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Croatian pensioner spends part of his income on feeding birds

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An 87-year-old Croatian man has been using his pension to feed the birds in his backyard for years, despite living frugally to cope with rising costs of living.

Ivan Capan, a retired security guard who lives alone in a small basement apartment in Zagreb, said he spends about 10 euros ($11) a month on bread crumbs for the pigeons and two cats that visit him daily.

“I love animals and I feel sorry for them,” he said. “They are hungry and cold, especially in winter. I give them a little to me, a little to them.”

Capan receives a pension of 504 euros ($540) a month, which is above the average pension in Croatia but below the average salary. He said he manages to save some money by living modestly and avoiding unnecessary expenses.

“I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t go out,” he said. “I only buy what I need: food, medicine, electricity, water. Sometimes I treat myself to a coffee or a pastry at the bakery.”

Capan said he has been feeding the birds since he moved into his apartment 25 years ago, after his wife died. He said he has no children or relatives who visit him regularly.

“The birds are my company,” he said. “They know me and they trust me. They come every morning and evening. They make me happy.”

Capan said he also has 1,320 euros ($1,415) in savings that he received as a retirement bonus in 1998. He said he has never touched that money and keeps it in his bank account as an emergency fund.

“I don’t know what will happen tomorrow,” he said. “Maybe I will get sick or need some help. Maybe there will be another war or crisis. You never know.”

Capan said he hopes to live long enough to see peace and prosperity in his country, which joined the European Union in 2013 but still faces economic and social challenges.

“I have seen many things in my life: war, poverty, corruption,” he said. “I hope things will get better for everyone.


Source: Aljazeera


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