The Fascination Factor

Jackson speaks about a huge factor in human/cat relationships.

Here, he refers to episode 5 (season 3) of My Cat From Hell.

Here’s Jackson…

The episode was much more about Ruben the human than Roscoe the cat.

Ruben needed a lot of work to get to the point where he was not just a guardian but a friend to Roscoe.

The day that switch flipped inside of Ruben, where he said…

“Wait a minute, I’m kind of fascinated by this cat…”

…that’s when the corner is turned.

As soon as fascination clicks in, then the whole relationship is saved, in my opinion.

When they go from being a pain in your ass to something that you’re really fascinated to watch, interact with in the space, and with you, then from fascination comes a deeper bond and that definitely happened with Ruben and Roscoe.

  1. Ed Buchanan   August 3, 2012 at 9:52 am  

    Nothing is really ever the fault of the aniamals. It’s the owners

  2. Sue Wilson   August 7, 2012 at 2:23 pm  

    This is an awesome photo!!!

  3. Cat Mummoo   August 13, 2012 at 1:33 am  

    This is the crux of something which constantly amazes me about Jackson and his seemingly endless patience with cat owners who have called on his expertise. We have to record “My Cat From Hell” and watch it when none of our three cats are in the room. They seem to be upset by a) the sounds of the distressed kitties pre-Jackson Galaxy and b) my sputtering at the idiot cat guardians who are surprised to have discovered they adopted a cat and not a pet rock. Accepting the care and guardianship of another being, be it a child or a pet or anybody who is dependent upon you is a commitment to educating yourself about their needs and providing for them. They aren’t the latest handbag or soft furnishings! (as I am wont to shout at the flat screen). What boggles my mind the most is Jackson’s respectful manner and his wisdom to find encouragement in baby steps, something I can’t imagine myself capable of. Where does he find the inner strength to keep calm and carry on in the face of people who not only appear to me to be clueless, but also heartless sometimes?

    Having read “Cat Daddy” I see at least one possible resource: Jackson’s experience with the end results for the cat whose guardians cannot be led to the point of Fascination and therefore they turn the cat away…and it is the cat who pays the consequences. I acknowledge another possible source of the Zen of the Cat Whisperer: that the impatience and anger I sometimes feel toward ineffective caregivers is only mine and not shared by everyone (or in this case, Jackson), and that in criticizing the unenlightened cat owner I am protesting too much. I confess I saw much of myself in Matt (I think that was his name — season one of MCFH, ginger hair, yelled and hit his girlfriend’s cats and demanded they stay out of their bedroom?). When I met my husband I had only known farm cats and was brought up to think of them as filthy and to be neither seen nor heard. He had a cat and I could not understand why he allowed the cat to sleep on his bed, especially to the extent that when he wanted to turn over in the night he would get out of bed and walk around to the other side so as not to disturb her (!) and then to get up at 5 am to feed her. I mean, it was a CAT, for god’s sake! Just keep the damn door closed!! I was every bit as pompous and self-righteous as I accused Matt of being. I am so blessed that my husband had the patience and gentleness for me that Jackson has for other witless, blind folks who are only waiting for their ‘Come to Cat’ moments as Matt and I were.

  4. Judy Starlight   October 8, 2012 at 6:45 pm  

    I have one “troubled” kittie and one friendly one. We’re all trying to work out my troubled Tori’s agitations. She has improved over one year’s time but is still not using the litter box and is afraid of almost everything.
    Both Devi (other kittie) and I love her very much and would love to see her become less afraid and more confident.

  5. Jane   March 9, 2013 at 3:06 pm  

    My family and I are fascinated with our, now, older cat Smokey. She is a long hair cat, black and white with a black goatee, long whiskers and eyebrows. She is so darn cute that we all smother her. I got Smokey when she was 8 weeks old and the lady that gave me her told me that she liked to be held. Not true!

    Smokey doesn’t like to be petted, be on our laps more than 2 seconds, cuddle with us at all. She accepts 2-3 strokes on her belly, back, neck, etc. but soon she starts growling at us. If we try to keep her close to us she hisses too, like a wild cat.

    I do not know what to do to make her more friendly toward us (my son-17, my husband and I). We all love that cat. I play with her every time she calls me to play with little foam balls and little toy mice. I also play with her with the laser light and with the wand with feathers, but still she doesn’t like to be much on our laps, or close to us.

    Do you have any suggestions?

    1. TR   March 28, 2013 at 8:44 pm  

      Just a guess — I’m not a real cat psychologist, just the armchair version of one — but maybe it’s because she was “smothered” as you put it? You also say that you all try to keep her close — would this be physcially restraining her to do so? Basically, have you & your family been in the habit of picking her up & grabbing her when YOU want to and not letting go? (It also may have been that way with the lady you got her from.) If so, I bet she feels trapped whenever she’s held, and that’s why she hates it. I think the best thing to do would be to not try picking her up or holding her anymore (unless necessary), and let her come to you when she wants attention, and let her leave when she doesn’t want any more attention. Give her the choice to come to you. Good luck.

  6. Reine   April 19, 2013 at 1:51 pm  

    Some cats – just like some humans – don’t want to be held or hugged. IMO, the guardians needs to respect the cat’s preferences rather than force the cat to adapt to their wishes. Growling / hissing is clearly telling you to back off. Enjoy and appreciate her for who she is, even if she is not the lapcat of your dreams. If the family truly wants a snuggly lap cat, add another litter box to your home and make room for a fostered rescue where the foster guardians will say “this one just loves to be on your lap, and to be snuggled”. Perhaps that will give you the snuggles you want, Smokey the breathing room she desires and a homeless cat a forever home that is filled with wonderful folks such as yourself with lots of love to give. Good luck, love and light.

  7. prabashini   July 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm  

    I have two kittens and whenever I seem to be stumped by somethig or the other,I google,go to the cat sites and take bits and pieces,appropriate for the situation,from Jacksons “My cat from Hell”.programs,I record all of them.
    I am overwhelmed with love for my furbabies and I think that his advice on the program has helped me understand them better,I used many of his ideas and they worked brilliantly.
    When I got my first kitten she was very scared,new surroundings.The slow blink really and truely works Iv tried it exactly like he suggested and i was rewarded.
    I never shout or punish them.However I do tend to spoil them both,with out compromising their health or natural instinct.nothing they ever do,angers or annoys me.not scratching,(rare),vomitting,poo and pee outside of box,damaging furniture,They have done it all and when they do ,I just use suggestions i take from the program,and the behaviors change.I work longs hours,day and nights but I take time to play and cuddle them,everyday. I just look at this as,unconditional love.
    Jackson program has been extremely helpful to me and my two furbabies,even though they were never cats from hell,just minor teething problems.

  8. Borys   November 17, 2013 at 9:21 am  

    Hi, much appreciate what you are doing, let me give you a bit of practical advice on cat management, namely try instead of your Eglish “kitty-kitty” call the Russian “ks-ks-ks” (spoken quickly), it works hundred times better!
    Best regards, Borys.

  9. Hegla   January 30, 2014 at 4:09 am  

    Hello, i got a problem with my cat, he pee on me wen i was slepping and im very scared cause i dont want bad things happen to him….


We regret that Jackson does not answer questions posted in the comments. This is due to his demanding schedule and the high volume of requests he receives. But most importantly, since he has not met your cat, it would be contrary to his approach for him to give specific personalized advice for your specific situation. That being said, general questions and issues are addressed throughout this blog, in his book Cat Daddy and of course, the show My Cat From Hell.

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