Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ok, I've Had Enough

Last night my 13 year old son compelled me to watch an episode of "My Cat From Hell." In case you're not aware of the show, here's info from Wikipedia:

My Cat from Hell is an American reality television series that airs on Animal Planet and premiered in May 2011. It stars Jackson Galaxy, a cat behaviorist by morning — and a musician by night — who visits the homes of cat owners in order to resolve conflicts or behavior issues between the owners and their cats or between pets.

The series will return for a 16-episode fifth season in early 2014.[1] Jackson Galaxy believes that he can help any "problem cat"—provided that its human guardians follow the advice he provides—and that most behavioral problems result either from triggers in the cat's environment or from mishandling of the cat by humans.

Watching the show, this quickly turned into My Hour of Hell. Jackson Galaxy has no special skills or abilities other than pointing out the incredibly obvious to blank cat owners. For the first part of the episode, we were treated to the story of a cat suffering from post traumatic stress disorder from being left in a burning house. Apparently the cat owners were completely unaware that this would have an effect on the kitty? Really? Duh... 

The second part of the episode showed an older feline that started to hide herself away on top of the refrigerator. The owners didn't know why. But thanks to the amazing skills and insight of Mr. Galaxy, he quickly determined that the cat was being bullied by two dogs living in the house. After some training with the dogs and creating a place for the kitty to feel safe in the living room, all was well again. Simply amazing insight!

Has television become so poor that we need shows to point out to us the blatantly obvious? Seriously, have we sunk that low? And who are these dim bulb cat parents that can't see the forest for the trees? Do the producers really have to dig deep to find them or are they out there... everywhere... and voting? Gosh, I just shuddered.

And now for the best part... it's not enough that Jackson Galaxy is rolling in the dough from his TV show... he also has a line of natural medications for pets... to treat the conditions he magically ascertains on his TV show. In the one episode I watched, Mr. Galaxy introduced his "Spirit Essence" called "Trauma Free" to treat animals with PTSD. 

So what's in Trauma Free? From the website: 

Product Ingredients: This remedy contains natural spring water, alcohol (as a preservative), Essence of Full Color Spectrum, Reiki Energy, our own gem infusion and the following essences:, , From Flower Essence Society Healing Herbs (Bach Flower Equivalent): Pine, Star of Bethlehem, Water Violet, Wild Rose. From Flower Essence Society: Arnica, Echinacea, Evening Primrose, Love-Lies-Bleeding, , From Rocky Mountain Essences: Heartleaf Arnica, Lodgepole Pine, Twisted Pine, , From Pacific Essences: Diatoms, Snowberry, , From Watersong Sanctuary: Orange Flowers, Prickly Pear Cactus, , From Aum Himalaya Essences: Swallow Wart, , From Kuau'i Starmen Essences: Avocado, Canna Lily, Haha, , From Green Hope farm: Crinum Lily, Dill, Russian Sage, Uncarina Grandidieri

Oh my gosh, Spank me silly in Sedona... what a load of crap. And at $23.95 per bottle, people are out there buying this stuff. So that's it, I've had enough! No more being the nice friendly pharmacist with a huge school loan and bonafide pharmacy degree. NO MORE! I'm going to spend the rest of my days developing some crazy nonsense to sell to stupid people. I can't beat 'em, so I'm joining them. I want to grow a weird beard and drive around in a pink Cadillac.


Elena said...

Yes, we do need a show that points out the blatantly obvious. I've been involved in shelter rescue for 20 years. The amount of people that think a cat is being mean and spiteful for eliminating outside a litter box is unbelievable.

My mother does cat behavioral calls for a local shelter, with even more experience than Jackson Galaxy. Some of the things people do over and over again is amazing. Stinky litter (STOP USING FRESH STEP), not cleaning litter boxes, dogs/kids/cats terrorizing the problem cat, and so on.

I won't comment on the "natural" medications for animals, other than people want an easy fix for everything, including them causing behavioral problems in animals.

Pretty Pittie said...

I'll second Elena's comments. My husband was an animal control officer for many years and we've done small scale private rescue out of our home for most of that time. We work with dogs but the problem remains the same.

People... are... clueless.

Anonymous said...

Yes, people do need people to point out the obvious. Setting aside the painful lack of empathy that peopel these days seem to have over all... cats are hard.

Dogs, dogs are easy. they have big happy smiles and worship the ground you walk on and are very OBVIOUS about how much they love you. We understand dogs. (mostly anyway. at least for the obvious parts) it's easier for us to empathize with a dog. A cat is much harder for us humans to read and understand.

A dog runs up and barks and wags, and rolls over on your feet to show you his belly as soon as you walk in the door. A cat, on the other hand, sits near by and stares at you. What you didn't see was that she was taking a nap before, and trotted up when she heard your car pull up to greet you. We see her walking away as a snub.

Dogs WAG and squibble and whimper and pant happily to show you they love you. a cat will blink slowly to express her love. Blinking, yes.

It's no wonder that most people see cats as distant or aloof. So, yes, people need some help.

As for Jackson Galaxy.. I've only watched one episode too... but it was a different episode. In my episode, there was 1 cat who was bullying not only the other cat in the house, but was attacking one of his owners regularly. The problem there was that he was a very very very high energy breed (bengal) and needed to 1) go on leashed walks periodically so he could survey his territory 2) needed to be played with a lot, to get the extra energy out. LOTS of improvement! The other cat in the episode was peeing in the sink and becoming agressive... Part of the solution there was obvious: clean the fucking litterbox, that shit is terrifying' ... the other part was that he was climbing over the balcony railing to beat up the neighbor's cat. .... they cat proofed the balcony so he couldn't get over any more, and made the balcony a more cat friendly place by putting down some plants, and such to give him a safe place that was also entertaining.

Which is all to say, not every episode is so obvious... so there's that at least.

As for the spirit essences... I am no herbologist... but I'd like to point out one thing: No one denies the effect of CATNIP on cats. No one denies that an herb can make someone (or some kitty) feel good at happy and silly. When we go into a massage parlor, there is probably some nice scents in the air... nice and soothing. We ingest herbs to help us... chamomile tea, for example, is soothing... So why do we accept that marijuana and catnip work, while rejecting the idea that a blend of essences like this is useless and a scam?

Of course, it well might be a scam... but... I won't dismiss it out of hand.

Anonymous said...

I recall a scene from the 1995 film "Lone Star" in which a man running a garage sale describes his success in selling people buffalo chips. He says, "I move these just as fast as the buffalo squeeze them out."

Anonymous said...

I love My Cat from Hell, and I think Jackson helps many kitties and humans! I don't know about the formulas, but, hey, if people are willing to spend their money, good for him.

Tara said...

Several of the ingredients in that 'Spirit Essence' are flat out toxic to cats. Canna lilies, Star of Bethlehem, Love-Lies-Bleeding, Avacado, Crinum Lily, Sage - all toxic. You'd think an 'expert' would know better than to include them in something to be used in a home with cats.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if Jackson Galaxy had an actual veterinary medical degree he would be aware of things that are toxic to cats. It's nice there's someone out there to teach people about cat behavior, as they really are clueless. But couldn't they have picked someone with an actual education in animal behavior for a show? How about an actual board certified veterinary behaviorist?

Anonymous said...

to uneko:

So why do we accept that marijuana and catnip work, while rejecting the idea that a blend of essences like this is useless and a scam?

Because there is absolutely NOTHING in those "essences" other than water and a drop of alcohol. The list of herbs is not ACTUALLY in the water, if you read their website (it is also written on the inserts that come with the packaging, apparently) those are "herbal energies", i.e. the water is "treated" by literally waving some flowers around it and shining light on the water. But that's probably a good thing, because a lot of the listed plants are actually toxic for cats! If the stupid cat owners want to waste their cash -- fine, at least there is no harm to the poor animals. So, I say, no, DON'T include the actual plants in these things. Ah, the fools and their money. I also bet you a million bucks Jackson researched each case with a legit cat behaviourist before each show, too.
However, there are truly clueless cat owners out there, so whatever little educational value this show has for them, is a good thing.

June said...

I have watched nearly all episodes of My Cat From Hell. Yes, people are idiots and I fear for all cats. However, Jack Galaxy is doing a great thing, to make people aware and save a few kitties. I feel quite sure the Spirit Essences is to work on the owners attitudes not the cats, and if it does that, who cares? The show is extremely interesting for those who really want to watch cat behavior and surely shows how every cat is different.

Unknown said...

i want to add my two cents here...for what they may be worth!

i am not a fan of big pharma...they do plenty harm to living beings. and science is far too limited in its understanding of nature as whole and animals in particular. but the reality is that we do need them both quite often despite their inadequacies, due to a lack of a better alternative. though, we should not be quick to dismiss the value of other and more subtle healing modalities because they have been around for thousands of years helping us with all kinds of health conditions. as for medical science, they did not know until the 19th century about sterilization and prevention of deadly infections by using germicidals. and remember...only about 500 years ago the earth was believed to be flat, and the center of our solar system around which all planets including the sun revolved. so much for modern science..ha!

Anonymous said...

Jackson Galaxy is a fraud! He points out the unbelievably obvious to stupid people about their cats. He's not even educated as a behaviorist or has some magical connection with cats either. Why don't they just do an Internet search instead? All the information is right there! Oh, but stupid people want to be on TV, so there's the answer...anything for fame. His incompetence is infuriating. Fools love this guy and put him atop a pedestal...just because he acts like he knows it all and because of his pink car, cat toy filled guitar case and his looks. That doesn't make him a cat expert...not just in my opinion either.

Unknown said...

As an RN and a cat lover, I do believe that some of the non-medicated stuff out there works. Take, for example, the effects of catnip and feliway products. (Feliway products do work-I know from personal experience). My only real problem with Jackson is his new age approach to everything. Reading the ingredients, his "essences" contain "Essence of Full Color Spectrum" and "Reiki energy". Seriously?! First of all, how exactly do you bottle that?! Can I order it without that garbage?! Seeing as he is from California, I'm not surprised. However, I will be looking for a product without a shaman in every bottle! As for Jackson himself, I do find the show entertaining at times. I have learned a few things as well about behaviors that I wasn't aware of. Sometimes things are obvious, but we don't see it even if it's right in front of our face. As far as him not having a vet degree, etc., I think observing cats can teach you almost as much as a textbook can. I'd take someone coming to help me that has no degree, but has worked with and observed 100s of cats before I'd take someone fresh out of school with a degree!

Anna Giladi said...

The guy is a fraud. You can never know how much of his content comes from his own brilliant mind, or is simply parroted without credit. A few years ago, Israel was having another asinine war with Hamas, and even my town had a few air raid sirens, so I decided to start training my cats to run into my bomb shelter room upon hearing the siren. I devised a method and, pretty proud of myself, posted it to Galaxy's Facebook page, thinking other cat lovers might find it useful, and who doesn't like a Like from a celebrity? Silly, I know. But hey. It was a great idea to share. My post was soon deleted, but after a while, Galaxy posted a carbon copy of my method, except repurposed for the usa: disaster rather than war, but the exact same method. No mention of it being a fan's idea or anything, truly as if he'd come up with it. I found that pretty disgusting.

Some time later, I saw him asking for pictures of cats in their dens or caves, for some publication he was working on. There was no mention of payment, free copies, or any other kind of remuneration for peoples' submissions. So he was basically asking for free content for a publication that will directly or indirectly make him yet MORE of the money he has plenty of. Sure, those people knew they were getting nothing, but they were mostly Average Joes and blinded admirors who could be exploited simply because they didn't know what royalties and licensing were. I find this individual absolutely reprehensible and untrustworthy.

Prudence Deer said...

I agree that his snake oil is ridiculous. I run a cat behavior help site and I've actually contacted Jackson asking him to stop doing this because it completely discredits his otherwise good work with cats. As to his insights, they're needed in cases where humans are self-righteous idiots. That means, most of the time. So many cat caregivers don't have a clue as to how a cat thinks or what a cat needs to live a happy life. I'm glad Jackson is helping in that regard. I just wish he'd ditch the mumbo jumbo that he, apparently, believes in.

Unknown said...

Hi I will admit that I have only watch the show maybe twice. Just not something I watch. But that being said I do believe in natural care and remedies for my furry friends. Including flower essences. I have 6 kitties and 1 pup and all have an issue or another. Our last two ferals we took in were the worst. Upper respiratory issues from untreated infections. Something they will have the rest of their lives and I wasn't going to give them the shots the vets say they need which had scary side effects including casing death! So my search began for natural care for their issues. And for the person who said that Flower essences are nothing but water and alcohol I feel sorry for you cause you are missing out on a very good natural remedy. I have used them for my animals and myself for years now. I can promise you they are more than what you think. I have seen them work and so has my husband who in the beginning was a huge cynic and said all of it was a bunch of HOOEY! Well when someone gets sick now or somethings going on he asked me IF I have something that will help or if I can order something!! You don't know my hubby but that is saying ALOT!! We have both seen how flower essences have helped our guys with many different issues. Remember we have 6 kitties and a pup and it seems each have come with their own set of issues. I tend to lean toward flower essences more but do use homeopathic and other natural remedies and supplements too. And we know for a fact they work cause with animals there is no placebo effect cause they have no clue what you are giving them or why so that means nothing to them. Then when it works you know it was what you gave them. Now that being said I will say that some brands work better than others. I have tried enough to know this. And I continue to always be on the look out for new brands to try and add in as we might need them. But I will say as of right now Spirit essence is my go to for my guys. I even use stress stopper . Just my two cents and I just feel bad for you all who are like my husband was in the beginning cause there will be no one to show you or no way for you all to see how really wonderful these essences can be. I am Thankful every day that I gave natural care a try with my guys esp with all the really really scary drugs they give to us and our pets now days! Again just my two cents but please don't knock something that you have never tried and given a fair chance to work.

Francine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Francine said...

I disklike his weird beerd so much and your article made me laugh a few times.

I'd like to point out the ridiculousnes of his ultra expensive cat sprays. In the products ingredients it states to go to the FAQ page for more info.

Once on the FAQ it clearly states:

"Each bottle of Jackson Galaxy Solutions is comprised of two types of ingredients: physical and energetic."

Physical = real, tangible.
Energetic = magical, marketing gimmick = nothing

"The physical ingredients are: spring water and alcohol, used as a preservative. The energetic ingredients are: Reiki energy and a variety of flower, animal and gem essences. A complete ingredient listing can be found on the page for each product."

That's odd because how would one bottle energy and not loose it. Reiki is a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch. So reiki doesn't have or isn't a form of energy, it uses energy. How do they bottle that?

Then finally, the truth is in plain text:

Please note: No actual plant, animal or gem matter is used in our formulas, only the energetic blueprint."

What is an energetic blue print exactly and how do you bottle that?