In no Western European city do I remember having seen more old men and women begging in the streets than in Paris. I have not undertaken any scientific survey so that might, indeed, just be a reflection of my individual experience. But there is another important attribute that makes them stand out for me: almost all of them have either dogs or cats, or – as in the picture above – both.
I am not sure whether all of these elderly people are actually homeless, but they are certainly among those less fortunate in life. After all, they are forced to beg for money… come rain or shine.
Just for the cash?
I am always touched by how they care for their pets (and even more by the fact how the animals stick around with them). Sure, one can argue that these cute little creatures ensure the cash flow so they serve an immediate purpose. However, I think it must be more than that. Life can be a real bitch and, then, companions are absolutely critical.
Undoubtedly, these kind of four-legged critters make for ideal companions – at least for those of us who like animals: they are unpretentious, loyal, non-judgmental and incredibly comforting.