"Mommy, look!" my son said to me. I looked over to where he was pointing. I was almost positive that he had just made me look, as that was his new favorite game. But when I look over, there is a tiger. I, a suburban mom, was never expecting to see something like that so close to my son. Ever. That was crazy, right? Maybe this was a dream, a hallucination. I try not to scream, but I grab my three-year-old son and start trying to get away. Unfortunately, even after trying to hide, the tiger is following us. And snuck into the house. I call my husband, who would not pick up the phone. I continued panicking, as not having my spouse to help me was stressful for me. My son was starting to worry, and cried. So I was stuck in the house with this tiger. I tried to trick it outside or sneak out, but there was no escaping it. I was trapped.
I hid my son in his closet as I attempted everything to get it out. But after trying everything, and I mean everything, I found the tiger actually warming up to me. I even rubbed his head. I thought for sure I was hallucinating. But the tiger was being so nice to us. And that was it. I knew this tiger had to be a part of my life. No matter what it took. So I fed it, let my son out of the closet, and everything was perfect. Until my husband got home. He had a long and rather boring day at work. I tried to warn him when I welcomed him home. But he insisted nothing was that surprising, that it was probably a new drawing for the fridge from our son. I was about to tell him, but it was too late. He got into the backyard.
"HONEY!" he screamed. I came running to see that our son was on the tiger, who we named Tigre, who was riding. My husband was in shock and was standing as still as a statue looking at Tigre. And our son was giggling and telling my husband all about Tigre already. And my husband was just frozen. However, the moment he saw me, he came running and hid behind me. "Hon, get that tiger out of the yard and do something! Call the zoo! Somebody! Anybody!" I would never see my husband so afraid if it was not for that moment alone. And then I broke it to him flat. I liked Tigre and I wanted Tigre to be a part of our lives. He looked at me bewildered that I said such things. We argued for what felt like forever until I promised that we would take care of Tigre. He rolled his eyes and mumbled something like, "fine."
And that was that. We were officially going to care for Tigre. Well, let me be the first to tell you that it was harder than it sounds. As sweet as Tigre was, Tigre was huge. And very hard to feed. It would take a lot of money to pay for Tigre. But I knew that I was to be Tigre's sanctuary. As crazy or unexpected as it was. Now the amazing part was that no one knew what we were doing, except us. But it did not take long until the neighbors figured out there was another living thing in our house. It did take them a while to find out it was a tiger though. We were a suburban town, where not much ever happened. We had crazy weather, and that was about it. But Tigre coming into the neighborhood meant a whole new ball field.
It was my husband's work friend who knew first. They came over for dinner one night when all of a sudden Tigre got hungry. They broke out of the bedroom we put them in, well what used to be a bedroom. And was now just a big empty room Tigre was put in whenever it was night or people came over to the house. So Tigre was still hungry even after the food I made for them. So being so large, they broke out of the room. The work friend got so scared, they ran from our house into their car was faster than a rabbit seeing a bear and seeking a place to hide. They drove away just as quick. It took a day before everyone knew that our small suburban house had turned into a Tiger sanctuary. The most unlikely place to have a sanctuary.
Having Tigre also meant we could not be out of the house for too long. Tigre was still raised like a wild animal, so still acted like one at times. Which could be annoying but understood. I knew that it was just them being wild. One time, I must have forgotten to put Tigre in the room and went to the store. My husband was at work, and my son was at daycare. So I went to the store. To return to my blankets destroyed and some pillows with bite marks. Not to say that I love my new pillows and blankets, but I really did like those other ones. Nothing I can do now. Having Tigre has had some downsides, I will admit. As much as I may love having them in my house.
However, there are a lot of great things about having Tigre. For example, my son knows a lot about Tigers. He knows how to take care of them and wants to be a zoologist so he can take care of animals like Tigre when he is older. He wants to save animals too. He has had many adventures with Tigre and is always entertained. I would do anything for my son. He does not know every struggle we face to make him happy. To keep Tigre. But one day he will truly appreciate all we did so we could let him keep Tigre. I know my husband was not too keen on keeping Tigre, but after finding out that Tigre was just a huge house cat, he was pretty fine with keeping Tigre.