Lux, cat whose owners called 911 on him, is now at the shelter

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By Karen Harrison Binette



Multnomah County Animal Services in Troutdale, Oregon said today that Lux the cat, the subject of hysterical headlines and overblown news coverage, had been turned in to the shelter, at least temporarily.

Lux is the 22 pound Himalayan from Portland whose family members pulled his tail, kicked him and then called 911 saying he’d gone berserk and they were hiding from him locked in a bedroom, causing police to respond and to file a report that formed the basis of news stories that spread worldwide.

Lee Palmer reported that the incident began when his and Teresa Barker’s 8-month-old son, Jesse, pulled the cat’s tail and the cat scratched the child’s forehead, drawing blood. Palmer admitted to kicking the cat at that point and he and Barker claim the animal went berserk, causing them to hide with their dog until help arrived to protect them from the cat Barker said she’d had since he was a kitten.

While news stories sensationalized the incident, many animal lovers showed concern over the possibility that Lux might be an abused pet living in a violent home.  Offers to adopt the cat followed, prompting Barker to say she had no intention of giving up her cat.

That changed today when the couple, who are keeping a low profile after giving a series of interviews last week, handed Lux over to the shelter. Shelter director Mike Oswald said the couple contacted Multnomah County Animal Services this morning and asked them to come and collect the cat.

“They are wrestling with the decision whether to keep the cat,” Oswald said. “They said they are going to think about it tonight and we will talk about it Tuesday.”

While details on the situation are sketchy at present, KGW Newschannel 8 reports that Palmer said he was not ready to give up on the cat yet and would only clarify with the statement: “We have some help coming from out of state.”

Channel 8 says “Palmer appears to be bringing in the big guns for this cat quandary. We’ll keep you posted,” which sounds like a hint that the much discussed possibility of a meeting with high profile TV personality may be in the offing.

Channel 8’s brief video report seen below indicates that Palmer says Lux is undergoing evaluation at the shelter before possibly returning home.



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0 thoughts on “Lux, cat whose owners called 911 on him, is now at the shelter”

  1. Wow, I think they just need to let this boy go to someone who will work with him, take care of him and love him. Obviously they don’t need to own this cat

  2. These people seem ridiculous. The cat scratched their kid and they kicked him. Of course he went berserk. They shouldnt have a cat–or probably a kid. Ugh.

  3. I’m glad they’re giving Luz a break: it’s hard for people to look at a pet that has hurt one of the family and choose not to retaliate in some small way…..that’s humans. And Luz is stressed too: prayerfully they can all work together and the human part of the family work to understand feline behavior and needs. If not, well, Luz needs a family that will work better with him….

  4. I am a long time volunteer at shelters with cats. And know a little about their personality’s. I think the family needs to have someone work with them on how to keep a cat and kid in the same house together. Human’s just imagine if you had a nice long tail and some 8 month old yanked it hard wouldn’t you maybe strike out. And then to be kicked by the other human for your reaction to pain. In shelters adopting cats to family’s with toddlers or younger it is a worry. Family’s have to start teaching kids at a young age you do not pull the tail or ears of the family pet. It happens a lot and then the pet ends up in a shelter looking for a new home when all it would take on the adults part is to teach their kids how to treat a pet. This is sad.

  5. I think Lux should have a new family who will give him unconditional love. It’s not safe for him to go back to the previous home.

  6. Parents need to teach their children to respect animals! My mom once put my cousin in the dustbin (it was clean) after he kept pulling our cat’s tail!

  7. Poor kitty. It’s not his fault. He’s getting all this bad press and unwanted attention when all he needs is a kind and loving home. I’d take the sweetheart in if I could! He looks like such a loving boy.

  8. I agree with Lynne. I also work in a shelter and we are very careful about not adopting out to people with small babies… they need to give him up and as I said before I am sure the boyfriend is abusing him. Cats do not just go nuts… and he is probably stressed out because of the baby. they should just give him up and let him find a baby-less home….

  9. sounds like a tv personality is in the works. I feel so sorry for this cat…I am sure they will find out that the cat is being abused and tormented…

  10. So is the cat’s name Lux or Luz?

    Either way, sad story. They should look into how the baby is being treated.

  11. This poor cat needs a new home. I had cats all the time my kids were young and if one of the kids got scratched I asked them “why” never had one cat scratch for no reason.

  12. Cool comments…..I especially like Diane’s about always asking her children why they got scratched…..every cat has a reason for what he/she does……it just takes looking at the world from the cat’s point of view….

  13. First of all, the cat responded the only way he knew to having his tail pulled (NOT the cat’s fault). Secondly, the owner kicked the cat (IS the owner’s fault). This cat needs to be a loving home where he is NOT treated with violence. This whole story sounds like a family who desperately wants media attention with a visit from Jackson Galaxy. Better yet – get Lux the good home he deserves (NOT that one).

  14. Really, the POS boyfriend abused the cat and then calls the police because it’s going berserk. There are obviously lies and gaps in this story. Come clean, tell the truth and give the cat to a safe loving home. By the way, you realize people like the boyfriend who abuse animals do move on to abuse children and women. It’s just a matter of time. There is something not right about this story, have any of you ever heard of a cat keeping someone locked in their bedroom? I bet it won’t be long before the domestic/child abuse story from this household is in the news. Disgusting, despicable people who obviously have anger and coping issues. I think a petition needs to be started to save the cat from this monster.

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