Before we get to the "large animal" part of the story, let me get one thing out of the way: Squirrely's Rule of Marriage #23 - When cheetahs are attacking your wife, you may want to put down the goddamned camera and, I don't know, like maybe, TRY TO FUCKING SAVE HER!!
Having addressed that, back to the large animals. Apparently, it is possible to go to this game preserve in South Africa and get your picture taken while standing next to "pet" cheetahs. Yeah...and Sea World should let tourists swim with their "pet" sharks. Here's the thing: I've had pet cats for most of my life. I like cats. I like their independence. I even like their aggravating "What? Were you talkin' to me?" attitude. However, I completely understand the one-sided nature of my relationship to my cats. Cats don't give a fuck and haven't given a fuck since ever. When the Duke hops up in my lap while I'm reading the paper in the morning, he's not being friendly, he's cold. When Duke's sister, the very aptly named Morgana le Fey, pokes me with her paw at 4am every morning, it means she's hungry and is checking to see if I'm dead. When Admiral Halsey starts rubbing against my leg, he's not being friendly either. He's hungry and figures I'll either feed him or he can get me to trip and kill myself. Halsey's good either way.
To cats, humans are animals that are too big to eat (while we're alive anyway), but are convenient to have around to provide food, open doors, clean up the disgusting messes they make, and other, similar services. Let's face it, the Tribe of Tiger has been around for most of the Cenozoic and, after 60 million years, the cat brain is pretty much hard-wired to kill things and, even today, there are parts of the world where humans are still very much on the cat menu of dietary choices. As Siegfried and Roy discovered several years back, there is no such thing as a "pet" cat. Inside even the fattest, laziest domestic kitty cat, the kill switch is always a hair breadth from being engaged. Timbuk 3 has very succinctly summed up the situation with cats:
"Cats will be cats, and cats will be cruel...or humans as the case may be.
Cats can be callous, and cats can be cool
Cats will be cats, remember these words
Cats will be cats, and cats eat birds
Cats will be cats, and cats eat birds"