Such a perfect and lovely little thing, I couldn't leave him there in the trash, so I took him home to leave in my flowers.
I drove for about 10 minutes before I looked at my seat again. The "dead" butterfly was standing up now and slowly flapping his wings. I had to pull over and check him out. He even climbed on my finger.
So the butterfly came home with me. I set him up in a warm area by a sunny window with a branch from my sage bush that still had flowers at the time. Later I gave him sugar water on a plate, which I'd seen in an article once.
Every hour I looked at him again, expecting him to be dead, but he was there flexing his wings on the branch. It was a weird surprise every time.
The next morning when I woke up, he was flying around the kitchen. Eventually he landed on my shoulder and we went outside together. The temperature had suddenly gone back up to 80, and it was a beautiful sunny day. The monarch flew away. Maybe he'll meet his friends in Mexico after all.
I like that ending better, but the truth is he was dead the next morning. And it was even more bitter cold and windy out, no sun. Around midnight I had moved him from the window to the top of the piano, which was closer to a heating vent. He was still flexing his wings when I went to bed, but by morning he had fallen on his side. He remains there now as a Christmas decoration.