“At home, with the Covid, animals have taken over”

Eva Bertoni, sales assistant - caretaker at La Ferme Tropical in Paris, at home with her snakes, April 24, 2022. On the table, a royal python.

It was a long day. It’s late. Midnight is about to strike. Stéphanie (the people who testify requested anonymity) has just found her pavilion in Haut Montreuil (Seine-Saint-Denis), after multiple detours due to the closure of the A86 motorway. A yoghurt swallowed in the pale light of the refrigerator, a glance at the latest bad news from the world reported live by some continuous news channel, the hunt for cavities and, presto, sleep! On tip-toes. In the dark. Because Etienne, her husband, has been sleeping for a while. She puts on a pajama jacket, pushes aside the duvet, sits on the edge of the bed and lets herself go on the pillow. Good night ? Not at all. “Kai, kai, kai! from hell. Cloud of hairs. General alert. Stephanie has just lain down on Perfect, the family’s golden retriever. It had to happen.

During confinement, the animal – a young lady then a few months old – got into the habit of sleeping in the parental bedroom and kept it despite the efforts made since by the couple in their fifties, arrogating to themselves the right to an evening raid on the 100% natural latex mattress. Around 5 p.m., when the children come home from school, he also takes a light snack and, in the event of a pre-dinner aperitif, he can claim a pretzel if not a homemade cracker (parmesan flavor). On weekends, he also happens to finish the remains of the tribe’s lunch shared with the cat Wilfrid, who marries on the tablecloth to consult the daily menu. Whose fault is it ? To everyone: parents, children and nanny. “With us, Covid-19 has made it possible to overcome anti-speciesism: animals have taken power”laughs Etienne, a little worried though.

“A matter of balance”

“In this period of isolation, the archaic need for contact reappearedassures the psychiatrist Ludovic Drillet. The risk of contagion between humans was high, so we turned to other more reassuring species. Pet is a word that makes sense when there are so many unknowns. In the age of virtuality, this proximity has eased the stress. » An opinion poll carried out in June 2021 by the Odoxa Institute for Purina, one of the giants in dog and cat food, revealed that during the pandemic one in ten French people adopted a pet. . When 60 million cloistered consumers meet 30 million comforting friends, things click. Result: Perfect climbed into bed and Wilfrid sat down at the table. They are not the only ones.

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