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[#91] [Sat, 18 Jul 2020 07:00:14 CST][misc]
■ Revenge of the critters

Being first-hand witness to just how fast nature attempts to reclaim its former land has so far been the clearest sign of how pronounced the halt in human activity has been.

Flocks of birds became a daily sight, with places like roofed parking lots and public parks hosting so many nests, it became quite common to spot eggshells on the sidewalk. By the end of the second month, cats and possums had bred into armies fighting for territory with the casualties attracting scavenger species that knew better than getting close to the city, specially deep enough into the human hive for me to see. Native insects that were believed to be long gone (like mantises and tarantulas) could be found in the denser patches of grass. Lizards decimated the ever present roaches, rats countered this by feeding on the surplus of lizards, which in turn allowed the bigger predators to thrive on the already problematic amount of rats. At its apex, leaving trash bags out in the open meant they were going to be undoubtedly vandalized by the swarms of critters that by then had already adopted a basic hierarchy and thus, focused their attention on looting our precious garbage.

a young cat born during the quarantine, irrationally fearless of humans


Cats, in particular, benefited most from the bizarre situation, with birds and smaller critters growing in number and an almost total lack of human intervention they opportunistically multiplied. The resulting generation, having grown and adapted in an environment of abundance that required relatively little effort to survive and by learning from their parent's warped example, failed to inherit the knowledge a street cat requires to survive, setting them free from the intellectual and memetic bonds that (for better or worse) enabled their predecessors to make it in the concrete jungle. Including their distrust for humans.

Funny enough, as economic activity rose to "normal" levels and the inevitable culling began, the newest generation that was born into staleness and luxury was the first to die.