Fleur, 35, is never going to use her maternity leave and wants a new type of leave for pet owners instead.
“There should be peternity leave. When you get a kitten or a puppy, they [animal welfare] always say that you should spend the first two weeks with them so that you can really bond with them and socialise them, and so they know you’re their owner and you strike up a better relationship – like having a baby,” she said.
The 35-year-old owns two cats with her partner, Mark, and took some of her annual leave when she re-homed her cats.
Taylor Swift’s is a proud cat owner. Image via Facebook.
“We both took two weeks leave but we overlapped the second week. So we ended up having three weeks overall that the cats had with us. But we only got to spend one week of that all together,” she said.
Fleur* believes there should be allowances for her family to spend time together – especially because she is not planning on having children or taking maternity leave.
“We should have peternity leave because if you get time off to have a baby why not have time off when you get a pet?” she said.
Pets can become part of the family. Image via iStock.
"Having a pet is like having a child. You have them long-term. Cats can live 18-20 years, that’s like having a child and raising it. They’re are part of the family - like a child is.
"You love them unconditionally, you have to feed them, they’re dependent on you - unlike a child, they’re dependant on you for their entirety of their life," she said.
The RSPCA's Education Officer, Kelly Walton, says she'd be "pretty keen" to take up peternity leave if there was such a thing.
"Apart from spending time with your new animal to help comfort them in their new surroundings, peternity leave would be good for making sure your home is cat-proof or dog-proof," she said.
The 31-year-old owns three dogs - Abby, Annie and Poppy - and took leave when she re-homed her second dog.