I returned home from Brussels to find that Paddy has gone and is presumed dead. In his prime he was a chocolate box cat (so handsome he could have been pictured on a chocolate box), but as he turned 17 the weight fell off him and his bones protruded. He was last seen 2 days ago, very unwell.
Named after a Liberal Democrat leader, he came - like his predecessor and uncle, Gladstone - from the farm in North Norfolk where I worked as a student. He was a much beloved companion.
I had asked him to stay alive long enough for my daughter to complete her A-levels and depart for university. He duly complied.