As soon as I heard that my mother had a stroke, I went to see her at our local hospital in Kent, England. On arrival, I introduced myself to the nurse with the words, ‘I’m Frank Furedi, I’m Clara’s son’.
The woman looked up at me and said, ‘You mean you’re her carer’.
‘No, her son’, I responded.
But she was insistent: ‘No, you are her carer.’
I can’t find the video right now, but the local news report on the dog that stayed beside another dog’s body after a car accident, the spokeslesbian for the area’s animal shelter referred to the dead dog as the surviving dog’s “partner,” repeatedly and frankly, rather smugly.