Since posting about birds a while ago I am pleased to say that we have had no more bird tragedies.
My house, however, has turned into a miniature version of this terrorist-wary country with my cats as the terrorists and the damn chickadees as the sweetly innocent citizens. I say "damn chickadees" because I am fed up defending them. Since they built their nest in an empty hole on my front porch, raised one family that got eaten by my grey cat and started a second brood I have taken action. I dismantled the light fixture on which my cat was perching (terrorist infrastructure), nailed a protective sheet from rail to ceiling (border wall) and am locking the cats in the house for most of the day. When my cats are outside I patrol the front porch area like an obsessed Minute Man, armed with cat toys to capture and re-imprison the marauders. All the cats need are tiny orange jump suits.
I have had enough. Fledge already. There were three chickadees screaming angrily at me yesterday so I thought that maybe one was a baby but this morning there are just the two parents dashing back and forth as I shake my fist at their feathery little asses.
I am not a chickadee hater. Someone who hates chickadees and the Impressionists, both, would be sent off on an ice flow (if there are any ice flows left). I have just worked so hard to keep them alive over the past few weeks and I don't want them to break my heart. I know I am projecting my own emotions about parenting onto these tiny little feather brains. Maybe because I feel feather brained myself half the time. Maybe because, when I trudge in the door laden down with bags of groceries to feed hungry children I see the chickadees outside trudging back and forth laden down with beaks full of bugs.
For now, I will keep my cats inside the house and put up with the chickadee scolding until the family has moved out. But then I am blocking up the hole and reclaiming my porch and my life.