I saw a cute tabby at the void deck. Just as I was stroking it, it freezed, stared hard at something in the distant...and then dash off. It spotted a 'prey'. It was a white butterfly fluttering very close to the ground.
The tabby caught it and was rolling on the ground with it in a playful mood. When I went nearer, it left its prey and went about grooming itself.
It has been years since I saw a butterfly in HDB estate. This is after NEA started they frequent insecticide spraying exercise to eliminate dengue mosquitoes. They managed to eliminate all other 'useful' insects but not the harmful mosquitoes. In fact, they indirectly help in the creation a 'stronger' species of mosquitoes which are more resilient to insecticide.
They have since realised their mistaken in taking a short cut easy approach to dengue management control. Lucky for us, as who knows what will happen to our lungs and health with so frequent exposure to poisonous fume if they had continued with their spraying.
The insecticide spray was so intense and heavy that it penetrated the upper floors even though it was done at ground level. I am staying on the ninth floor, but whenever they did the spraying, I had to close all the windows in order to prevent choking on the fume.
...Back to the white butterfly. I have never seen a totally white butterfly before. Normally they are coloured. Likely it was already injured before being caught by the tabby. It was hovering at floor level which made it easy for the cat to catch it.
The poor butterfly had its wings torn and could hardly lift itself up from the ground. I knew what I should do in order not to prolong its suffering from an ultimate slow death which awaited it. But it is hard to terminate something that looked so pure, fragile and harmless. I did it anyway. I rather feel guilty and uneasy than avoid doing the right thing. I have wrote about euthanasia in my previous blog.
Now back to the cat. We cannot blame it. It is just doing what comes naturally - hunting its prey. Well, folks have been accusing stray cats of not 'earning' its keep (wonder since when a stray needs to earn its keep ? It is a stray after all, who is keeping it?). They said strays are so well fed that they do not hunt rats. These folks never care for the strays, how did they know how much the cats eat ?
Just because they see rats around, it does not mean the strays do not hunt them. We have a police force, but there are still criminals around. So does it mean our police officers are not doing their job ? Besides, it is NEA and Town Council responsibility to eliminate rats. They have so many advance pest control equipment, if they can't do it, why blame the strays?
Rats exist because of food - litters left by human. Rats don't exist because strays are not catching them. So we human has to clean up our act instead of blaming the cats.
Cats natural instinct is to hunt. They may not eat their prey, but they will still hunt. Just like the tabby I saw.