“Paw-ternity” leave is the next big thing, the wave of the future that will soon wash over businesses big and small. What, precisely, is paw-ternity leave you ask? It’s the paid leave of absence pet owners are beginning to demand from their employers when they “adopt” or bring home a new furry family member of a different species. Get it? Many employers in England already offer this benefit and some Americans, like Lindsay Putnam, are determined to see that American companies provide this perk as well. “Bringing my adopted cat, Jameson, home with me in 2014 was one of the happiest days of my life,” she wrote in a piece for the New York Post. “Having to go back to work two days later was one of the worst. While the rest of the country is hung up on the necessity of maternity leave . . . one group continues to be overlooked when it comes to paid time off from work: new pet owners.”
We’ll hold a tel-a-thon, Lindsay.
Putnam claims that giving new pet owners paid time off is good for business. “According to Psychology Today, pet owners have better self-esteem, fitness, sociability and happiness than non-pet owners. They also have lower blood pressure and cholesterol,” she averred, while stating that this is not true of those who just have children.
Ms. Foye, here are a few reasons why maternity leave and paw-ternity leave aren’t comparable:
1) Babies are more fragile and vulnerable than puppies or kittens, and take dramatically longer to reach an age where they can survive on their own.
2) You don’t breastfeed your puppy or kitten. At least, I fervently hope you don’t.
3) Your puppy or kitten- or whatever pet baby you own- did not come out of your uterus/vagina, thereby leaving them an extended, bloody mess and your exhausted body in need of prolonged rest, repair and recovery.
4) Your puppy, kitten or guppy can’t grow up to become president- or even come up with ideas like “paw-ternity” leave.
Why don’t we just institute “eternity” leave? We can all be on permanent leave and our employers would just have to send us our paychecks every two weeks for perpetuity.
We in the wealthy West have become far too soft, infantilized, effeminate, entitled and narcissistic to ensure that our societies last much longer. That is simply a fact.
Of course, if Lindsay was smart, she would have identified a much easier way to get her paid leave. Take a tip from me, Lindsay: just tell your employer that you “identify” as a pregnant woman.