Shoulda been a kitteh – what a pitteh!

The RSPCA tells me that there are a million stray cats in the UK.  And I know there are also a million of us full-time, unpaid carers.

Have a think about this for a moment. The two facts should not be mutually exclusive.

Yet when was the last time your Facebook timeline was filled with pictures of suffering family carers? with piteous appeals from charities whose only aim is to make carers’  life better (“Carrie has not slept a full night for ten years. Could you give up a little of your precious time to help her?“)? with exhortations not to forget at this festive season? with appeals for time, funding, volunteers? I’m not really asking you this question. We all know the answer.

Chums – let me tell you, an unpaid family carer may need funding, support, volunteers quite as much as a cat. Maybe – speak it low – more. Have a look around you. One of every 64 people you know  is a 24/7 carer, working up to 168 hours in the week (and there are only 168 hours in the week).  Do you recognise them? They are probably the people you don’t actually see that often, because they can’t leave the person they care for. They are the people who lead a poorer life than yourself, because it is so had to fit career around full-time caring.  They are the people with the bags under their eyes. The ones you  think, briefly, “Gosh, I guess it sucks to be you,” as you drive past them on your way to  book your regular winter holiday. The ones you rather admire because they ‘soldier on,’ because you haven’t thought about what options or support they might have not to soldier on. The ones to who all employment rights are denied.

The ones held to ransom because successive governments found it much easier and cheaper to patronise than to face up to the economic costs of family care.

I fancy making a set of LOLCareh memes.  A picture of my sleepless-for-13-years eyebags (I CAN HAZ RESPITE?) would be a winner. And maybe we could produce a line of “I WUV YOU, CAREH” sweatuhs for Christmas.

Maybe we could start a trend?



  1. Reblogged this on Carer with Attitude! and commented:

    It’s 22 June 2014 – the day after the First Carers Virtual Strike. For folks, it is only the first of many.
    How did it go? Well, a lot of Carers were interested. But, to be honest, we know that, don’t we?
    Were many others? Did Russell Brand take his shirt off for us? Did Owen Jones complain that the BBC had failed to cover our plight? More interestingly, did Iain Duncan Smith, elected by the people of Britain and appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions answer by so much as a word the 1,000 polite emails sent directly to him that pointed him towards the Carers Manifesto and asked him for change?
    In each case the answer to the question is “Don’t be daft. ”
    Folks, blokes, positive jokes, we carers will carry on until each and every one of the purblind people of this country recognise the things that really matter. And close to the top of this list should be the fact that our NHS and Social Care system does not acknowledge that it is totally and charmlessly reliant on several million family carers working round the clock for nothing. And that they do not want to change this fact.
    I will write about the FIrst VIrtual Strike shortly, but today it seems an appropriate time to reblog this piece (written before Christmas)


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