Jackson Galaxy On His Work With Lux, “The “911 Cat”

Jackson_Galaxy_Lux_911_cat

This Saturday on My Cat From Hell, Jackson Galaxy will take on what he calls the most challenging case in the 15 years he has worked with cats: Lux, the Portland cat whose guardians barricaded themselves, their baby and their dog in the bedroom of their apartment and called 911 to request assistance when Lux became severely aggressive.

When the story broke last March, it unleashed a firestorm of reaction among cat lovers, with many, as is so common with these types of stories, jumping to judgment about the situation and Lux’s guardians without knowing all the facts. But there is more to this story than what the 911 tapes revealed.

Yesterday I had a chance to speak with Jackson about the episode, which will air on Animal Planet tomorrow, Saturday, June 14, at 8pm Eastern/Pacific (check local listings.)

When the story hit the media, Jackson was contacted by numerous outlets. He told everyone to back off “because nobody knew the whole story at the time.” He felt that the way the incident was sensationalized was not helping anyone, least of all Lux. At that time, the current season of My Cat From Hell had just wrapped up shooting, and Jackson was exhausted. “I absolutely dreaded the thought of going back in. Next thing I know, I get a call that the family wants to work with me.”

“This episode is unlike anything we’ve done in 105 cases over 5 seasons,” says Jackson. “It feels like a new chapter for the show.” The entire hour of Saturday’s episode is dedicated to Lux’s case. “This show was put together faster than anything we’ve done before,” adds Jackson. “I’m nervous, but excited. I want the audience to take this ride right along with me.” Jackson says the effort put into this episode by Animal Planet, local networks, the production company, and two Portland veterinarians, was unrivaled.

Jackson_Galaxy_Lux_Portland

I asked whether what happened with Lux was a classic case of redirected aggression – because that’s certainly what it sounded like to me from what I’d heard about the story. “It wasn’t a classic case of anything,” says Jackson, who made the same assumption after watching the tapes. “I had my lunch handed to me with this situation.” Jackson admits he made assumptions based on all the years he’s been doing this work – assumptions about Lux, as well as about his guardians – “and they were all wrong.”

Jackson feels that this case offered a huge lesson for him, and for everyone who followed the story. “It appears so black and white,” says Jackson. “The guy kicked the cat, he’s a bad guy. Everyone invested a lot of time and energy into making assumptions, and the lesson is for all of us to not buy into them.” Jackson ended up spending a great deal of time reassessing the situation, and kept hitting a lot of dead ends along the way.

While he couldn’t go into details about what the episode will show, he told me that this story does not have an ending, at least not yet. “I will be a presence in Lux’s life for the rest of his life,” says Jackson. “I might as well call myself his godfather!”

Lux_911_cat_Portland

When Jackson revealed that working with Lux reminded him of writing Cat Daddy: What The World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean, his unconventional memoir about Benny, the cat who challenged everything Jackson thought he knew about cats, and about himself, I  truly appreciated just how challenging this case was for him. “I love this cat,” says Jackson about Lux. “Everyone who meets him falls in love with him, which makes this that much harder, because all of a sudden, he’s 911 cat.” Jackson says Lux and the lessons he learned from working with him “will influence the rest of my work, the way Benny did.”

I asked Jackson to put into one word what he would like viewers to walk away with after watching the episode. “Empathy,” said Jackson without hesitation. “I want you to feel empathy for Lux and for the humans, and I want you to reexamine what your initial judgments were.”

The episode featuring Lux airs tomorrow, Saturday, June 14, at 8pm Eastern/Pacific on Animal Planet.

 

 

8 Comments on Jackson Galaxy On His Work With Lux, “The “911 Cat”

  1. Joan Walborn
    April 5, 2015 at 10:52 am (4 years ago)

    How is Lux doing now?

    Reply
  2. Susan
    June 15, 2014 at 3:49 pm (5 years ago)

    I am so glad Jackson got the poor cat away from these people and got him to people that really care about him. Lux was so stressed out by the people who claimed they cared about him. Now he’s in a home where he can relax and be spoiled by people who really care about him.

    Reply
  3. Michelle Wolff
    June 13, 2014 at 6:55 pm (5 years ago)

    I can’t wait to see this one either. I was so confused and worried by all the initial news reports that I kind of tuned out of it. Glad to hear that something is being done for all of them

    Reply
  4. Sue Brandes
    June 13, 2014 at 1:41 pm (5 years ago)

    I have been looking forward to this one. Can’t always believe what the media says. I like to judge for myself.

    Reply
  5. Glogirly and Katie
    June 13, 2014 at 12:13 pm (5 years ago)

    Wow…. I’m REALLY looking forward to this episode.
    Thank you so much for the heads up!

    Reply
  6. Eastside Cats
    June 13, 2014 at 10:50 am (5 years ago)

    Can’t wait to watch this episode! I congratulate Jackson and his team on making the extra effort to help out the situation, that truly gave cats a bad name. Let’s hope the media reports on his show just as much as they did on the 911 call.

    Reply
  7. Alexandria
    June 13, 2014 at 10:50 am (5 years ago)

    Thanks, Ingrid, for letting us know about this episode. When I first heard of this situation, I was really glad to hear that the police or animal authorities did not take the cat away upon arrival to be put down for acting that way. A lot of times, people just assume “oh that cat is evil” or “that dog is vicious”, but first we have to think – what HAPPENED in the situation to make the animal react that way? I’m just so relieved to hear that everything turned out OK, and really looking forward to hear what Jackson Galaxy has to say. On a side note, we discovered that the 911 dispatcher in Portland who took the call is the daughter of our good friend and we know her very well!

    Reply
  8. Safepethaven
    June 13, 2014 at 1:41 am (5 years ago)

    Agreed. With all Jackson stated in this article. Every human AND every animal is a unique and wonderful creature that deserves respect and kindness; in turn, every unique creature needs to heed their own world/environment and circumstances, and adapt accordingly, which will help result in harmony. No two humans will ever agree 100% on every possible topic, issue, or m.o.; however, we can agree that we need to be ever vigilant to consider the needs of incorporating animals, wild and domestic, into our lives wherever, however that might present itself. I still weep and am heart-sick when innocent animals bear the brunt of humans’ shortcomings. Yes the same applies to children in the throes of unfair treatment, but there are laws to protect minors and otherwise vulnerable humans; the equivalent for all animals still lags far behind, and consistent enforcement of same is almost non-existent. Sermon over.

    Reply

Leave a comment

First time visitors: please read our Comment Guidelines.