22-pound pet cat holds family hostage until police arrive

A 22-pound house cat “with a history of violence” trapped an Oregon family -- and their dog -- in a bedroom until police arrived to save them.

The incident unfolded Sunday night in northwest Portland after a ferocious feline named Lux turned on its owners. It all started when the family’s 7-month-old boy pulled the cat’s tail. In response, the cat scratched the baby on the forehead. The boy’s dad, Lee Palmer, told police that he “kicked the cat in the rear” as punishment.

And that’s when the fur began to fly:

“We’re trapped, he won’t let us out of our door,” Lee Palmer told dispatchers after he and his family members and pet dog fled to the safety of a bedroom and called 911. The cat “has gone over the edge. He’s trying to attack us -- he’s very hostile. He’s at our door. He’s charging us.” Palmer also told the dispatcher that the cat has a “history of violence.”


The Oregonian has audio of the 911 call.

Lux can be heard screeching in the background during the call, according to the Portland Police Department’s website.

At one point Palmer tells the dispatcher that he is concerned about the officers’ safely when confronting the cat: “Tell them to be careful,” he warns.

While the incident was apparently scary for the Palmer family, there is a sense from the Portland Police Department account that law enforcement officers found it a bit humorous.

The report says that arriving officers apprehended the black-and-white Himalayan as it was “attempting to flee custody,” adding: “Officers were able to outwit the high-strung Himalayan” and safely place the cat inside its crate.

“Officers then told the family that it was safe to come out of the bedroom,” the account reported. “The cat remained behind bars in the custody of the family and officers cleared the scene and continued to fight crime elsewhere in the city.”

Palmer told the Oregonian on Monday that the family was debating what to do next. “We definitely want to keep [the cat] away from the baby and keep an eye on his behavior,” he said, according to the newspaper.

“I swear I have never seen anything like it,” he added.

While the story has been zooming around the cat-loving Internet this week, there is a serious element to the story as well: Kids and pets often make fast friends, but the reality is that they don’t always mix. And it’s up to the supervising adults to make sure that no one gets hurt.

Luckily, the child was not seriously injured beyond the scratch, authorities said.


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