Lux the 911 cat has been in the news a lot lately. His family called 911 after he allegedly terrorized his family, sending them to a bathroom to hide for cover. This week, he's at a local animal shelter for evaluation. According to news reports, he's not been given up for adoption...they are hoping to work out a solution because his family wants him back.
Here's the deal.
Things will turn out OK for Lux the 911 cat. He's received a lot of attention and if his family can't work on a way for him to stay with them...he will most likely find a home and have lots of offers to take him in. Unfortunately, that's not the case for many other cats like Lux the 911 cat.
Too often, cats act out and end up at a shelter. If it's an open access shelter that takes in all pets that come through their door...that could be a death sentence.
But why do these cats act out?
What causes them to go mean?
Too often people don't take the time to figure out what happened to set the cat off to start.
I'm a big fan of Jackson Galaxy (who has eloquently spoken out on the topic of Lux the 911 cat). If you watch his My Cat From Hell show on Animal Planet, you've seen some amazing transformations. However, you also learn that cats don't just act out. They are often reacting to changes at home and how people are reacting around them. I've been owned by cats most of my life and I cringe when I see what sets the cats off on TV. Too many people are thinking like people or dogs...not cats...and that puts the cat human bond on a collision course.
We've added cats to the family that have walked in the door and immediately acted like they've been a part of the family forever (Max). I've also worked with a couple of very shy and skittish cats that took time to settle in (Scarlett and Ellie). What I realized in those cases was that while our new kitty was a bit skittish, we would react in ways to make them feel even less secure.
Our own lives were blessed by the Late Great Rhett the Wonder Cat. He was playful and friendly and had a purr that would put a Harley to shame. He also never liked little boys. When any of our nephews came for a visit, he'd growl, hiss and then go under the bed in my room (or up to the top of the cat condo). From day one, everyone learned to leave him be and it worked for us.
Our poor sweet boy has been gone for 7 years and will be forever called the mean cat by all 7 of the nephews. He was never mean...just putting up his own barriers for protection. Luckily, his sister loved children (as does his replacement Max). The boys in our family have learned that cats are great, sweet pets, but they have also gotten exposure on how to properly interact with them.
That brings us back to Lux the 911 cat. According to one of the reports on the news this morning, Lux was a shy skittish cat form the outset. The family had recently moved into an apartment near a train and was put on edge by the extra noise. Then, there's the commotion of a new baby...one that is grabbing and exploring as well. Reacting violently toward a cat (kicking him) that misbehaves usually makes matters that much worse. In most cases, the calls don't go to 911 but in this case, Lux had enough and the 22 pound cat cornered his family. We also don't know if he has a health issue that could make him less than friendly.
I'm glad they are working on a solution...but it may end up being in his best interest to find a new home for Lux. As I mentioned earlier, thanks to the media attention he's received he should land on his paws. I just wish that was the case for for many other cats out there who are mistaken for being aggressive.
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