Melanie Griffith’s childhood home was a lion’s den — literally.
The actress spent her teenage years living with a pet lion named Neil after her parents — Hitchcock muse Tippi Hedren and stepfather Noel Marshall — decided to make a film about the big cats.
A photo series taken by LIFE photographer Michael Rougier show that Neil was treated like another member of the family at their Sherman Oaks, California, home in the 1970s.
The full-sized lion played in their outdoor pool, lounged around the house and even grabbed a bite to eat from the fridge.
In one photo, a maid was forced to take a particularly large step over a sleeping Neil, who was outstretched in the family kitchen for a cat nap.
Neil seemed to bond with the entire family, spending time with Marshall in his study and acting as a pillow while Hedren read the newspaper.
A few photos show a 14-year-old Griffith curling up in her bed with Neil, who has his own red blanket to cover up with.