Years ago, a friend used to quote me something which, I think, was supposed to have been said by the beat writer, William S. Burroughs: "Guns are bad - but knives are worse... nobody likes to get cut."
To which I would add: "...or be pounced upon by 200 pounds of razor sharp teeth and coiled-steel muscles intent on making a meal of you."
Yes, if you flip through enough old magazines you'll start to see some odd themes emerging... and Big Cat Attacks seems to be one of them. There are plenty of "great white hunter" stories about bears, buffalo and even gorillas - but nothing like the volume of big cat attack stories. We humans seem to have a fear (or at least a fascination) of that particular kind of death hardwired into the kernel of our collective primate DNA.
That was certainly the case for me back in 1973. My Oma had sent me the beautiful Bunter Kinder-Kosmos book from which the image below is scanned. I enjoyed studying the incredible dinosaur paintings in the front 2/3rds of the book... but when I first laid eyes on this illustration of a leaping sabertooth tiger I was filled with anxiety. The fate of the fallen cave man in the bottom right frame was imminently clear to 9-year-old me.
So this week, let's take a look at the man-eaters of the Felidae family and if you like to look at this sort of thing in all its terrifying glory, you can see the full size version in my new Big Cat Attack! Flickr set.