Where I couldn’t locate the chick, of course one of the cats could. And after killing it Jig uncannily brought its little body inside to the dining room as if to let me know what happened. I found Ranger waiting patiently next to its body there on the rug and Jig up on the table.

Well, if I couldn’t have the chick alive, there’s at least a measure of solace in having the mystery solved and putting an end to beating myself up wondering what happened.

But the part of me that’s relieved in knowing that at least it’s no longer out there suffering doesn’t hold a candle in scope to the part of me that’s just utterly heartbroken, whch is  fighting with the part of me that curses myself for not camping out in the front yard and watching the cats for clues.

In short, yeah… I’m pretty much inconsolable.

But if I can get myself together and get my work done I shall bury the chick where I first discovered it on the ground Sunday. Bonus points if I do so without blubbering like an old fool.

UPDATE (4:26 p.m.): Oh My God. I’ve sat here at my desk with the corpse of what I thought was the dead hummingbird all afternoon trying to finish a project that was due at noon. And about 15 minutes ago after choking up for the 12,388th time  I got up to go get the mail.

So I walked down to the mailbox. Opened the mailbox. Extracted the envelopes. Closed the mailbox and looked down and hot fucking damn but if the hummingbird chick isn’t sitting right there alive and well and looking up at me atop the rock wall in front of the mail box as if put there by special delivery.

I stood there in shock for a full minute. I even rubbed my eyes. But the baby bird was still there and not a figment of my grief-stricken imagination. Even better, when I tried to scoop it up it flew away admirably for about 20 feet about five feet off the deck before running out of gas and coming in for a landing on the sidewalk. So it’s getting its wings but it’s not quite airborne material yet.

Long story short,  I scooped up the tuckered out bird and reinstalled it in the fruit picker — this time instead of dangling it from the tree I planted it down into the tall lantana hedge. As for the dead hummingbird chick still sitting on my desk. I have no idea where this one came from, but just the timing of Jig bringing it in is almost as mindblowing as the fact that the one I’d been mourning is not at all dead.