Cat lovers across the U.S. were in tears as they watched the Sept. 2 episode of Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell. Pump the cat is a 23-year-old, long-haired marmalade gentleman whose only hellish characteristic — as far as I could tell from what I saw on the show — was that he desperately wanted some love and affection from Candice, an energy healer who lives with her husband, Lucas.
Lucas had adopted Pump from an ex-girlfriend 12 years earlier. It seemed as the show went on that Candice was having some major breakthroughs about Pump. She even gave him a treatment in which he blissed out. We turned off the TV feeling sure that all would be well with Candice and Pump.
Two days later, somebody posted a comment on Candice’s business Facebook page: "How’s Pump?"
Candice replied that she’d given Pump away and the cat was living with her mother-in-law.
And the internet exploded.
I was shocked and heartbroken to read that Candace had given Pump away. After all, this cat wanted nothing more than a warm lap and maybe a treatment or two, and I couldn’t believe that anyone who professed to be a healer wouldn’t feel compassion toward such an individual.
Apparently a lot of people agreed. They swarmed to her Facebook page asking "Why?" Unfortunately, when I read the page, I saw that a lot of those "whys" came in the form of abusive comments and personal attacks. Late Monday, she deleted her Facebook page.
When show host Jackson Galaxy heard about Pump’s situation, he followed up with Candice. On Thursday, Sept. 6, he issued a statement. Pump is living safely and happily with Lucas’ mother, he said, and he is getting plenty of love and care there.
"Often the complexities of relationships go well beyond what we can address on air, and of course life goes on after the cameras turn off," Galaxy said. "Pump is loved and is in a loving home, and that has to count for something."
Galaxy urged people to stop the personal attacks.
"It’s easy to succumb to the emotions of condemnation, much harder to expand our circle of love and access the bigger picture," he said. "I believe in Cat Mojo, which is to say I believe in compassion and education. Please help me spread it."
Candice made her own public apology in the form of a comment on Jackson’s statement. I believe that apology was much more sincere than her demeanor on the show, but only she and whatever higher power guides her life know for sure.
Ultimately, no matter how sad and angry we get when confronted with situations like these, we need to remember it’s about keeping cats in their homes, not heaping abuse on people when they don’t live up to our expectations.
Source: Jackson Galaxy’s statement
Images: Screen captures from Pump’s segment on My Cat From Hell