Something amazing happened a few weeks ago. Teresa Barker, Lux’s original human-mom left a comment on one of my blogposts. Teresa is the woman who gave Lux up through Jackson after Lux scratched her baby and terrorized her family in 2014. She is the beginning of the story, and though she declined to do an interview with me, she did approve my sharing her comments in a blogpost.
This is what she wrote:
(My comments are in bold)
Jul 26, 2018
“So for those of you out there who do not know, I was the one who raised Lux since the very day his mother gave birth to him in my apartment! I kept him and his mom. He was the only one out of the litter I did keep. He was tiny and a bit feisty then, but all for good because he was still in the sack left there when I came to his rescue. I chose to keep him after weeks of dropper feeding him, and if not for me, he probably would have been left for dead by his momma. Now I don’t know if mom cats can tell if something is wrong with their kittens, because she was great with the other three— just not with Lux, so I had a soft spot for him and kept him.”
That’s an interesting question: Did Lux’s mother know there was something different about him right from the start?
“He was great over the years, my best friend who always slept right next to me. A year before all this happened, I had my son’s grandma passing away, and I moved in with her several days out of the week to take care of her. I was staying in two places, but I would always come home to Lux every day or so and give him food and water and check on him and play with him. Then I ended up pregnant, and shorty after that, my son’s dad and I moved into an apartment together. Of course I took Lux with me, and he took his dog that was given to him when his mom (my son’s) grandma passed away. The cat and the dog were fine together— me and my son’s dad were not getting along very well though. He was constantly yelling at me to get rid of Lux. He didn’t like him. I, of course, refused.
“Lux never acted like this until after my son’s dad moved in, so I’m not exactly sure what all took place or what happened other than that day, but it makes me wonder if, when I wasn’t around, something else was going on. Needless to say my son’s dad and I are no longer together.”
Here is another insight. Was something happening while Teresa was gone that she didn’t know about?
“…Then he started attacking me when I walked away, and I didn’t like it. It scared me… he didn’t use to do that. I wish I had read the signs better; maybe I could have prevented some of what happened, but I’d just had a baby and was trying to please everyone around me…
“I lost my best friend. Even Jackson new how painful it was for me to give Lux up, but I didn’t do it because I didn’t want him— I did it because I felt in my heart that it was the best thing for him right then. I was juggling too much as a new-time mom and dealing with the stress of everything else…
“I think about Lux every day. I named him Lux because it meant light; he was white and black, and I wanted his name to complement his lighter colors. He was my best friend, and he is truly missed.”
I love finally knowing how he got his name!
“I just wanted to finally put my side of the story out there… I really feel people got the wrong impression of me. Lux was my world, I tell ya. He was a great cat, and there’s always two sides to every story. I’m not sure who to blame, but I know I was a great owner, and he was a great cat. What people don’t understand is I had Lux for 4 years, and he never once used to be like that. It truly makes me wonder, looking back, if something else was going on when I wasn’t home; however I can’t attest to that because I wasn’t around. I don’t even like to think about that because it’s awful. I will say I miss him and I love him and I still carry him in my heart every day.
I’m sorry, Luxie. You truly were the light of my life.
Love you, Lux!”
I am so moved by Teresa’s bravery, coming forward and telling her story so heartfully. People can be quick to judge, and when, during my first weeks of caring for Lux, he was nothing but sweet, I admit I did a little judging myself. As a shelter volunteer, I run into people all the time who basically don’t know how to interact with cats. It’s not their fault; no one is born with feline intuition— I earned mine through many years of work and study.
I just assumed the family was responsible for Lux’s outburst.
Then out of the blue and with no warning whatsoever, Lux attacked me! I had to change my preconceived notions fast! In the past 4 years, vets, behaviorists, and a cat psychic or two have been trying to unravel what goes on in that sweet cat’s mind when he suddenly turns into a monster. So far, we still don’t know it all.
Again I want to thank Teresa for allowing me to present her story.