Thursday, May 18, 2006

Pet Lion

Did y'all see this story about the couple in Kentucky who have a full grown pet lion, and that the county they live in is trying to pass a special ordinance that would force them to get rid of him? (His name is Kitty. Awww.) This is his picture.

Remember now, I'm from Louisiana, ok?

Just after I got out of high school in 1980, my older brother's best friend was a guy from West Monroe, La. Chris N.

You have to understand that there are some world-class rednecks in Louisiana. And Chris N. was an elite redneck. This guy was a real piece of work and easily one of the funniest people I ever have known. At that time Chris was 6'4" and about 325lbs. He was a welder and monstrously strong. Just a working class redneck who would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.

Also, guns were EVERYWHERE. Owning and shooting guns is just part of life there, like taking out the trash, or whatever. (It cracks me up how characters on TV shows are so fearful of guns, and recoil with revulsion from even touching an unloaded gun.)

And Chris N. had a gun collection to be envied, iffen you were the type to envy another man's gun collection. Feared if you hate guns.

One day Chris, being a spur-of-the-moment kinda guy, trades one of his prize hunting rifles for a male lion cub. Yes, a male lion cub, probably about 30lbs at the time.

My older brother Paul tells me about this one day and we strike off to West Monroe to Chris' APARTMENT, to see the lion.

He's just as cute as can be, and loves to play, but even that small he's unbelievably strong. I'll never forget how rough his tongue was, he loved to lick people. And in less than a week this cub has shredded parts of the carpet and every single piece of furniture in the apartment.

You. Have. Never. Seen. Claws. Like. This. Up. Close. Nevah.

Oh yeah, Chris rented a furnished apartment. So the carpet and the furniture were part of the rented stuff.

Anyway, within weeks this lion is up to about 70lbs and about as tall as a big dog like a labrador or german shepherd. But at 70lbs, this cat can knock Chris (6'4", 325lbs), my brother Paul (6'1", 275lbs), or me (6'1", 225lbs) down at will, whenever he felt like wrestling (rasslin', in Louisiana). And the cat (I can't remember for the life of me what Chris named him) felt like rasslin' pretty much any time anyone got up to go to the kitchen or bathroom.

I will never, ever forget the sheer strength of this cat. I mean he's stronger than anything I ever personally played with. And if you have a house cat, you know that all of a cat's play is really just practice for killing. And this lion would jump out from behind stuff and tackle you. It's amazing to think about how big and strong we were at that time and yet how pathetic all our strength was compared to this 70lb lion. And, he was only about one fifth the size he was going to get.

Eventually, Chris' landlord found out about the lion and threatened to call the cops. Why he didn't do that first anyway, I don't know. Just another day as a landlord in Louisiana, I guess. And Chris being the world-class redneck he was (probably still is), was getting tired of taking care of the lion. So, he found someone in his northeast Louisiana redneck brotherhood who wanted the lion in trade.

What did Chris get in trade for a male lion cub?

Why, a classic, VW bug framed, 70's era dune buggy, of course. Similar to this one.

Ah, those were the days. Sigh. Good times, good times.

No comments: