Photo: Megan MartinBringing my adopted cat, Jameson, home with me in 2014 was one of the happiest days of my life.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 — or even the newly coined “meternity” — one group continues to be overlooked when it comes to paid time off from work: new pet owners.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––“Paw-ternity” leave is already a reality in the UK — the US pet-insurance provider Petplan found that nearly 5 percent of new pet owners in the UK were offered time off to care for their four-legged kids. (Not surprisingly, the UK is also light-years ahead of the US when it comes to maternity leave, offering up to 39 weeks of paid leave for new mothers.)While my co-workers with kids walk out the door at 6 p.m., no one seems to care that I also have a child at home waiting for dinner. – Lindsay PutnamIt’s time for the US to hop aboard the “paw-ternity” train. It’s not just because I want to stay home and cuddle on the couch with my new feline (which I do). When I adopted Jameson, he was 6 years old and had spent the previous year of his life in an animal shelter. He was suffering from several health problems after being neglected by his previous owner — and was skittish, nervous and uncertain about why he was suddenly being transported to a strange new home.I couldn’t help but think that, just as Jameson was getting used to me, he feared I, too, was abandoning him. The guilt continues today: While my co-workers with kids walk out the door at 6 p.m., no one seems to care that I also have a child at home waiting for dinner.
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