Animal shelter returns Lux the 911 cat to owners

Credit: KGW photographer Scottie Williams

Lux the cat at the Multnomah County Animal Shelter.


by Teresa Blackman, Staff

Posted on March 20, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 20 at 1:16 PM

PORTLAND -- "Lux," the house cat who earned national notoriety after he terrorized his Portland family into calling 911, was reunited with his owners Thursday.

More: House cat goes berserk

The so-called "aggressive" cat was taken to the Multnomah Animal Shelter on Monday for a cooling off period. Then, after a short break, Lux's owners said they wanted him back.

Lux the cat has a "violent history" according to his owners, Lee Palmer and Teresa Barker. The cat tale exploded coast-to-coast after Lux scratched a baby, went berserk and scared his family so much they locked themselves in the bedroom of their Portland apartment and called the cops.

More: Lux the cat becomes a viral sensation

On March 11, police released the frantic 911 call in which the cat can be heard screeching in the background as Palmer says in a panicked voice: "He's charging us. He's at our bedroom door!"

Listen to the 911 call

Palmer and Barker admitted after the police incident that they kicked Lux before he charged them, leaving some questioning if animal abuse had occurred.

Shelter officials said Thursday that Lux was examined, appeared to be healthy, and showed no signs of abuse.

“We take any complaint about abuse and neglect very seriously,’’ said Animal Services Director Mike Oswald. “Investigators determined there was no indication of animal abuse in this instance.“

He assured the shelter would work closely with Lux's owners in the transition period.

"We work with them to find the best outcome for the animal and do everything possible to support keeping the pet with its family," Oswald said.

Palmer and Barker picked Lux up from the shelter late Thursday morning. 

Photos: Lux the fearsome feline

Oswald said a local cat behavior specialist also offered to help ease Lux back into their home if the family wants the help.

On Wednesday, the renowned animal therapist and star of Animal Planet's "My Cat from Hell" confirmed that he is heading to Portland to work with Lux as well. 

"Every parental site on the Internet blames the cat for this confrontation. Every pet site blames the family,"  Jackson Galaxy said, adding that something is wrong when a cat is acting out. "We need to step away from the hysteria. There is a story behind all this. Don't assume anything.".

Animal Planet will film the Galaxy's visit with the Portland family for the fifth season of "My Cat from Hell," which will start on April 26.

More: Animal Planet's cat therapist to help Lux