August 05, 2011

Cats in the Car Park, Mice in the Movie, Cockroaches in the Cracks, and Rats in the Road...the trees...on the the trash can (I think you get the picture)

So...there are sometimes you wish you had a camera but you don't and you are only left with the knowledge that 'that would have been a PRIZE winning photo' ; or times when you do have a camera, but the opportune moment expires before it registers to lift the camera and snap a shot...This post does not have any photos because of these reasons and, well, these stories are either too common of an occurrence to take a photo, or too shocking to think about it in the moment.

In Hawaii we had chickens. Everywhere. I remember thinking how dirty they were; or how much I wanted to throw rocks at their heads at 4am when they were clucking and cocka-doodle-doing outside my bedroom window that I could not shut because there was no A/C! (I know life was rough; we had to rely on the trade winds off the beach for air circulation). Here in the Philippines, Hawaiian chickens don't even compare.

There are several stray cats around our housing complex. I am not really a fan of cats. Do I like that they keep mice away? Yes. Do I want one in my house or on my lap? No. People tease me that cats ALWAYS want to sit on my lap. You should see me trying to be nice to someone's prized pet that has made a purring nap spot on my lap when all I really want to do is push it off...Sorry, back to the cats in the Philippines. We hear they were pets of someone years ago and when they left the country, they left the cats behind. Now I may not like cats, but leaving your pet out for the wild is pretty low.

Most of the time these once domesticated, now emaciated just lounge around and eat whatever one of the neighbors want to feed them. Other times they will come look into the window and meow...and meow...and meow. Not the sing-songy I want you to pet me warm cat meow. This is the high pitched I want your attention so you will let me in your house meow. Not a fan. But again, they keep the mice away, so we let them do their thing and just try to ignore them.

Some places could use a few cats. The other night it was raining--it is always raining now, hence the 'rainy season' I guess--so we took the umbrellas, put on shorts and slippers and went for a walk. It was fun to see everyone bustling around. It was also sad to see the small families trying to make a dry sleeping place for the night under a piece of scrap tarp, on the sidewalk under a bridge, or on a covered park bench. Lady Hiva said a few times, "I wish I had my wallet now, I would give them all my money." Something she really does do every once in awhile. As we were walking several HUGE rats would run out to scurry their food for the night, see us and be shocked then panic on which way to run. We saw several. The first was startling, but then it became common occurrence, just like seeing the cats in the parking lot. We even began to compare sightings like old fisherman comparing the catch of the day, "Oh, you saw a big rat up the tree? I saw one bigger than that a few minutes ago..."

There are cockroaches everywhere. Something we are used to from Hawaii. We have not seen any in our house yet...well, except for all the dead ones that came out of the kitchen sink when it overfilled and started gurgling rubbish back out, that was completely gross and another story. While we are walking here we will see them run out of the cracks of sidewalks and walls of buildings and it is a game for me to count how many I squish before our destination. Hiva is not a fan and usually reminds me to not take those shoes into the house. (We don't wear shoes in the house ever so that is not really a problem...squish away!) My record right now is around 11.

Last night we were at the movie and we had gone in late so we sat at the first row of the upper balcony. Picture where we are sitting because it is important. There is a half wall in front of us with a wooden cap. The cap is glazed with a shiny finish so it glares light from the screen in the otherwise dark room. As the scene changed there was a mouse that ran across the cap right in front of our faces, you could see its dark body moving along like a living shadow on the white reflection. Hiva and I both jumped back as it leaped to the ground by our feet! We watched the rest of the movie with our feet up on the chairs!

So no photos, sorry, yet hopefully you can picture the experiences! And hey...come over for a visit. We will take you to the movies to watch mice and we can count all the roaches we kill on the way in!


  1. Oh my.... Okay, so I'm definately grateful for to be living in Rome right now.
    I'm not sure if we want to put in for the Phillipines at a later post?

  2. I really home we can make it there sometime soon while you guys are still there, that'd be a blast.