I had been wondering whether the robin parents had even laid the eggs yet, but on Friday I discovered that they certainly had, and some time ago, too. Because I glanced out into the back garden to behold Ju Ju waddling slowly across the lawn after a fluttering little fluffy thing with a beak. It was a baby robin!
Now, I know Ju Ju's predatorial instincts should be given free reign, and indeed I've been hoping for years that she'd start acting like a normal cat. What amazes and bewilders me is the fact that despite the fact that birds have nested in the garden before, she has never shown any desire to go anywhere near them until now. Also, I couldn't just stand by while she tortured a baby creature - even though she's so stupid she hadn't actually managed to touch it yet. So I ran out, grabbed her, and deposited her fat form in the kitchen, where she roared impotently through the glass.
I returned to the robin to see if it was okay. Baby robins don't have red breasts, so that other robins (who are fiercely territorial) won't think of them as rivals and, well, kill them, and the robin infant looked like a very fluffy, speckly little ball with a beak. The poor thing was terrifed, and as it scampered and half-flew away from me it got entangled in a bush, and I had to take it out, and it sat very calmly in my hands while I carried it carefully over to the grass beneath its nest. It was physically unharmed, and when I put my hands to the ground it took a moment to realise I wasn't going to eat it and hopped off. A few minutes later its parents had joined it and were feeding it worms, so it seemed to be okay. And the fact that it was out of the nest at all indicates that it's more or less ready to leave its parental home.
But the following afternoon, all the robins had disappeared. Have they all grown up? Have they been eaten? I wish I knew.