After a substantial period of balancing Lux’s medications and working closely with him to make sure he was socially well-adjusted, his medical team proclaimed him ready to discharge into a home. Jim and I made the drive to pick up our boy in his hideaway. We were joyous, confident, enthusiastic. We welcomed him with open arms, but it didn’t take long to see there was still a problem. As I’ve said before, when Lux is happy, he is sweet, curious and attentive; when his demons come, he turns in an instant. He hates those episodes as much as we do.
This is what happened:
10/05/14: Arrived back in Portland Sunday evening. Lux was quiet on the trip, sleeping under his blanket. Once home, I put him in his kennel and gave him food which he ate. Used the litter box. We played for a while in his suite (2 rooms plus the kennel); mostly he wanted to explore. No aggression.
10/06/14 Morning: Let Lux roam around while I got ready for work. Curious. Hungry.
Evening: Worked on beading in Lux’s room while he watched from the kennel. The door was open so he could come and go as he pleased, but he liked lying in the bed and on the blankets. Everything was fine until suddenly it wasn’t.
Lux began vocalizing, hissing, eyes dilated. I moved to go and he chased me. I got out, then went back about 5 minutes later. He came at me again, attacking my shin. I dropped a towel over him and picked him up. Put him in the kennel and turned down the lights. I realized that he had bitten me hard. I got antibiotics from my doctor. Alerted Jackson. When I went back later to say goodnight, he hissed.
10/07/14 Morning: Lux was friendly and explored while I worked on writing. Then he turned on me, and I left.
Evening: Lux explored a bit after work, but slowly. He jumped up into his kennel, turned and began to vocalize. I closed the kennel door and left him to calm down.
10/08/14 Morning: About the same as yesterday morning, but a shorter time until he acted out.
Evening: I let him run around, me wearing boots and keeping a towel nearby. He attacked my boots, but since he couldn’t get a reaction from me, he settled down a bit.
10/09/14 Morning: Gave increased medication per Jackson. All good.
Evening: I am spending time with him but it’s difficult because he is striking almost every time now. (Yay, boots! I can be calm and talk baby talk, give him a treat and he calms but as quickly gets upset again.)
10/10/14 Morning: Increased medication doesn’t make a noticeable difference. He is still striking, then playing, then loving, then howling.
Evening: Aggressive and striking. Later calm and in his bed.
10/11/14 Morning: Some hissing and a half-hearted strike. (I don’t react because of the boots so maybe not as satisfying?) Then I sat and beaded for an hour. Lux explored and then settled on the table nearby. Was quiet, but still defensive if I moved around. We are taking him into boarding later today while Jackson and the team come up with a new plan.
Maybe if I’d read the vet notes a little more closely; maybe if I’d thought with my brain instead of my heart, things would have happened differently. I felt terrible, abandoning Lux yet again, but it was plain it was not meant to be.
Right before we got Luxie back, I had been asked by the Oregon Humane Society to foster a difficult cat and make an assessment on her temperament. She had been in the shelter for far too long and at some point, had begun to have wild outbursts of aggression. She had been adopted and returned twice, and they needed to know if this cat was too violent for a normal adoption. Long story short, it took only a few days to pinpoint Edie Fisher’s triggers, and a few more to implement techniques to diffuse ther hostility and make her feel secure. Edie was easy, and the timing was perfect to help me see that Luxie was not.
a little more to go……………