Today has been awful. Em has been understandably bereft about the loss of her William, and I have realised just how much I do now love her cats just as much as my own. I’ve also come down with the stinking cold that some people developed at the end of the holiday, and have muddled through a day at work finding it hard to really concentrate on something so seemingly unimportant as XML files whilst one of our cats is who knows where.

This evening Emma had a call from a lady from Hornbeam Drive to say that she had seen the posters on the way to Tesco and then got home to see a cat that matched William’s description. Naturally Emma rushed round there but couldn’t find any sign of him. When I got back from work we went again, this time with a sachet of William’s favourite food to rustle. Still no sign. Emma had reported seeing Arthur cross one of the roads close to the edge of the estate having left some bushes – until this point I wasn’t aware that he went this far – and this made me think that if William too had been going into the ribbon of woods alongside the ringroad, maybe he got scared, chased, and lost further up. We walk up the road, along a stretch we hadn’t previously been along, calling his name – to no avail…

Five or ten minutes after getting home, as we were considering some bloody paw prints on the kitchen floor (since identified as the liquid remains of a mousey kill) we were shocked and surprised as William dragged himself through the cat flap. At first I was just relieved, then the full horror hit as we realised that he was badly cut round the back end and crawling with maggots.

We couldn’t raise Aunty Lucy straight away, so headed straight out, driving to the vets where Jason was still around, and there we began to get William sorted. He has been very dehydrated, the maggots have eaten almost up until his penis and urethra and he’s we don’t know the full extent of his injuries but he’s alive. I’m home again now – Em has gone back out to see William at the vets before bed – and Ronnie has curled himself up very cute and cuddly on my knee whilst I watch the first episode of the new Merlin series. Nelly is still too scared to come downstairs – worried that there’s big, scary monster downstairs – poor little pusscat.