Not many kids grow up with a cougar as a playmate, but Jay Furniss pictured here, did.

He and Mal McInnes have been mates since the Ark and from when Mal once owned the Golden River Zoo at Mildura in Victoria’s north-west. Pride of the exhibits was a house-tamed and trained cougar which even once figured in the Cougar bourbon television advertisements. To Jay, it was his big pet cat.

Jay and Mal are still working together – this time in the real estate industry at Rye on the Mornington Peninsula, south-east of Melbourne. Together they bought a CruiseCraft Stinger 506 and now they have an Explorer 600. The guys often head 70km offshore into Bass Strait after tuna like the one Jay is holding here.

You can expect to see Jay crop up on television from time to time – he’s into his fishing in a big way and has taken a few television crews on his tuna assaults.​