This morning, as I was leaving for work, I heard a terrible commotion of squawking jays. And sure enough, what I had been dreading had come to pass.
The feral cats had killed one of the fledgling scrub jays. The parents were freaking out, and swooping at the cat, who had the limp bird in his jaws. I was on the verge of tears.
I knew that this was going to happen.
I am a pathologically tender hearted person. I deplore any form of killing, haven't eaten meat in twenty five years, and am staunchly opposed to war. But I am not such an idealist to think that I can change nature. Even if I stuff the feral cats with kibble until they waddle, they'll still be ambush predators. And young birds will be inexperienced and naiive.
I feel like a murderer.
(Robb did manage to catch Cardigan and put a particularly jangly bell around his neck. Maybe that will slow his hunting down just a little bit. Maybe.)
Update: The very next morning, the cats killed another of the fledglings.
Further Update: Cardigan managed to get the collar wrapped around his shoulder and torso, and ripped off the bell. Sleeves won't let us get close enough to touch his neck. I've taken to hanging out in the back yard with a garden hose. I squirt the cats when they get too close to the jays.
There is still one baby left.