LA Cat Expert Jackson Galaxy Vows To Save Each 'Cat From Hell'
If you have a cat from hell, Jackson Galaxy may be the guy who can get little Mittens to start acting normal.
Well, normal as a cat can be, anyway.
Galaxy is the star of the new Animal Planet show "My Cat From Hell," which debuts May 7. The show features him helping owners of some very stressed-out cats who, in turn, are stressing out their owners in the grossest ways imaginable.
"One of my clients was a big guy who moved in with his girlfriend who already had the cat," Galaxy told AOL Weird News. "He was trying to be understanding of the cat -- until it started peeing in his mouth while sleeping."
Although Galaxy is a cat lover, he concedes the idea of drinking cat urine while snoozing is unpleasant.
"However, the hardest part was getting the guy to calm down," he said. "I understood why he was upset, but, to me, the real issue was what was coming out of the guy's mouth that made the cat want to urinate."
The solution turned out to be a real snoozer: Galaxy recommended the client go through a sleep study and, sure enough, the man had sleep apnea and snored very loudly.
"The noise scared the cat and he was trying to wake the guy up because he thought something was wrong," Galaxy said.
In case you're wondering, that story will not be featured "My Cat From Hell," but Galaxy believes it illustrates a point beyond the obvious one that cat urine is vile.
"We need to better understand cats," he said. "The problem, I think, is that we think of them in terms of a species and not as individuals. That approach might work occasionally, but it's like that idea that if you put 100 monkeys with 100 computers, one of them will eventually type Shakespeare.
"I believe that if I can find the stress, I can solve the problem," he added.
Galaxy has used that approach to great success, despite not being a vet or having certified cat expert credentials.
"Becoming a cat behavior expert was the last thing on my mind," he said. "It was a necessity thing. I was working at an animal shelter and had to figure out how to address cat issues so they could be adopted."
Galaxy, who works as a musician when not saving cats from themselves, has read many books on the feline species, but credits his musical training for helping him have a good ear for "cat-speak."
"As an artist, I was never the most technically gifted, but I was a good writer because I was a good observer of the human condition," he said. "I can make the right story."
First off, he says. is correcting the plot.
"Cats are considered to be aloof and separate -- that's what attracted them to me. But that is really anthropomorphism, giving them human characteristics where they have none," he said. "I think the reason why people think that cats are more aloof than dogs is because dogs have been socialized to mirror the facial expressions of their owners to get food.
"A dog makes a face that we interpret as 'sad' or 'happy' because they know it gets them food," he said.
Galaxy's job is to be a sort of pussycat shrink, but, in many cases, it's the owners who need help more.
"One of my clients was a woman who blamed her cat for breaking up every relationship," he said. "Apparently, the sex noises freaked out the cat and he would maul the guys.
"This kept happening, so, obviously, it was her making the noises, not the guys -- but she wouldn't answer that directly, and I didn't want to go there either.
"However, the big question was, 'Why was she leaving the door open anyway?' And psychology suggests she didn't really want a boyfriend."
But many of Galaxy's cat lady clients do want boyfriends -- specifically him.
"I've twice been called up by women who want me to help them know their cats better," he said, adding that he is known for his many feline tattoos. "Both women kept trying to get a better look at my cat tattoos. One even said, 'I love this particular tattoo, I'd love to oil it up so I can see it better.'"
"I've gotten better at detecting those types. I can tell right away now."