Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Void Deck Critters

If Singapore is a concrete jungle, then the HDB void decks are the leaf litter, containing a myriad of non-human life.

Cockroaches and mosquitoes are the main insect pests which are kept in check by regular insecticidal fogging, focusing on the garbage chutes and drains respectively. I'm no 'roach expert but here they seem torpid and slow moving. Even a lively one is easy to catch and squish. Tomorrow is fogging day and I'm supposed to tape up around the garbage chute to stop the 'roaches from escaping the insecticide. I've never bothered or have forgotten up till now and the worst that seems to happen is to find a dead/dying 'roach on the kitchen floor. There was one that managed to crawl as far as the living room before succumbing. Tough bugger.

There are lots of owned and stray cats, mostly with partially docked tails (not sure why). They are conspicuously un-neutered and a merry courting dance is a daily affair. I don't know that anyone is doing anything about this but we are far from over-run. It's fun to see them walking along in the drain gullies with just a pair of ears visible. Most are wary of humans but will readily approach a friendly call, and continue on their daily search for food when they ascertain you are offering none. Some idiot dog owners let their dogs chase cats but it's mostly harmless and cats can duck down into the surface drains and either wait or pop up yards away out of another drain.

Cats with permanent hosts may never leave their flats or its immediate environs. My near neighbour's cat stays within 10yds of the front door, hiding behind plant pots to avoid kids and bikes on the landing. The poor animal is tortured because it lives next to the lifts so when he hears the doors open, he doesn't know whether the incomer is friend or foe. Lonely, neurotic and armed with claws. A potent combination.