A couple of days ago, I caught sight of a headline about a stray lion. Before clicking over, I figured the animal had escaped from a zoo or something like that. You know, the kind of place you'd expect to find a lion in Canada.
But no. Boomer the lion, it seems, was someone's pet. Which just led me to wonder all sorts of things.
First of all, where would one FIND a lion to keep as a pet? I mean, kittens are a dime a dozen. Cheaper, even. Someone's always got kittens they need to find homes for.
Puppies are a little tougher. And when I was going through my "I want a garter snake" it took FOREVER to find one. Toads were plentiful in the ditch by the tracks, but those suckers were hard to catch. Harder still to convince mom that they needed a good home.
And what does one feed a pet lion? Annoying neighbourhood children?
What do you DO with a lion? Disney would have us believe that cubs would be content to hang out with warthogs and meerkats, singing Hakuna Matata all the live long day. I suspect the non-animated version would have other interests.
Even the garter snake was a little boring. Oh sure, I could wig people out by letting it crawl up my arm, and watching the shedding process was pretty cool, but beyond that...I mean, could you play fetch with a lion? Wouldn't you worry that instead of bringing back the frisbee it would bring back a puppy?
And maintenance...I can only imagine. Pooper scooping would take on a whole new dimension. You'd need, like, a snow shovel or bulldozer or something.
I really did have a garter snake when I was younger. It shed, and it grew, and eventually the aquarium I kept it in started to smell so bad my mom - who'd been a pretty good sport about the whole thing - made me let it go in the park. I think a lion would have been pushing my luck.