A real-life Life of Pi scenario played out during the recent disaster wrought by Hurricane Ike along the Texas coast. As reported by the Associated Press, Michael Ray Kujawa and his lion Shackle sought refuge in a church sanctuary with several other people as flood waters rose on the ravaged Bolivar Peninsula near Galveston. It seems as though humans and man-eating cats can indeed work together when tragedy strikes.
As in the popular novel by Yann Martel (and by the way, we have signed copies), in which a boy marooned at sea in a life raft with a full-grown tiger must rely on his wits to keep from being eaten, the refugees waited until the floods subsided and kept the beast sated with pork roast.
In a bizarre twist that Martel might never have dreamed up, a tiger across town escaped from an exotic animal sanctuary and roamed the streets as helicopters air-dropped meat to keep the animal from stalking humans. A local official was quoted: "I understand he’s hungry ... so we’re staying away from him."