A woman claims she can sometimes only afford one meal a week amid the cost of living crisis – as she spends most of her money feeding her cats.
Yasemn Kaptan, 46, from Tottenham, north London, has been skipping meals for a year to be able to provide for her six felines.
Yasemn receives £400 monthly disability benefit due to her osteoporosis, which goes on rent and bills.
As she cares for her partner, she also receives a £69 allowance a week – £60 of which she spends on her pets.
She says she drinks mint tea to stave off hunger and has lost five stone since cutting down her food intake.
Yasemn claims the cost of living crisis means she can only afford one meal a week – as she spends most of her money feeding her cats
Yasemn said: ‘I don’t have any money to spare – but I can’t let the cats go. They have grown up with us. I have had them since they were little babies.
‘I paid a lot of money to have them, they are at the end of their life. It really isn’t fair to let them go.’
Yasemn refuses to get rid of her cats as she doesn’t know how she or her partner, Erdinc Hassain, 46, who has multiple sclerosis, would cope without them.
So she is living on just one meal a week – which has sent her weight plummeting from 14 stone to nine stone.
Yasemn’s one meal usually consists of BBQ vegetables like peppers, onions and salad. Otherwise, she drinks mint tea for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Yasemn Kaptan, 46, has been skipping meals for a year to be able to provide for her six feline friends
The stay-at-home carer receives a £69 allowance a week – £60 of which she spends on food for her pets, pictured here
Yasemn also receives £400 monthly disability benefit due to her osteoporosis, which goes on rent and bills
She says she drinks mint tea to stave off hunger, and has lost five stone since cutting down her food intake – but her cats (pictured) come first
She said: ‘When I get my carer’s allowance it goes on cat litter, cat food, biscuits and special milk, it takes up all my money. I can only just about pay my phone bill.
‘My partner is worried about me but I have got used to it by now. I will be okay, things will get better. There is nothing I can do, I will not get rid of my cats. I have had them for 17 years, they are my little babies they keep me going.’
Yasemn got her cats when she worked as a personal shopper and could comfortably look after herself and the cats and pay her bills, she says.
But she had to leave her job in 2022 after being diagnosed with osteoporosis – a health condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. This has left her with less money.
Yasemn got her cats when she worked as a personal shopper and could comfortably look after herself and the cats and pay her bills, she says
Yasemn added: ‘I eat once a week. I just have mint tea or liquids throughout the week. If I eat it has to be something soft like yoghurt or vegetables.
‘I cry every other day, I am trying to be happy with myself but I am down and tired. Some weeks I am not eating properly at all and I just have fluids to keep me going.’
Her story comes amid growing concerns over the cost of living, plus food and energy prices.
Last year, it was revealed the numbers using a food bank had jumped to one in six, according to research published by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
More than one in five (22 per cent) of those surveyed in March 2022 say they skipped a meal or cut down the size of meals because they did not have enough money to buy food.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk