Young Life in Freetown: Pets, pets, pets!


Domestic pets are everywhere in Freetown and they add meaning to everyday life.

You hardly go past a street in the city, without seeing a pet. They seem to be in every home. Some keep pets because they feel the need of helping, others see an animal friend. Though few might find pleasure in actually raising a pet, there's no denying the joy of having one. It's like nothing is more beautiful than life with domestic pets in the Freetown municipality.

As Nancy Penyikie, 55, expressed, Mama Kat and Scratch are the best things that have happened to her in a long while. Some years back, she found a cat and its kitten huddled behind a coconut tree in her backyard. She decided to bring them into the house for shelter. Her sick husband didn't favor the idea much because he wasn't a cat lover, but the cat and her kitten needed a home. For months, she and her husband quarreled over the pets but she finally convinced him that they could be the ones the cats had been waiting for.

Eight-year-old Yelie Mbangali confessed that her dog, Peggy, has been the friend she yearned for. She thinks her pet is as brave as her English teacher who hardly ever misses English. She also thanked her father for Peggy, a wonderful gift he gave her on her fifth birthday.

As for ten-year-old Yakuba Koroma, he found the idea of keeping pets disagreeable. He complained that since his mother's English chickens arrived at their house, they have taken his place in his mother's heart. He said the fowls eat up most of the food at home and he really doesn't like them now.

Alhaji Dumbuya confessed that he does not like keeping pets, especially dogs, and cats, but his fifteen-year-old daughter Mabinty does. He said that even though he has scolded her many times about inviting animals into the house, she still hasn't given up.

No matter what he does, his house is filled with all sorts of animals, which actually breaks his heart as a Muslim. However, Alhaji said that raising pets makes his daughter happy and it also keeps her away from bad company, so he gave up and decided to accept her pets wholeheartedly.

Even though some are not able to provide for their pets, they still wouldn't let them go one day without a grain. Many see their pets as family and others believe they give a new lease on life. Domestic pets mean a whole lot to the lives of the people of Freetown. It's fun raising a pet.

For Young Life in Freetown, I'm Inyillah Conteh reporting..

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