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Thursday, June 14, 2012

He's just a big pussycat: Meet the couple who share their South African home... with a 27-stone Bengal tiger

By Amy Oliver

Nice kitty: Michael Jamison and girlfriend Jackie Smit bottle feed their one-year-old pet Bengal tiger Enzo on the kitchen table at their home in Brakpan, South Africa

In many ways Enzo is just like any other house cat: he likes attention, loves sleeping and can't wait to get his claws into the furniture.

But this adorable one-year-old is no common moggy.

In fact, he's a 27-stone pet Bengal tiger who lives with Michael Jamison and his girlfriend Jackie Smit in Brakpan, South Africa.

Scroll down to watch Enzo at home

Big cat nap: Like any other cat Enzo enjoys sleeping... mostly on his mummy and daddy's bed

The couple share their home with the stripey diva - and 14 dogs.

They bought Enzo as a cute nine-week-old cub but a year later he has grown into a hulk after wolfing down 11lb of meat a day.

Mr Jamison, 37, said: 'Having Enzo is quite amazing. I can't compare it to anything else because every day is different.'

The dog ate it: But the cheeky tiger can be rather troublesome at times and has a penchant for chewing up furniture, especially sofas

Boys will be boys: Enzo does enjoy a bit of rough and tumble with Mr Jamison but getting body slammed by the 27-stone animal may not be quite as fun

Snooze: Miss Smit gets up close to Enzo as he does yet more dozing

As these hilarious pictures show Enzo is very much part of the family. He starts his day by running into the kitchen and leaping onto the kitchen table.

Then Mr Jamison or Miss Smit, 29, will bottle feed him milk. After that it's time for a nap, either on the couple's bed or on the handy chaise longue.

On waking Enzo might watch a spot of TV with Mr Jamison before the pair have a bit of rough and tumble, which the South African admits can get out of hand.

But I had a bath last year... Enzo tries to dodge getting wet in the couple's bathroom

Top cat: Enzo shares his home with no less than 14 pet dogs but it's clear who's the top cat

Now it's your turn: Enzo wolfs down his dinner... on top of the table

'Playing with a tiger can be really dangerous,' he said. 'If he gets you at the wrong place, even if he doesn't bite down, he can just scratch you with his teeth, you will bleed.

'That's one thing I've made peace with: every time I play with him I'm prepared to bleed a little bit.'

Then it's time for dinner. Enzo loves cat food, according to Mr Jamison but insists on gobbling it atop the kitchen table, which he really is too big for.

Counting sheep - or deer: Mr Jamison decides to let sleeping cats lie as he tucks into his dinner around Enzo

Snuggle: With one paw draped over Mr Jamison, Enzo sleeps soundly... next to the couple's bed

Pucker up: The tiger actually has his own bed slotted in next to the couple's own double, which shows signs of Enzo's handy work on the headboard

Chillax on the chaise: The youngster is good at relaxing and looks every inch the catinista on the couple's chaise longue

Put your foot in it: Mr Jamison play fights on the bed with little tyke Enzo who seems to have the upper paw

For all his tomfoolery, the big cat does have a naughty streak and a penchant for eating sofas.

He's too big for it now, but when the tiger was smaller he would also enjoy a day trip or two in the couple's yellow Lamborghini.

For now though, Enzo is happy to just be a very large house cat.

Night in front of the box: Mr Jamison treats Enzo to a little back scratch as the pair watch some TV

Day tripper: At four months Enzo could still fit in the couple's Lamborghini but it would be a bit of a squeeze now

Pay attention to me! Enzo makes sure no one can do any work by sitting in front of the computer

You're gonna need a bigger table: Mr Jamison feeds his tiger on the kitchen table



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