Off the Record

I had a pet tiger.

I thought he was great. He kept bad guys out; plus, he was just super-cool. He roared really loudly, and he looked awesome.

I had the tiger for four years. Sure, we had some tense moments, but the time arrived when I had to decide whether to keep the tiger or get an old dog.

In his younger days, the dog was liked by just about everybody, but he’s older now. He was in his prime years ago. And, if I take him in, I’ll have to take in a cat, too.

The cat is somewhat brash, and I don’t really like her. I think she’s going to tear up the couch a little bit. I don’t know for sure; maybe she’ll be a pet that tends to herself and doesn’t really change my daily life.

I’m no animal expert, but I decided to get rid of the tiger and take the dog and cat. The dog might have some frustrating moments, but it’s still a dog—and I love dogs. They’re sincere. And, cats are fine, and they don’t create much trouble.

But, to my friends who own wild animals, I remind them that tigers can bite off an arm or leg. It’s nice to think that a tiger will prevent attacks from criminals. But, still, a tiger is dangerous.

It seemed like every day during the last four years the tiger was tense. People sent warnings day after day that keeping him wasn’t a good idea.

Now, I know they were on to something. The tiger needed to go away to some place warm and tropical like Florida. The tiger will still be dangerous, but not to me—and many other people.

Tiger lovers will proclaim they don’t want an old dog. They’ll focus on some of the dumb things he’s capable of. However, an old dog always gives a happy greeting to its owner every day and loves to hop up on the couch to enjoy some quality time. Although this old dog can barely walk around the block, my nice neighbors will like him, and they’ll ask how I’m doing every day, as well as asking about the dog and the cat.

But, what about keeping away the criminals? All I’m saying is it’s not a good idea to keep a tiger. Have you read about those beasts? Did you watch “Tiger King”? One employee of the Tiger King got her arm ripped off in seconds; it was disturbing. It just never seems to end well for people who work with wild tigers.

I respect people’s freedom to make their own decisions, but I just don’t think keeping a tiger is worthwhile.

I can hear the retort: “Don’t tread on me, man. This is my decision.”

However, I fear that if a tiger eventually does something bad to its owner, it will be too late. Serious injury will be the result—not to mention that, along with wishes for a speedy recovery, many people will enjoy telling the owner, “I told you so.”

Nonetheless, tiger owners will offer assurances of their safety and extend their best wishes for good luck with an old dog.

Nothing personal against people who still love keeping a tiger around, but I’m not sure I can hang out with them anymore if they want a tiger around. I know those people work hard, and I know they want to protect their homes; but I’ve decided that tigers are a bad idea.

It’s likely tiger owners will find out that, after a tiger rips an arm off, the animal won’t care at all. They’ll discover that the tiger only cares about himself and whatever makes him happy. They’ll decide the tiger must go immediately because enough is enough.

People have been warning tiger owners for over four years, and now I feel it’s time to get rid of the tiger—immediately.

Unfortunately for those who want to keep a tiger, the inevitable scars from being injured by such a wild beast will become a lifelong reminder that tigers are truly dangerous.

They might eventually ask themselves a question: Why would I want a tiger in my home?