Showing posts with label pet owner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pet owner. Show all posts

Sunday 4 December 2022

Man, who has eight companion animals struggles to survive under the cost-of-living crisis

In case you have missed it, in the UK, there is a cost-of-living crisis. This is due to inflation and inflation has primarily been caused by Putin's invasion of Ukraine compounded by post-Covid pandemic inflation caused in part, in my opinion, by greedy profiteers who've inflated their prices because people expect there to be inflation.

Ashely Goudou. Image: Mirrorpix. If there is a problem in using this picture here, please contact me in a comment. Thanks.

In this instance, a 20-year-old factory worker, Ashley Goudou, near Bristol, UK, struggles to pay his energy and food bills.

He is paid £6.81 per hour which is substantially under the national minimum wage at £9.18 an hour, which means that he has to work 10 hour shifts seven days a week to make ends meet.

But the key aspect of the story for me, is that he has eight pets according to the Mail Online. These are rescue animals and they cost him £3000 a month to support (seems inflated to me)! He earns £2000 a month!

He says that he bridges that income and expense gap with donations from his veterinary clinic. But to be honest, and I don't want to be critical of a man who is kind animals, he doesn't have to have eight companion animals comprising four cats and four dogs. And the vet can't be a charity to the tune of £1,000 per month. That's ridiculous.

It's expensive maintaining a companion animal. Even one cat is expensive if you do the job properly. Cat food is as expensive as human food. And according to the newspaper, the cost of looking after cats and dogs has surged in recent times in fact tripling from £1000 a month to £3000 a month for this man.

Ashley refuses to give up his pets because he is concerned that nobody else will be able to look after them to the same level.

He told the Mirror Newspaper that: "Handing them into a rescue isn't an option for me. I wouldn't have the heart. I rather not feed myself."

Ashley said that the presence of his animals is good for his mental health. But you could argue, too, that the stress that they place upon him in terms of their maintenance is bad for his mental health. He lives in a one-bedroom flat which is hardly ideal for one man and eight animals.

The underlying point that I want to make is that, in the UK, a lot of people plead poverty because of the cost-of-living crisis but they are not managing their outgoings properly.

You can make savings in a whole range of ways without detrimentally impacting one's life substantially. And in the case of Ashley, I think he needs to talk to his employer who appears to be in breach of the law in paying him two-thirds of the national minimum wage!

It almost looks like that he has an animal hoarding problem. That's being a bit harsh but really you can't have eight pets in a one-bedroom flat.

There are stories in the UK of people abandoning or relinquishing their companion animals to shelters in large numbers because of the cost-of-living crisis. In a lot of cases, I suspect, that the abandoned pets are those that were adopted during Covid in order to keep their owner company during those long lockdown periods.

If a person adopted a dog during Covid and then relinquished them after Covid, we have to be critical of that person. This is because you adopt a companion animal for the life of the animal. There is no other way to do it.

I would like to see less moaning about the cost-of-living crisis and a greater emphasis on how to manage expenses or outgoings in the family home in a way which minimises the impact upon the lifestyle of that person.

What about pay-as-go mobile phone contracts that cost £10 per month and not £50! Buy a cheap smartphone (sim only) and go for a cheap contract. And reduce TV streaming services. That kind of thing. And no takeaways. 

Prepare your own food cheaply. There are ways and means to cut costs.

Sunday 4 July 2021

Horace Walpole's favourite cat drowned in a goldfish bowl

Horace Walpole (1717-1797) was, by all accounts, a careless pet owner. He was an English writer, artist historian, man of letters, antiquarian and a politician. He is described as an 18th-century Gothic writer by The Times. The newspaper reports that his favourite cat, Selima, drowned in a goldfish bowl while trying to grab the goldfish. As a consequence, Walpole the author of The Castle of Otranto, asked his friend, the poet Thomas Gray, to write an epitaph for his beloved cat. It is called: Ode On the Death of a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Goldfishes. The poet described her as the "demurest of the tabby kind". His favourite cat was a tabby cat.

That famous goldfish bowl was placed on top of the pedestal as a memorial to Selima and it is to go on display at Strawberry Hill House, the Gothic-revival mansion in Twickenham south-west London, the home he built from 1749 onward. I have visited this house. It is a very interesting place and the photograph below was taken by me which gives you an impression of what it's like, I hope.

The goldfish bowl is being displayed as part of a series of exhibitions about objects associated with the property. The reason why I have stated that Horace Walpole was a careless pet owner is because The Times also reports that in 1739 his King Charles spaniel, Tory, was killed by a wolf in the Alps. The next dog that he lived with, Bettina, died when falling from a balcony in Florence. Another spaniel that he lived with, Rosette, died in a fire.

Perhaps he wasn't careless but just too busy to really care for his companion animals carefully. He created a pet cemetery at Strawberry Hill.

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