Behind The Door
He couldn’t help his heart racing. He was panicked as he heard it chewing on something behind the door of his daughter’s room. Despite his anger and dread, Aaron knew he had to remain calm in such a dangerous situation.
His grip on his pistol tightened as he pushed the door open and scanned the room, but it was too late by then. His life had changed forever.
Choice Of Pets
Pets are often considered an essential part of childhood by most families because it helps a child bond. Parents also find that having an animal around allows them to ease up a little because there are an extra pair of eyes on their child.
Most families were extended by bringing domesticated dogs or cats into their homes. Everyone is careful in choosing what they allow near their children. A wild animal would not be acceptable, but what if they forced their way into that situation?
Chasing A Life Of Excitement
Aaron Jameson led a life very different than those of his neighborhood. He had grown up seeking adventure and did all he could to keep his life from becoming dull.
Although it was with the best intentions, bad things came now and then. His parents had tried to dissuade him, but Aaron decided to enlist in the British Royal Army when he was 18. Through his years of service, he had been able to travel and see that there was a lot more than just his town of Manchester. This was a start to a thirst he could not quench.
A Life In Africa
Aaron found himself in Limpopo, South Africa after he left the army. He had been searching for adventurous landscapes and managed to find a job as the captain of an anti-poaching unit. He worked well with his co-workers and it wasn’t long before he bought a property.
He also met the love of his life in South Africa, and the two started a life that felt real to him.
Meeting His Wife
Liza Van Wald was a game ranger. Aaron had met her while he was on patrol and fell for her as soon as he saw her. They were married after a year of being together and, two years later, they were blessed with their special girl – Helen.
Helen had become their everything, and they would do everything within their power to keep her safe. But what would Aaron do when he saw something threatening his wife’s and their toddler’s safety?
One day, Aaron was out on a daily patrol with his team, and they were tracking poachers. It was miles before they caught up to them and spotted the animal tied up in the back of their pickup truck.
Aaron wouldn’t allow that. They captured the poachers and then kept the animal under surveillance while it recovered. His love for animals meant he kept the animal at his home, but he never thought it would escape.
Keeping Her Overnight
Aaron had gained experience with various animals. This female cheetah seemed to be in shock, so Aaron decided to take her home for the night to keep an eye on her. The vet was dozens of miles away and would have to wait.
He placed the frightened animal in a cage for the night, aware that she was a predator. The cage was in the hallway between his bedroom and his daughter’s, but he would never have kept her there if he knew what would happen next.
Going To Sleep
Knowing that the cheetah was secure in the cage, he spent quality time with his family. Liza had cooked supper, and once they were done eating, they spent an hour recounting how their day had gone. It wasn’t long before everyone headed to bed.
It was Aaron’s turn to put Helen to bed. Once she was asleep, he and his wife fell peacefully asleep soon after. But Aaron woke up when he heard a noise he had never heard before.
Aaron startled awake and allowed his military instincts to take over. He sought the firearm from the bedside table. He held onto it tightly as he crept toward the noise. He was careful to inspect every inch of the house as he walked.
He finally made it to the hallway where the cage was, but that’s when he saw it. It made his heart sink, and he let his instincts take over.
The cage was open, and the small cheetah was missing. He dreaded thinking about where the animal could be but tried to keep calm. He had to resolve this situation as fast as possible.
That’s when what he had dreaded to think about happened. There was another noise, and he could tell it was coming from inside his daughter’s bedroom.
In His Daughter’s Room
Aaron’s heart started racing. He heard the sound of an animal chewing something behind the door. Seeing as it was his daughter’s room, quiet rage and panic filled his nervous system. But Aaron knew he had to keep his cool in a dangerous situation.
He pushed the door open and scanned the room with his pistol in his hand. But then, it was too late. He knew he was too late and that his life would never be the same again.
Acting Like A Domesticated Animal
Aaron saw the cheetah sitting in the middle of his daughter’s room with one of her dolls in its mouth. She was chewing on it like a chew toy, and then he realized his daughter was sitting right next to her.
But it wasn’t a look of fear on his daughter’s face. It was the look of pure unbridled joy. She was actually playing with the wild animal.
Nothing More Than A Big Kitty
Aaron’s mind flashed to what he had seen in the poacher’s pickup truck earlier that day. Even though the female cheetah had survived the ordeal, her two cubs hadn’t. She must have felt some motherly instinct and gone to check on Helen in the middle of the night.
Seeing nothing more than a big kitty in her eyes, Helen just wanted to play with her. Aaron put his firearm away, and his harsh expression softened at the sight in front of him.
Aaron noted how incredibly gentle the cheetah was being with his daughter. He decided to check the file his headquarters attached to her cage. He read her history in the game reserve and found something incredible.
The female cheetah had actually been hand-reared after her mother was killed by poachers. That must have explained why she seemed more domesticated than other big cats.
After Aaron let the animal into his home and into his heart, he arranged for the cheetah to be allowed in the same game reserve region as he and his family. This meant that she was close to the house.
After the arrangements were made, she would freely visit Aaron and his family when she wanted to. And he’d always have a cut of meat for her as he was responsible for feeding her.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.