Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Lion King

Like Roy and Mary, Rich and I bought our house as a power of sale. We couldn’t believe our luck - under $200 thousand for a three storey semi in a beautiful neighbourhood. The house was empty and freshly painted. It was only after we moved in that we realized why the place was so cheap: the previous owner had kept a panther and a leopard in the basement and once the paint fumes dissipated the smell of big cat was overwhelming. Our own two felines crawled around on their bellies for a month fearful of being snatched and eaten.

Happy to have normal neighbours again locals came out from everywhere to tell us tales about the previous owner and the menagerie he kept in his house. Stories varied in scale and veracity and involved any range of animals from boa constrictors to lion cubs. The best ones were from tradesmen who had actually ventured down to the basement. “Aw geese, how could I fix the guy’s furnace with that panther staring at me?” One recalled. I have never cleaned a house so thoroughly in my life. Had the stories stopped with the monkey, I’d have been a lot cooler.

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