South African couple lives with tiger…calls it a big pussycat

Channels Television  
Updated June 14, 2012

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.

Enzo is a 27-stone pet Bengal tiger who lives with Michael Jamison and his girlfriend Jackie Smit in Brakpan, South Africa.

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.

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.

‘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.

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.