The Most Interesting House Cat in the World

In the continuing saga of the Most Interesting Man ad campaign, I recently saw the one with…The Naughty Kitty. MIMITW’s Naughty Kitty is a mountain lion who jumps onto a kitchen counter and gets a scolding. Typical house cat behavior, but in the extra-large-economy size.

Full disclosure: I love mountain lions. They are my favorite of the big cats and I included one in my debut novel. (Note that I’m entirely annoyed by the fact that I can’t call them cougars without search engines getting entirely the wrong idea. Whoever coined that term needs Such A Pinch.)

That being said, I would never NEVER try to turn a mountain lion into a pet, because they’re too darned big. Cute batting with claws and nibbling from a 15-lb cat becomes call-911-trauma from a 150-lb cat, even though it’s exactly the same behavior.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been watching big cats on TV and thought, “Hey, my cats do that.” Stuart, who only weighs in at about 18 zaftig pounds, can get rambunctious enough to create bandaid-worthy wounds when he plays with Spooky Man. And keeping a big cat in a cage is too wrong for words. Even in the big-cat sanctuaries, where they have to use cages to keep them separated from each other, it doesn’t feel right.

In 1996, I worked with a woman whose child was attacked by a pet mountain lion while visiting grandparents who live in the Boise Front foothills over Independence Day weekend. In this real-life case, Naughty Kitty tried to fit the six-year-old’s whole head in its mouth, puncturing his skull in two places. And kitty had been declawed, or it might have been worse for the child. It already was worse for the cat, who couldn’t hunt his normal prey without claws. The attack wasn’t the cat’s fault; it was being a cat. It certainly wasn’t the kid’s fault; he was playing in grandpa’s yard.

Why does the MIMITW need a mountain lion for a house cat, anyway? Wouldn’t he be just as interesting with a regular cat?

Or is he (snicker) compensating for something?

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