LSU's live tiger, Mike, lives a privileged life. He relaxes in a 15,000 square foot habitat outfitted with waterfalls and his own pool. Veterinarians check up on him on a daily basis.
And when he doesn't want to go to work, Mike doesn't have to -- he can stay home and luxuriate.
To the surprise of many, though, he's made that decision for all seven of LSU's home football games this season.
Mike is traditionally loaded up into a trailer and transported across the street into the stadium, where he is displayed on the field inside his trailer. Fans admire the giant feline as cheerleaders perform stunts off of the trailer's roof.
But Mike isn't forced into the trailer -- his handlers say there's no way to do it, and even if there was, they wouldn't subject him to that involuntary treatment. When enticements don't work, Mike simply gets to stay home.
Even so, Mike's absence is reportedly stirring up conversation on LSU's campus. According to a report in The New York Times, fans are starting to wonder why such an extended absence is taking place.
The official reason is simple: Mike doesn't want to get into his trailer. Whether the tiger is actively avoiding his display at a football game is another matter.
Even if he were, Mike's handlers wouldn't change their treatment of the tiger. At LSU, Tigers do what they want.
Fans just have to deal.