Two days later, we spent the night in Liberty because Becky's parents needed a ride to the airport at about a quarter past the butt-crack of dawn. When we returned to our home that afternoon, I discovered this:
This butterfly did not drop out of its cocoon into the bottle-wash. The sink is about 10 feet from the refrigerator. That means the little fellow emerged, dried his wings, took flight, and then dropped into the bottle-wash. Did he die, then fall? Did he fall, then drown? I cannot say. I think I heard somewhere that Monarch butterflies live in their adult form for about 24 hours, which is just enough time to mate. So perhaps this insectoid miracle lived out an entire, sexually-frustrated lifetime right there in our kitchen.
I'm also not sure whether the yellow water was due to bacterial contamination or pigment leaking from the butterfly's gorgeous wings. I actually suspect pigment, since the color was clustered around the insect. Bacteria would probably have migrated throughout the medium. We re-washed anyway.