- First of all, I hope the tiger is healthy and not too freaked out by this whole experience. A tiger expects in its bones to wake up to life in India or the steppes of Mongolia — and welp, there it is, sitting in a barely secured cage in a garage in Houston goddamn Texas. That has to be confusing for the animal, at least on a spiritual level — even if it was being fed so regularly it was estimated to weigh a whopping thousand pounds or so. Houston is a wonderful city in a lot of ways, but even a perfectly engineered apex predator will start to pack on the pounds from a lack of truly walkable neighborhoods.
- Someone reading this might say “you know, tigers can’t be walked.” That someone’s failure of imagination — not envisioning a world where the tiger is domesticated, and walks happily to the taco stand with you on a leash as your best friend and companion — is not yours or mine. Let them carry that shame. Let them carry it alone, while you walk your friendly cat king to pick up some tacos al pastor.
- Note: Another power pose for 2019 is “That is sad and stupid, and that’s not my fault.”
- There’s good news. According to officials, the cat “seems to have a good temperament”. That is probably about as dependable and certain a judgment as anyone can ever make on an animal designed to kill anything it wants to kill. After it kills, a tiger then immediately naps adorably while taking breaks to loll around, bat at butterflies with its big floofy paws, and mark its territory with piss strong enough to knock a buzzard off a shit-wagon.
- A tiger breaks down to something like 97% awesome, and 3% worst thing you have ever encountered. Guess which one you’d remember more if you had both experiences in life! Probably the low-probability, high-terror one.
- That gets us to the dudes who found this tiger chilling in a cage in a garage in Houston. Clearly marijuana legalization is an obvious call, something that needs to be done for a million reasons, but write down this new one: If Americans could just smoke marijuana outside in the open without fear of arrest, then no one would suffer the ungodly trauma of entering a garage and for at least one horrifying instant wondering if they were about to be eaten by a tiger.
- That is a BAD moment. I have had bad moments, the kind of bad you can’t scrub off your eyeballs. I found a guy who’d been hit by a car once on the side of the road, and wondered if I was looking at a dead guy — or worse, someone I was going to have to watch die on the side of a dark Florida road. Now: He was fine! But that dread of the moment sticks to the brain forever, like dri-fit exercise shirts that finally give up and reek of dried sweat and bodystink no matter what you do to them.
- (If anyone knows what to do with those, please advise, I got a pile of these for fall football games and they all smell like death’s chili farts.)
- I have never had one of those while high as hell in a dark garage in Houston. That’s gonna stick with you for a while, buddy. I did watch Event Horizon high off my ass once, and that was bad enough. But rolling up to an abandoned house, one might be thinking “Well, what’s the worst thing that could be in there? A serial killer lolollllll.” Then, high off one’s ass, one discovers exactly that sitting inside, with the exception that the serial killer weighs a thousand pounds, has been fed but maybe not fed recently enough, and all that’s holding it in its obviously undersized cage is....a screwdriver and a nylon strap. That’s probably the same experience as watching Event Horizon as a young person who’d taken too many edibles. Yup, just exactly like that experience.
- This goes on the list of things it is comprehensively okay to shit your pants during. This is a list that includes but is not limited to: Being punched by a professional fighter anywhere in your body, discovering any large wild carnivore in an abandoned house, during an endurance race of substantial length, while ejecting from an aircraft, playing any professional sport at maximum effort, re-entering earth’s atmosphere, for emphasis during a closing argument in front of the Supreme Court, and because you believe Mao Zedong has died and you are now in charge of the People’s Republic of China. (This is what Chou En-Lai actually did when he believed Mao to be dead, making him next in line to rule the Communist Party. Not a clutch dude.)
- Also how bad do you have to smoke if you’re willing to enter an abandoned house that smells like the biggest uncleaned litter box in the world, used frequently by a giant cat fed z-grade cat food too often? Have this moment of clarity and admit that maybe you need another hobby.
- Oh, one more thing for the list: Pretty much anything done by any major action movie star in an epic, multi-stage chase scene. Ethan Hunt has to ruin his drawers on no less than half of the stunts in the Mission Impossible movies, especially the ones where he’s dangling for real over thousand foot chasms. Tom Cruise, it should be noted, does all his own stunts. This, and the realization that he’d admit and be proud he’d put it all on the line like that makes me admire him even more for his work ethic.
- In conclusion: Someone really was going to the grocery store and buying a ton of meat every week for their tiger, right next to you picking up some cheerios and coffee for the kids after school. Probably stopped at a fast-food joint every now and then when they weren’t totally certain the tiger had been fed enough and they were in a rush.
- Houston sent man to space, and now they’ve crossed the borders of yet another frontier. This may have been the first tiger on earth to eat Whataburger.
- P.S. WHY NOT CALL THE CAT FAT PAT okay I’m done
NOTES ON A FAT TIGER
WE HAD TO BLOG ABOUT THE FAT CAT