the vets in the show) they could do without his expert help.

I have a cat with hyperesthesia myself, tho not nearly as bad a case as Lux. We've been managing it successfully for 5 and a half years with herbals, tho she does still sometimes have episodes. She used to get the same expression as Lux when her head was bothering her, so as soon as I saw that it was obvious to me...and from the looks of it he was attempting to go to his Mommy for help and comfort, but the brain wiring being completely screwed up just made him dangerous - like a mis-wired bomb. :'(

I'm really glad he's got a new home that can handle him, too. :) :) :) And hope Jackson checks in on occassion!

Jackson's show is mostly about the journey, not the outcome. I do not find it "formulaic" at all. Each week the is always something for cat owners to learn. Sadly it seems to be the only thing worth watching on "Animal Planet" anymore.

And "yes" animal mothers often DO know that there is something "not right" with their offspring and WILL abandon them for that reason.

I also thought the Lux episode was excellent.  I do disagree with the negative comments about the original owners.  They were terrorized by that cat.  I had a very similar experience with one of my cats.  It go so bad that I had to protect myself with a pan (not hitting him) and the spray attachment to my kitchen sink. He attacked me so badly that I needed IV antibiotics.   I am a vet tech and worked extensively with the vets I work with to try to find a solution. Unfortunately with no success.  

After seeing the comments about Lux (unfortunately I haven't seen the episode), I looked up what FHS was. To my surprise, they were 100% my cat Chance. Chance was found abandoned in a box as a tiny kitten. He had no mother & no siblings. After a few years, he began to show signs of aggression against himself. My middle brother, his owner at the time, began to hate him & distrust him. Those emotions turned to abusive actions against Chance.

Then 2 years ago my youngest brother & I moved in for a year with Chance & our brother. Gradually Chance really took to my youngest brother & when we got our own place last November, we decided to take Chance with us. While he has improved, there are still some things that set him off. Now today, after asking our vet about this syndrome, we find it is a legitimate medical condition. He's not "crazy" - he is having a type of seizure, brought on by fright, trauma, or distrust.

Chance has an appointment in August to be checked out. There is a supplement he can be given that is safer than regular medicine, as long as he responds to it. Thanks to Jackson Galaxy for posting about Lux. Without that article & the one from Wikipedia about FHS, we would never have know what was wrong with Chance.

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